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She write it in the 50s because as someone not particularly qualified to speculate accurately about what technology might be possible in the readers future, that was all she knew. However, given her apparent statement that it is meant to be in the readers future, that does not mean that it is necessarily meant to be in the 50s.

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The setting does seem to me distinctly 50s (or maybe even late 40s -ish) in terms of the technology and ways people lived their lives. But obviously the state of the world at that time is not what is shown in the book.

The best analogy I can figure for Atlas Shrugged is: Imagine if World War II had never happened, and the depression had dragged on through the 40s and 50s, with a government continuing to tinker trying to "fix" things and it failing to work, and Europe having during the 40s elected socialist governments of one stripe or another, again desperately trying to "fix" the economy.

So to me it works best to think of the setting as ca. 1960 in an alternate universe where WWII never happened and the depression never ended. Perhaps the splitting point would be Hitler never having taken power in Germany, but rather the communists did, and peoples' states then went on to engulf Europe.

Of course such does not mean we cannot today make the same mistakes that were made before the book, that put the US in such economic dire straits. We are doing so. That's in large part why so many people looking at the state of the economy think the book is so relevant today. Of course they are reaching a factually correct conclusion by invalid logic: they are working off a surface impression of Atlas Shrugged. It really is relevant today, but not for this reason; it's relevant in any day for the both broader and deeper reason that it illustrates the importance and role of the mind in life.

edit: added last paragraph

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito
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Of course, and therefore there is no reason to make the movie in the future =]

I keep giving reasons to set it in the future over and over. It is timeless not just because the general sort of events in it might happen again ( yeah, you would have to change some details ), but more because of this : "ut not for this reason; it's relevant in any day for the both broader and deeper reason that it illustrates the importance and role of the mind in life.". Setting it in the future, with essentially the same general run of events ( again with some chasnges I would imagine) makes it even easier to grasp that this applies in any era. Not just the 50/60s.

Though I am not totally against it being a "period piece" , I just t hink it works better if is not. Makes it easier to write and involves less changes I guess.

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I suspect that a period piece would be very, very difficult for an "indie" producer to do because he wouldn't have access to the wardrobes, props, etc., the major studios have. No doubt the majors have been saving tonlots of clothing, etc, from every decade since they were founded.

I agree with Prometheus that you can properly tell AS in just about any decade you want, though you will have to change details. Of course now the book is "dated" in some ways because people don't travel much by train. I thought the current movie's solution to that dilemma was creative (explaining that the airlines had collapsed due to the price of oil going stupid high), allowing rail to become important again whilst keeping the story in (our) near future. Of course all that new passenger traffic would strain the rail system for a while as they struggled to build more infrastructure to deal with passengers... and we see a strained rail system in the book, so it fits.

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Well, I already covered some of the reasons why train travel is not necessarily so out of place in a relatively near future and so did you ;). I thought that was one of the better decisions of the writers of the recent AS movie.

In a way it might have been interesting to see what Ayn Rand might have done if she had attempted some speculative fiction and tried to predict what might be more common in the decades to proceed the publication of the book. I do not think that she should in fact have *tried* to do this, given I suspect she was not necessarily sufficiently knowledgeable about such things ( and even those that apparently are often have a poor track record for making accurate predictions, for fairly obvious reasons). Still, if I could ask her to help on the DVD commentary for AS or something, this is one thing I might ask her ;)

Just an interesting thought...I would not read anything much into it.

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  • 1 year later...

how would Benedict Cumbertatch of 'Sherlock' fame look as Fransisco d' Anconia? 



 i can't help thinking that he would look absolutely perfect as fransisco!


or what about Ian Somerhalder?  



Edited by Madhavi
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