Archive | April 1, 2009

Atlas Shrugged  Movie Update #96874

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Apparently popular opposition to the bailout may help to kickstart the perpetually-approaching-but-never-arriving Atlas Shrugged movie, which is now being pitched as an anti-bailout movie. (Conical hat tip to Stephan Kinsella.)

Roberts as Dagny?That makes a fair bit of sense; for while both its critics (recently, e.g., Stephen Colbert) and its fans (recently, e.g., the loony Objectivist anti-tipping movement) have often read the book as championing the capitalist class against the proletariat, it actually champions the productive (in both classes) against the parasitic (in both classes); several of the book’s chief villains – most notably James Taggart and Orren Boyle – are wealthy industrialists who are eager lobbyists for special government privileges; and one of Dagny’s chief battles is against regulators who are trying to do her company (well, her brother’s company) a favour by putting its rivals out of business. So it’s really an anti-corporatist novel. (That’s not to say that Atlas isn’t still open to criticism from a left-libertarian perspective; sure it is, in various ways. But that’s another story.) So the present political climate would indeed be a great time for the movie.

Another factor moving the project forward is the need to start production before the rights revert to the Rand estate. That’s a major desideratum, since these days the estate probably wouldn’t approve any film version unless Galt’s Gulch was represented as being ringed by thousands of severed Muslim heads on pikes.

Evidently casting ideas for Dagny are now extending beyond Angelina Jolie, which is probably a good thing too. Jolie’s involvement was a plus to the extent that it made the film likelier to get made, but she never struck me as the right type for the role. Others being considered include Charlize Theron (whose name was once assigned to another never-produced Rand film project, The Husband I Bought), Anne Hathaway, and Julia Roberts – none of whom seem quite right either (though I think I could be persuaded re Roberts; I’ll wait until I see Duplicity to decide).

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