Barbara Branden

Movie of ATLAS SHRUGGED

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http://news.sawf.org/Entertainment/41833.aspx

PERELMAN TO DIRECT ANGELINA JOLIE IN "ATLAS SHRUGGED"

Director Vadim Perelman has been brought in to direct the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand's best-seller, "Atlas Shrugged," starring Angelina Jolie.

Perelman, who has been roped in by Lionsgate, will also be penning the script for the movie based on a draft by "Braveheart" scribe Randall Wallace, who managed to boil down Rand's 1,100-plus page book to a 127-page script.

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Barbara;

Thanks for the post. I hope there will be more information at the 50th anniversary celebration of Atlas Shrugged.

I am bit confused about the script status.

Thanks

Edited by Chris Grieb

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I was waiting on line at a supermarket when I noticed a picture of Angelina Jolie on the cover of one of those Inquirer type mags. The cover story mentioned that she has lost weight and her family is concerned that she might have an illness which has not yet been diagnosed.

I certainly hope this is untrue and that Angelina is well and able to continue with her career.

Sorry to be the bearer of such news and I was and remain hesitant to even post this because it may be nonsense. It does have me worried about her and about the Atlas movie as well.

galt

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Although I feel Jolie did a good job in movies such as Tomb Raider, I can't see her as Dagny Taggart. But she apparently has the desire and clout to play Dagny and to snag the role for herself.

She doesn't seem to project enough intellectuality for a Dagny. Also, the reports of her various tattoos strike me as less than appealing.

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I was waiting on line at a supermarket when I noticed a picture of Angelina Jolie on the cover of one of those Inquirer type mags. The cover story mentioned that she has lost weight and her family is concerned that she might have an illness which has not yet been diagnosed.

I certainly hope this is untrue and that Angelina is well and able to continue with her career.

Sorry to be the bearer of such news and I was and remain hesitant to even post this because it may be nonsense. It does have me worried about her and about the Atlas movie as well.

galt

-Atlas Shrugged- is too "big" a novel to be encompassed in a motion picture. Look what happened to Tolkien's -Lord of the Rings-. It was made into three (count them) feature length movies and the movie plays never properly followed the novel. Some of the visuals in LOTR were spectacular, but the motion pictures failed to carry the story.

If -Atlas Shrugged- is made into a motion picture at least half of those who see it will hate it. Then there is the matter of railroads and steelworks. In case one has not noticed, railroads are no longer on the cutting edge of industrial development (think of a maglev carrying freight in Colorado?) and Reardon Metal will be to be rendered as some kind of carbon fiber composite. Stretching carbon threads simply does not have the dramatic impact as a heat of white hot liquid metal pouring out of a ladle. The only way Galt's Gulch could be hidden is if it were built a mile underground and even then, modern vibration detectors could find it. And American audiences will not sit still to listen to a Speech. M-TV has shortened the National Attention Span to about a minute and a half. Bottom line: the motion picture will fall short of the mark no matter who makes it. And it will cause Ayn Rand to whirl rapidly in her grave.

If you think that a motion picture or t.v. mini-series will attract people to the basic ideas of Objectivism, you are in for a disappointment. Culturally, Americans are not oriented toward abstractions. Americans are action oriented folks. Deeds and not words are what focuses attention. In -Atlas Shrugged- it was *lack of deeds* that carried the story. It was a novel about a strike, which is a cessation of action. American audiences are not "turned on" by Hugoesque presentation. In the motion picture version of -Les Miserables- the main scene was Jean Valjean Paris sewer. Ideas do not translate into motion pictures very well. Watching ideas (for most people) is like watching paint dry. Only a few folks find ideas exciting. You are one of them.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Barbara,

You beat me to the punch. I started another thread, but since it is only one post, I deleted it and am including the post below.

I also moved this to the Movies section and pinned it (with the other news on the Atlas movie.)

Michael

Vadim Perelman to direct 'Atlas'

By Michael Fleming

Variety

Sep. 4, 2007

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After the Jolie delay scare, the good guys are winning! From the article:

Lionsgate has brought on Vadim Perelman to rewrite "Atlas Shrugged" and direct Angelina Jolie in the starring role.

While Lionsgate needs to get a final script before formally committing to a start date with Perelman at the helm, the move puts the company in a strong position for an early 2008 production start, just a shade over 50 years after Ayn Rand's famed novel was first published in 1957.

. . .

Perelman will work from a draft of the script penned by "Braveheart" scribe Randall Wallace, who managed to boil down the Rand manifesto of 1,100-plus pages into a 127-page script.

. . .

Perelman's latest film, the Uma Thurman-Evan Rachel Wood starrer "In Bloom," premieres at the Toronto Film Festival. It's his first since his 2003 breakthrough, "House of Sand and Fog."

Jolie starts work in early fall on the Clint Eastwood-directed "The Changeling" for Universal, Imagine and Malpaso. She would like to follow with "Atlas Shrugged," long a passion project for her.

Incidentally, this is Perelman (the Variety picture):

perelman_vadim.jpg

Michael

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HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG (Wikipedia)

Lester comes looking for Kathy at her former home and sees Esmail Behrani siting in the kitchen with his police gun. Esmail, who does not know that Lester can see him, inquisitively reaches towards the gun, Lester smashes a glass pane in the kitchen door and rushes in taking his gun. He sees Colonel and Mrs. Behrani carrying Kathy from the bathroom and due to his obsession with Kathy and his outrage, takes the family hostage by locking them in the bathroom overnight. He resolves to force Colonel Behrani to sell the house back to Kathy, he demands that Colonel Behrani and the son Esmail drive to the county offices to complete the transaction.

On the way to the offices, so as to free his family and believing he has been previously encouraged by his father so to do, Esmail Behrani seizes Lester's gun. Colonel Beharani grabs Lester and shouts for help. Two policemen respond. However, not only do the policemen recognize Lester but he is still wearing his police uniform. To the policemen it seems that a fellow officer is being held at gunpoint. Esmail Behrani, still holding the gun, turns towards the policemen and is shot by the policemen.

In the hospital Colonel Behrani prays for his son, offering future good behaviour in exchange for his sons life. As he does so a doctor enters the room. Colonel Behrani's son Esmail has died of his wounds.

Taken over by grief, Colonel Behrani returns home and rather than tell her that their beloved son is dead, drugs his wife's tea. She quietly dies. Colonel Behrani takes his wifes body to their bedroom lays her on their bed. He dons his uniform, checks himself in the mirror sits next to his wife and tapes his uniforms plastic dust cover around his head. Their bodies are found by Kathy. Kathy attempts to revive the asphyxiated Colonel Behrani with CPR, but she is unsuccessful. As the bodies are being taken away by the paramedics, a policeman asks Kathy if the house is hers. After a pause for consideration, she replies "no".

IN BLOOM (imdb)

A woman's survivor's guilt from a Columbine-like event twenty years ago causes her present-day idyllic life to fall apart.

Yep. Good choice for director, since we all know how important pathos is to the project.

:laugh:

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-Atlas Shrugged- is too "big" a novel to be encompassed in a motion picture. Look what happened to Tolkien's -Lord of the Rings-. It was made into three (count them) feature length movies and the movie plays never properly followed the novel. Some of the visuals in LOTR were spectacular, but the motion pictures failed to carry the story.

I beg to differ. I think that the LOtR trilogy is the ideal in novel to screen translation. I can't imagine a better interpretation.

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I used to write software for the movie industry and know that 1 page of script translates to 1 minute of screen time. I can't imagine a 127 minute Atlas Shrugged movie. Even 250 minutes doesn't seem enough.

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I beg to differ. I think that the LOtR trilogy is the ideal in novel to screen translation. I can't imagine a better interpretation.

It is dreadful. Peter Jackson moved around dialog and left out Tom Bombidil! And no Barrow Wights!

However, I thnk the got Gandalph pretty well.

By the way, Frodo was 55 years old when he set out with The Ring. They have Elijah Wood, barely out of his teens playing Frodo.

Ba'al Chataf

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Lord of the Rings was three separate novels in the first place, wasn't it?

#9 and #11 illustrate why this is a very risky venture commercially. The first to see the movie will be the hardcore fans, and they will be satisfied only with a literal translation of the book, all the dialog verbatim and all the characters and settings looking exactly as each reader imagined. No matter how good or bad the movie turns out to be, word of mouth will be poisonous.

I STILL think they ought to do it in streamline-moderne period, like the current cover illustration.

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Two people have said that they thought "The House of Sand and Fog" was one the most depressing movies they had ever seen. I'm worried. The director has only two movies.

Edited by Chris Grieb

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Lord of the Rings was three separate novels in the first place, wasn't it?

Tolkien wrote LOTR as one novel. His publisher insisted that he break it into portions because publishing a big honker would be expensive and the publisher would have to charge a high price. From an economic and marketing p.o.v. this made good sense, but it was the publisher's choice, not Tolkien's.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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It is dreadful. Peter Jackson moved around dialog and left out Tom Bombidil! And no Barrow Wights!

Dreadful? The Fellowship of the Ring movie was excellent. Just because a portion of the novel was cut out doesn't mean that the movie was bad.

Peter Jackson cut out that portion of the novel that didn't move the main plot forward. Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wights had virtually nothing to do with Sauron and the Ring.

By the way, Frodo was 55 years old when he set out with The Ring. They have Elijah Wood, barely out of his teens playing Frodo.

This is fine. At most, Frodo would have appeared 30 years old to us (in "human years"). Frodo was of a believable age.

Edited by Eudaimonist

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...

Peter Jackson cut out that portion of the novel that didn't move the main plot forward. Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wights had virtually nothing to do with Sauron and the Ring.

Indeed. When I re-read the trilogy after seeing the films I merely skimmed the whole interlude-with-Bombadil section, thinking it a dull digression. I didn't miss it in the films at all.

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...

Peter Jackson cut out that portion of the novel that didn't move the main plot forward. Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wights had virtually nothing to do with Sauron and the Ring.

Indeed. When I re-read the trilogy after seeing the films I merely skimmed the whole interlude-with-Bombadil section, thinking it a dull digression. I didn't miss it in the films at all.

Here's another positive vote for that decision. I skimmed through the Tom Bombadil portion the FIRST time I read the series, and skipped it in subsequent readings. Irritating character.

Judith

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Although I feel Jolie did a good job in movies such as Tomb Raider, I can't see her as Dagny Taggart. But she apparently has the desire and clout to play Dagny and to snag the role for herself.

She doesn't seem to project enough intellectuality for a Dagny. Also, the reports of her various tattoos strike me as less than appealing.

I disagree- I believe she would/could do an amazing job. Don't let her looks fool you, she is an intelligent woman, eccentric maybe, but nonetheless intelligent. She has good depth and scope...she is one of the few actress now a days that could pull off the part. And I might add...one of the few actress with enough clout to see her "pet project" come about.

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Atlas Shrugged Movie & Conference Update

As reported in Variety magazine, we can confirm that Lionsgate studio has tapped Vadim Perelman to direct the movie version of Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, which will star Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart. The director of House of Sand and Fog and In Bloom, scheduled for release this year, Perelman is working with writer Randall Wallace, the screenwriter for Braveheart, to finalize the script. Co-executive producer and Atlas Society trustee John Aglialoro tells us that, "There are still a few details to work out but the project is moving along well. The script has been given conditional approval. I'm optimistic that the movie will be completed in 2008." Aglialoro will be at our Atlas Shrugged 50th Anniversary Celebration to give the latest movie updates. Also producing Atlas will be Howard and Karen Baldwin, who produced the Oscar-winning movie Ray, and Geyer Kosinski, who most recently produced The Astronaut Farmer.

Further, if you're planning to attend our Atlas event and to stay at the event venue, the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, the deadline to receive discounts on hotel rooms has been extended to Thursday, September 13. Please book soon while rooms are still available. You can call 1-800-468-3571 or 202- 898-9000 or go online and mention user group code ATSATSA for your Atlas Society discount. You should register separately for the full event itself, which includes a reception at the Cato Institute and a gala banquet. Details here.

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For the Lord of the Rings commentary: may I add that while Frodo was 55, he was still considered late-adolescent in Hobbit terms. By that logic, Elijah Wood was a good choice.

To the greater issue, of a movie of ATLAS SHRUGGED, I don't believe it will be done very well, when it is done, and assuming it is ever done.

It can be done well, of course. Good acting is possible for Hollywood. Intelligent directing and intelligent screenplays are possible for Hollywood. I have seen movie adaptations of books that were good. These were by definitin the adaptations respected enough of the writer's intention, and changed nothing without an acceptable reason.

And yes, I would say the Peter Jackson adaption of Lord of the Rings was good enough. I will even say that Tolkien had too much dialog, and not enough action. Granting that he was a master at English-language dialog, of course. At any rate, that is my 2¢.

But with ATLAS SHRUGGED, I see the problem as that few directors or producers from the Hollywood culture of recycled stories, simple plots, and star power will understand what an adaptation of ATLAS SHRUGGED will require.

Here are some of the issues.

(1) We may shorten the philosophical parts, but never cut them. Where Ayn Rand wrote a long discussion, we may have a summary of that discussion: but we must still convey all the essential points. Will a director understand what is essential?

(2) John Galt's speech is uneditable.

(3) It is possible to show an action (Dagny riding to the work site of the John Galt Line) while a voice-over discusses the relevant philosophical issues. This will help us fit the book into a film, without damaging it. This will require quality directing. Who can provide that?

(4) Actors should be chosen by the strength of their performance, not based on sex appeal. But Hollywood seems to think its audience is entirely made up of permanent adolescents who get impatient with anything that they cannot immediately understand, and who are necessarily addicted to sex. That perspective will make it difficult for them to choose well on the actors.

(5) It will also make it difficult for Hollywood to choose well on the script. I don't believe that everyone will tune out ideas such as Ayn Rand's, but I believe that Hollywood (as a culture) believes that. Those people who get impatient with new ideas are not everyone, but they do seem to be the audience which Hollywood (as a culture) targets.

(6) We must on principle forbid the actors from making any changes. The actors are free to interpret their role, but that interpretation is WITHIN a role. And in my opinion, the "big-name star" who demands that we re-write entirely the character of Francisco d'Anconia because "it's obvious to ME Francisco wouldn't act that way" should be fired for unprofessional behaviour. After that, we should take away his lolly pop and ask him to sit in the corner. But the problem with star power is that the stars often throw their weight around and behave like spoilt children in adult bodies.

(7) We accept that some compromise is necessary, but we must have it in the contract that the amount of compromise be strictly limited. I would consider 5% compromise reasonable, 10% compromise generous, and 15% the final limit, beyond which I refuse to compromise further.

There is grounds for disagreement on those numbers I gave, but I think we can agree that there must be a limit, somewhere. I said "compromise" meaning "to give in on reasonable grounds by the other party." Had I meant "to give in at the will of the other party" I would have said "submit".

But Hollywood (as a culture) has a reputation not of asking a writer: "Would it be better if..." but of changing whatever they bloody well like, and usually on the grounds that "the audience expects this".

When I finish WEI (and later HU, and after that SHAN) I shall not sell any of those books to Hollywood, for exactly those reasons.

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I really wish that someone like HBO could have gotten a hold of the rights and made a series out of it. It could have kept to the original better with 13 hour long episodes. The characters could have been developed better as well.

And 127 pages seems very short. That is only a 2hr movie. They could have at least given it 3 hrs.

--Dustan

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The movie report at the Atlas leads to cautious optimism. The Baldwins, the director and the Lionsgate money guy were all there. The feeling seems to be 2 1/2 hours for length. The script is coming along. 2009 as a release date. The director was much better than I expected. He said his aim in movies is to reproduce the book.

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I really wish that someone like HBO could have gotten a hold of the rights and made a series out of it. It could have kept to the original better with 13 hour long episodes. The characters could have been developed better as well.

And 127 pages seems very short. That is only a 2hr movie. They could have at least given it 3 hrs.

--Dustan

Yes - I have always throught that a miniseries would have been a better format.

Alfonso

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The head of Lionsgate said there is a problem of where to split the movie. He also said that if you have 180M he'll talk about a trilogy.

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