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Atlas Shrugged Movie - June Production

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Atlas Shrugged Movie - June Production

Here it goes again, folks. It looks like it's really going to happen this time. Like next month...

'Atlas Shrugged' Rights Holder Sets June Production Start Whether Or Not Stars Align

By MIKE FLEMING

May 26, 2010

Deadline

From the article:

John Aglialoro, the entrepreneur who 17 years ago paid $1 million to option the book rights, is tired of the futility and is taking matters into his own hands. He's announced that he is financing a June 11 production start in Los Angeles for the first of what he said will be four films made from the book.

Aglialoro, who had a hand in writing the script by Brian O'Tool, is taking on this ambitious plan with an unproven director, and is weeks away from production without stars to play Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, John Galt and the other roles.

. . .

Atlas Shrugged will be directed by Stephen Polk, an actor/producer whose father, Louis Polk, was once MGM chairman. He considers Atlas Shrugged to be his feature directing debut, though Polk acknowledges he stepped in and helmed the 2008 indie Baggage.

. . .

Polk said they are not intimidated to film a storied book even if stars don't align. "For more than 15 years, this has been at studios and there has been a whole dance around who'll play the iconic roles," Polk said. "Making it an independent film was the game-changer. Everybody is saying, how can you shoot this movie without a star? We're shooting it because it's a good movie with great characters. We've been in pre-production for months, but kept it a mystery."

.. .

Polk said that the idea of cutting through the bureaucracy and just getting started is consistent with the book's themes of capitalism and taking entrepreneurial risk.

So it looks like Mr. Aglialoro, who is a world-class professional poker player, has kept an ace up his sleeve.

I wish him the very best of luck and I, for one, will be in my little corner over here rooting for him.

It will be exciting to see this finally done.

If they can't get the big names on board, I predict it will make new stars out of some unknowns...

Michael

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Believed when seen

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Pray to your atheist Gods and ask them to make it true before we get distracted over holding a Centennial party.

B-Plan Star List (partial)

Galt: Frankie ("Malcolm In The Middle") Muniz

Toohey: Perigo (assuming resolution of certain immigration/human slave-trafficking legalities).

Dagny: Courtney Love

Francisco: The Corinthian-Leatherized Corpse of Ricardo Montalban (suggested by Johnny Depp, who declined due to makeup issues)

Ragnar: That Guy that stands in for Johnny Depp in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" Movies (I think his name is "Larry Lotloper," or something like that)

Rearden: Wilfred Brimley (includes jumper cables and car battery)

Wesley Mouch: Let's face it: who gives a fuck? Maybe Vince, the Sham-Wow guy<tm>.

Just-breaking rumours also indicate that a number of midget-actors (uh, "little people," I mean) will play the Railroad.

You guys can guess the rest, I'm working off of very hazy, early blog postings.

rde

Edited by Rich Engle
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Some more articles on the movie starting production in June. I'm just giving the titles and the links (I'm out of time for more details, and, to be honest, I haven't read them yet).

Atlas Will Shrug In June: But will everyone else?

Atlas Shrugged Film is Shooting in June, But Without a Cast?

The Latest on the Supposed Atlas Shrugged Film: Plucky Entrepreneurs Make End Run Around Entrenched Elites (by Brian Doherty)

"Atlas Shrugged" to Begin Filming Next Month

Atlas Shrugged to lurch into production

The Curious Case Of ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Atlas Shrugged Has No Actors, But Will Begin Production in Four Weeks

Enjoy...

Michael

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I've said for several years that an Atlas Shrugged movie does not need people like Angelina Jolie to be successful. It's also just as important to me that the film or films respect the book. I will not pay any money to see a hatchet job on Atlas Shrugged.

What do I mean by "hatchet job"? One person has suggested combining the characters of Galt and Francisco. Another director or producer suggested cutting 80% or 90% of the book. Both actions would be hatchet jobs.

This movie is going to sell tickets. If it is done right, I have a feeling that it will be a movie that people will see multiple times. It will sell no matter who is playng Dagny or Galt.

This could very well be a great vehicle for the kind of actor who is looking for the "big break." I'm talking about the kind of actor who already has an agent and maybe has a SAG card. This actor may have done a few commercials for pay and maybe has had some small parts in a movie or TV show. This actor may actually be making a living acting, but not much more. There are lots of actors out there like this. And they may actually work harder than the big stars.

He should also contract them to all four movies.

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Aglialoro is a badass. He should play a part in the movie. Hugh Akston would be good, assuming he isn't cut from the script.

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This doesn't seem good. I think to truly do a story like Atlas Shrugged justice, you'd need a budget of at least $75 million, perhaps closer to $100 million. Doing this on the cheap likely will not end well.

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You can't start filming in June when you don't have actors in May. It would take them longer than that just to learn their lines, even assuming they've all know the book.

And I'm a little worried when the businessman financing the film also decided to co-write the screenplay.

Edited by Philip Coates
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Maybe they'll work around their casting problems the same way Plan 9 from Outer Space handled the opposite issue (the star, Bela Lugosi, died in mid-shoot): shoot them from behind and fill in face shots after the actors sign.

Adding to #3: Joan Collins as Lillian Rearden, Bette Midler as either Ma Chalmers or Ivy Starnes.

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You can't start filming in June when you don't have actors in May. It would take them longer than that just to learn their lines, even assuming they've all know the book.

Acting in a film isn't the same as acting in a play. Scenes are usually shot out of sequence, and often with multiple takes of the same scene. It isn't uncommon for a cast and crew to film only one or two scenes per day. So, actors don't need to memorize all of their lines before filming, but just those from the scene they will be playing the next day, which might be as little as a couple of paragraphs.

And I'm a little worried when the businessman financing the film also decided to co-write the screenplay.

To me it's a toss up. Independent labors of love created by relative beginners can sometimes be amazing. Which is why the idea of independent films is so popular. But they can also be hokey as hell. I think it will depend on how willing Aglialoro is to listen to criticism from the professionals he hires to work on the film. I hope he doesn't have the common Objectivist attitude of arrogance and certainty exceeding his talents and tastes.

J

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Phil: You can't start filming in June when you don't have actors in May. It would take them longer than that just to learn their lines, even assuming they've all know the book.

J: Acting in a film isn't the same as acting in a play. Scenes are usually shot out of sequence, and often with multiple takes of the same scene. It isn't uncommon for a cast and crew to film only one or two scenes per day. So, actors don't need to memorize all of their lines before filming, but just those from the scene they will be playing the next day, which might be as little as a couple of paragraphs.

I said -just- to learn their lines. There are other issues. You're not qualified to act in a difficult, complex book with a week or two's notice. It's about much more than memorizing short bursts out of sequence. To do that, you have to wrap your head around your role, how it fits in the book, how it relates to other characters, what mood to project. And much more.

Phil: And I'm a little worried when the businessman financing the film also decided to co-write the screenplay.

FAB: I hope he doesn't have the common Objectivist attitude of arrogance and certainty exceeding his talents and tastes.

Exactly - very widespread in the Oist world is the IGIRR + IKHTD + EWTE (I'm a Genius and I've Read Rand, thus I Know How To Do Everything...even Without Training and Experience) syndrome.

That's what worries me about someone with no script-writing experience, no film experience (that we know of?) presuming that a business exec can write a screenplay.

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I'm glad to see that the Atlas Shrugged movie is moving forward. Will they be filming them all at once? I think they did that with Lord of the Rings. I want to see Atlas Shrugged as a movie and I think it will do fine at the box office as an independent film. As long as they don't turn it into a musical or cartoon it with a bunch of CGI it should be fine.

Kat

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This doesn't seem good. I think to truly do a story like Atlas Shrugged justice, you'd need a budget of at least $75 million, perhaps closer to $100 million. Doing this on the cheap likely will not end well.

These are predictions. Movies are notorious for going over budget. We have no idea what will be spent on this. It sounds like he is going to make one movie and see how it goes.

Here are some movies with low budgets that did quite well.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon--$15,000,000

Blair Witch Project--$22,000

Clerks--$27,000

Clerks 2--$3,000,000

Slumdog Millionaire--$15,000,000

Napoleon Dynamite--$400,000

Juno--$6,500,000

Good Will Hunting--$10,000,000

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You can't start filming in June when you don't have actors in May. It would take them longer than that just to learn their lines, even assuming they've all know the book.

What is your experience with acting, Phil?

Actors are handed scripts for five-minute scenes and expected to memorize those scripts in an hour. Actors will audition for commercials and be expected to memorize those in 10-15 minutes. After you have practiced it, you would be surprised that it is easier than it seems.

It takes a lot of dedication to become a successful actor. It also takes a lot of that to memorize these lines.

They are not going to learn the whole book at once. They will do one scene at a time.

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Subject: Professionalism, Hard Work, Pre-planning

> They are not going to learn the whole book at once. They will do one scene at a time.

Chris, I don't really want to debate this with you or Jonathan. Memorization (even worse, in tiny 'chunks' taken out of order), is exactly the wrong way to do anything of intellectual substance. I think it should be obvious without multiple posts that the above is exactly the wrong way to do a book like Atlas. Nothing like doing a commercial or a 'sound bite'. Just because some actors do something today in a certain way, doesn't mean it's the right way. Have you been impressed with the quality of movies coming out of Hollywood or stuff on tv lately?

Good actors try to get deeply into a serious or meaty role. They read the whole book or material beforehand. Often they also study background and critical material. They think themselves into the role, how the character would move, act, etc. They spend months thinking about the project, about how to do every aspect, about how to 'inhabit' their character. Of course if you're playing Shrek on a child-like level of amusement, it may require less study than to play Hamlet or Shylock.

My experience with acting: I had a lead role in two school productions and took an acting workshop from Phil Smith and have taught drama in my literature classes.

Edited by Philip Coates
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It looks like they “pulled the trigger” months ago, and are only announcing it now. They probably have the roles cast, and there’s no A-listers. So, if any big names want to jump in they have to do it now. Alternately, they have the production schedule set up so that scenes requiring the big roles don’t shoot for a while.

I’ve got my nominee for the lead, though he’ll have to tone the accent down a bit:

This is from a really good british TV movie, The Second Coming, check it out. I suggest not reading through the plot summary first, there’s big surprises.

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Toohey: Perigo (assuming resolution of certain immigration/human slave-trafficking legalities).

Small role for such a big head.

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Chris, I don't really want to debate this with you or Jonathan. Memorization (even worse, in tiny 'chunks' taken out of order), is exactly the wrong way to do anything of intellectual substance. I think it should be obvious without multiple posts that the above is exactly the wrong way to do a book like Atlas. Nothing like doing a commercial or a 'sound bite'. Just because some actors do something today in a certain way, doesn't mean it's the right way. Have you been impressed with the quality of movies coming out of Hollywood or stuff on tv lately?

Good actors try to get deeply into a serious or meaty role. They read the whole book or material beforehand. Often they also study background and critical material. They think themselves into the role, how the character would move, act, etc. They spend months thinking about the project, about how to do every aspect, about how to 'inhabit' their character. Of course if you're playing Shrek on a child-like level of amusement, it may require less study than to play Hamlet or Shylock.

I'm sure that most actors would prefer to have at least some time to prepare for a film role, but it really doesn't take that long to grasp the basic essence of a character, and the idea of filming multiple takes of short scenes puts the importance of understanding the context in the hands of the director, who gives the actors their characters' motivation and explains to them how the scene fits into the big picture. What the actors need to know in order to act in a film is quite different from what they would need to know in order to act in a play.

As for your comments about filming out of sequence or on short notice being the "wrong way" to do things, as usual you're talking out of your ass. I think that what I should do is see if I can find some clips from scenes which I know were filmed with very little preparation time for the actors, and some which were filmed after giving the actors plenty of time for role immersion and multiple rehearsals, and ask you identify, just by looking at them, which is which.

My experience with acting: I had a lead role in two school productions and took an acting workshop from Phil Smith and have taught drama in my literature classes.

So, you have no experience with film? Zero? Have you at least visited a movie or television set, or maybe watched a few minutes of an episode of Project Greenlight or something similar? Once again you're displaying your IGIRR + IKHTD + EWTE (I'm a Genius and I've Read Rand, thus I Know How To Do Everything...even Without Training and Experience) syndrome, aren't you?

J

Edited by Jonathan
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Toohey: Perigo (assuming resolution of certain immigration/human slave-trafficking legalities).

Small role for such a big head.

I agree that Pigero would make a good Toohey, but why would Toohey be cast for a film of Atlas Shrugged?

Actually, that's kind of an interesting idea for fan fiction: combining the characters from Rand's novels and exploring how they'd interact.

J

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Subject: Professionalism, Hard Work, Pre-planning

> They are not going to learn the whole book at once. They will do one scene at a time.

Chris, I don't really want to debate this with you or Jonathan. Memorization (even worse, in tiny 'chunks' taken out of order), is exactly the wrong way to do anything of intellectual substance. I think it should be obvious without multiple posts that the above is exactly the wrong way to do a book like Atlas. Nothing like doing a commercial or a 'sound bite'. Just because some actors do something today in a certain way, doesn't mean it's the right way. Have you been impressed with the quality of movies coming out of Hollywood or stuff on tv lately?

Good actors try to get deeply into a serious or meaty role. They read the whole book or material beforehand. Often they also study background and critical material. They think themselves into the role, how the character would move, act, etc. They spend months thinking about the project, about how to do every aspect, about how to 'inhabit' their character. Of course if you're playing Shrek on a child-like level of amusement, it may require less study than to play Hamlet or Shylock.

My experience with acting: I had a lead role in two school productions and took an acting workshop from Phil Smith and have taught drama in my literature classes.

I took acting classes with Phil Smith too. I wonder if we were both in the same class. I also did some film classes at NYU. I still have some 16mm film my group made. I played a bank teller. One of the students was a nephew of the one-eyed guy who ran Manufacturers Hanover so we got to film in a bank branch after hours. That was a lot of fun.

It's obvious that going into production in June for AS is to generate publicity in the industry in the hope potential partners will step up to the plate to help get things moving. Money partners, actor partners, you name it. Will the cameras roll next month? That's not the question. The question is whether they'll roll later this year or soon after that. I can't believe the naivete here about Hollywood bs. The only thing there that doesn't lie is money--that is, that's always the working assumption. Yes today, no tomorrow and vice versa.

Except for a few of the baddies, I'm afraid the characters in AS don't need months and months of study by the actors, most of whom have probably already read it.

--Brant

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I'm sure that most actors would prefer to have at least some time to prepare for a film role, but it really doesn't take that long to grasp the basic essence of a character,

Viggo Mortensen reportedly was cast for Lord of the Rings and was on set in a matter of days. He started reading the book on the plane. He'd never used a sword before and his first scene was a sword fight. It can be done.

I agree that Pigero would make a good Toohey, but why would Toohey be cast for a film of Atlas Shrugged?

Actually, that's kind of an interesting idea for fan fiction: combining the characters from Rand's novels and exploring how they'd interact.

Jabba's too slovenly looking for Toohey. If you're going to cast a journalist, I vote for Monbiot:

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Again with the rumors, the half-starts, false-starts, the hired-and-then-fired-script-writers, the re-written or replaced scripts, the change of formats from movie (or movies), TV mini-series, and then back again to start all over.

The legend of the soon-to-be-made Atlas Shrugged movie has become the Objectivist equivalent to the Christian "Second-Coming" myth, with its own unique set of ill-based and futile hopes.

At the risk of laboriously repeating myself, this movie will never see the light of day or theater projector. If something does occur bearing the name, Atlas Shrugged, its form, storyline, and messages will be diluted or twisted beyond the recognition of those of have read and admired the novel. It size, format, multiple plot lines, characterizations and particularly its incendiary messages (antithetical to the MSM "guardians of the culture," and certainly the Hollywood Establishment, which follows lock-step behind them) will not allow its adaptation to the screen, at least in the format that we would recognize.

Sorry.

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> Viggo Mortensen reportedly was cast for Lord of the Rings and was on set in a matter of days. He started reading the book on the plane.

Yikes: talk about a wooden job of acting. The lock-jawed hero. Using that portrayal as an argument against the merits of more preparation is almost funny. We won't even go into all the things wrong with that movie(s)but "Vigor Mortis" was certainly only one of them... :rolleyes:

I can't believe you three dudes would actually -defend- lack of preparation. Or lazy, sloppy, stupid, ill-prepared acting in a major roles in a major film of enormous importance. Especially given so much of the johnny-one-note acting we see these days. Could it be that Jonathan, Brant, and ND pop up on every thread where I post and -- because I've criticized them harshly in the past -- try to find something to attack or a nit to pick in -anything- I say, any statement I make, no matter how obvious? Even if I said it doesn't rain much in the Sahara...Jonathan would -never- spend a lot of time hunting through film clips looking for one of a rainstorm in an oasis? Would he??? Nah! That could never be true. Each of them is perfectly objective, and there are no grudges or emotions of "I'm gonna git you back" involved.

For that would be childish... :lol:

,,,,,

For another example, take television: Have you noticed that there is a reason series pilots are often more interesting and well-done than the week by week continuations for the rest of the season? Everybody had more time.

Here's the (non-debatable) principle: More preparation is better. By actors, by directors, by writers, by cinematographers, by location scouts.... And, no, it doesn't matter whether it's a play, a tv series, or a film: think in -essentials-.

Edited by Philip Coates
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I agree that the movie won't happen, and that's fine with me.

Loved the background they gave Monbiot.

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> this movie will never see the light of day or theater projector. If something does occur bearing the name, Atlas Shrugged, its form, storyline, and messages will be diluted or twisted beyond the recognition of those of have read and admired the novel. It size, format, multiple plot lines, characterizations and particularly its incendiary messages (antithetical to the MSM "guardians of the culture," and certainly the Hollywood Establishment, which follows lock-step behind them) will not allow its adaptation to the screen, at least in the format that we would recognize.

Jerry, I don't know how you can know all that: I don't like what I sense to be the rushed, unprepared, "start filming in a fortnight", learn scenes out of order or in snippets approach of what may be coming. But doing an independent film, privately financed certain seems like a way about the Hollywood Establishment, doesn't it?

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