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Atlas Shrugged coming to Big Screen

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Film Company to Bring "Atlas Shrugged" to the Screen

A new project to film Atlas Shrugged has just been launched. Crusader Entertainment,

LLC, a Beverly Hills-based production company, announced on May 12

that it had acquired the film rights to Ayn Rand's great novel. The

company also announced that it has signed veteran screenwriter James

V. Hart, whose film credits include the ambitious adaptation of Carl

Sagan's science fiction novel Contact, to write the screenplay.

For more information:

http://www.atlassociety.org/news_atlas-shr...rugged-film.asp

Shawn Klein

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  • 1 month later...

Craig Houghton passed along the following information, which I didn't think he'd mind if I posted here:

In case anyone hasn't heard and is curious, it seems another chapter in the Atlas Shrugged screen rights pass-around has begun.

I'd never heard of the purchasing film company, so I looked at their site this morning. The new film company, Crusader, has this to say in their mission statement:

"The mission of Crusader Entertainment, LLC, is to create inspirational, historical, sports and adventure films that offer compelling and positive messages to our audience. We believe that gratuitous violence, drug and tobacco use, sex and profanity will obscure the positive message we wish to impart, compromising the entertainment and commercial value of our projects. Since we are committed to reaching viewers of all ages, we will make only films that are G-rated or, in some instances, PG or PG-13. Similarly, our television projects will be suitable for general audiences."

I was a tad worried about what sort of ethics gave rise to this stance, and I'm a bit more concerned now that I found that the movie company's site includes entries for a movie named "Joshua" produced by Epiphany. It seems Epiphany is a splinter label of Crusader which "will develop and produce independent feature films rich in spiritual themes."

This parent company Crusader(the same label that's going to handle atlas shrugged?!?) has this to say about that "Joshua" movie:

"Can one little movie help restore people's faith? In God, in others, in ourselves? With a crisis of faith grabbing headlines these days, perhaps something in addition to prayers is needed to restore hope in a world that feels like it's being pulled apart in the name of religion."

Crusader has already signed James V. Hart "to adapt the acclaimed and influential bestseller to the screen." Hart's credits seem to include Hook, Bram Stocker's Dracula, Contact, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

I know there's been plenty of attempted adaptations in the past and the company hasn't even set a timeline (that I've noticed), but I figured the info would be worth passing along.

Crusader's press release: http://www.crusaderentertainment.com/releases/051203c/ also, it's interesting and again discouraging that crusader, in this press release, has linked to The Objectivist Center and the Atlas Society.

-Craig

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  • 10 months later...

OK, if they're going to make AS into a movie, they'd better do it RIGHT--and this means (among other things) no massive cuts. I doubt this can be done in anything less than a TV mini-series, so I am bracing myself for disappointment when a three or four-hour movie comes out.

And the music had better be good, too.

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Leaving out a main character or creating some hybrid of two or more main characters (I've seen this done in several films).

That's a biggie for me.

One thing I do think needs to be cut significantly is Galt's speech. While it is of HUGE import to the book, I can't imagine any audience (myself included) wanting to sit through a monologue that long.

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This is just a bad idea, in my judgment. I've seen the Fountainhead movie, and I thought it was poor. It moved through the plot at such a rapid rate that nothing was really able to be digested and appreciated - and yet, the movie was still nearly 3 hours long, and fountainhead is considerably shorter than Atlas. I just think there is way too much in Atlas to turn into even a 3 hour movie, unless they find a way to cut A LOT of material and focus on what they have in an in-depth enough manner that does justice to the book. I'm not optimistic at all about this.

AC

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Leaving out a main character or creating some hybrid of two or more main characters (I've seen this done in several films).

If it were skillfully done, I would fully support combining some of the characters. Even in an 8-hour movie, you can't introduce as many named characters as Rand has. A lot of the looters would have to go. I wouldn't even object to Francisco and Galt being combined into one character -- again, provided that it were done right.

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I don't see a Galt/Fransisco hybred as compatible with the plot line...

I do think that Mouch, Thompson, and company, can be mixed into one.

However, I think that it is advisable to include Orren Boyle (as a main character contrasting Rearden), and a group of scenes denoting widespread Bolyeness around industry (to replace Ma Chalmers, etc..).

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  • 2 weeks later...

In an unexpected move, the once prevalent, up and coming film company, "Crusader Entertainment" is no more. Yikes !!

Now it seems whoever touches this script, is afflicted to doom. Not so. Just not the "right" ones yet. The new "crusader", Bristol Bay

Productions" SAY they're still going to work on the project, but though it's been over a YEAR, no script yet from the famous James Hart.

AHA !! This JUST in days ago: http://www.atlassociety.org/news_atlas-mov...dated050304.asp - Looks like the shakeup won't

dampen the production, says THEM....but we shall see, eh? I say NO character "merging" and on cutting it for length?? Nawww.

Go ahead....make it into a trilogy! :)

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A novel such as Atlas Shrugged would be a tall order to make into a good film for obvious reasons. Then again, as has been mentioned already, Peter Jackson did it with Lord of the Rings!

I personally would love to see an AS movie. More so now than ever considering that it has been 2 years now since I actually shrugged for real....(still sounds strange when I write it or say it)

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As much as I think Jackson met the task of presenting Middle Earth in the way Tolkien meant it to be envisioned, they still hacked the story to both fit the time and give a wider audience access. Combining characters is just another way to dilute the message (which is the point) as would be changing or cutting down Galts speech.

In todays cable age the best format would be a "Band of Brothers" type format delivered over weeks if not months. But Atlas really deserves a big screen treatment. I doubt even a trilogy would do it justice. Would audiences attend 3-4 hour installments year after year? This isn't Star Trek but I really wonder how obscure Rand is in the scheme of things? Would there be lines around the block of people wearing classic 40's and 50's contemporary clothing (I always thought Bogart in a business suit would have made a great Hank Reardon ) wait hours for tickets? carrying signs thet read "I'm John Galt" I think not.

The goal of the studio would be to make a profit, the cost to make the film would be preventative and the last installments may never materialize if the success of the first were to be counted on. We have to face the reality that any screen version will be a cut rate production. Actually from the infighting I see among objectivist it would probably suffer from time over runs and still look like a piecemeal documentary. Of course I am a purist in these matters (I was the guy in the LOTR audience muttering "thats not the way the books were" at every little compression or elaboration of the story) I would object to any change especially if Rands ideals were compromised. Then again I'm selfish enough to wanna see this come to the big screen in my lifetime so I would still buy a ticket.

Of course even if a halfway decent film version gets made that doesn't nix the idea of a cable mini series. Of course the dialog would take years in itself to translate to a valid screen play. The best way to present Galts speech though would be with a back drop of mans greatest achievements and horrors streaming by as a parade accentuating his points. The speeches length would seem less if dramatized rather than just having him stand there.

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I'm thinking that if they're going to make cuts and changes, they're going to make a lot of those in Galt's speech. It took Galt a very long time to say everything written on those 70 pages of "This is John Galt speaking".

Also, I still think that there is enough material in Atlas Shrugged for a trilogy.

But, nonetheless, I'm looking forward to seing how they're going to bring AS to the screen.

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trilogy would be very easily conceivable. Especially since it is broken into three parts in the book, each part ending on a cliff hanger. It would make for a great trilogy. And I wouldn't doubt that almost the whole Galt's speech will be cut. It has to be exciting for more than just the die hard Objectivists. And not even I, someone who has read that chapter about 15 times in two years, would want to sit in a movie theater watching some actor read that radio broadcast for an hour.

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trilogy would be very easily conceivable. Especially since it is broken into three parts in the book, each part ending on a cliff hanger. It would make for a great trilogy. And I wouldn't doubt that almost the whole Galt's speech will be cut. It has to be exciting for more than just the die hard Objectivists. And not even I, someone who has read that chapter about 15 times in two years, would want to sit in a movie theater watching some actor read that radio broadcast for an hour.

Oh, that's a given. What a good writer would do was give you about twenty to thirty seconds of the speech, and then cut back and forth between shots of Galt speaking, Dagny listening, Eddie Willers listening, the bad guys listening, fading in and out so you would get the sense that he was talking for a long time. You'd hear one sentence...

"...your morality is the morality of death..."

Then another, later sentence...

"...our code is contained in a single axiom: existence exists.."

Then another...

"...they offer death as the reward for following their code. We offer you life as a reward for ours..."

The music would rise until the final lines of the speech:

"I swear, by my life and my love of it..." etc.

Bam. Galt's speech in less than two minutes.

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  • 3 weeks later...
"Our very next movie will have some educational value, but that's not really its purpose.  Above all it has a great sense of adventure, and it's funny and entertaining--it's called Around the World in Eighty Days.

This is taken from a recent speech by Philip Anschutz at Hillsdale College (printed in the speech digest of Hillsdale, Imprimis). Anschutz is the founder and President of Anschutz Corporation, owner of the movie company that owns the rights to Atlas Shrugged.

So my point is we might get some idea of what kind of movies the company puts out by watching Around the World in Eighty Days. I haven't seen the movie---did they do a good job with it? (Is it even out yet?) Does it exhibit a good sense of life? Anschutz' description, that it "has a great sense of adventure," at least sounds encouraging.

One of the interesting facts about Anschutz is that he is Vice Chairman of the Board of Union Pacific Railroad Corporation. No coincidence, perhaps, that he likes a novel based around a railroad.

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'Around the World in Eighty Days' is a corny action adventure/comedy with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan.

Then I want to see it!

"Corny" is modern "intellectualese" for an old-fashioned, value-laden, value-promoting story. I LOVE corny.

P.S. Some other key words:

"Melodramatic" - has a good plot.

"Overacted" - has heroes.

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