14 Jan 2007

Atlas Shrugged Film: Disaster Looms

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Dagny Taggart?

The New York Times reports that Randall Wallace, screenwriter of Braveheart (1996) and We Were Soldiers (2002) is inching toward completion of a script for the filming of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The challenge, Mr. Wallace said, was immediately tempting. As for how he is distilling Rand’s novel and its Castro-length monologues to a two-hour screenplay, Mr. Wallace insisted he had the material under control and was on course to deliver a finished draft this month.

“I can pretty much guarantee you that there won’t be a 30-page speech at the end of the movie,” he said. “I have two hours to try to express what Rand believed to an audience, and my responsibility is not only to Ayn Rand, but to the audience, that this be a compelling movie. More people will see the movie than will read ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ And the movie has to work.”

Of course, Randall, that has to mean that you outrank Rand.

A film production of Atlas Shrugged lacking John Galt’s speech would be like a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony omitting the Ode to Joy. If you don’t think John Galt’s speech is a key part of the novel, if you don’t like John Galt’s speech or find it intrinsically boring, you don’t really connect with Ayn Rand, and have no business trying to do a screenplay version of her work.

No, I wouldn’t advocate a word-for-word performance, but Atlas Shrugged without the Speech would be like the New Testament without the Resurrection.

Not even Angelina Jolie as Dagny is going to save this turkey.

And can you imagine? The Times reports that they were able to buy full creative control from that worm Peikoff. Rand must be spinning at 78 rpms.

Earlier Story – 27 April 2006.

4 Feedbacks on "Atlas Shrugged Film: Disaster Looms"

mark crane

The story as written contains some of the most intense, surreal, breathtaking descriptive narratives of all time — for example, the opening of the John Galt Line. I have often wondered if perhaps only a fine animation might capture it. Leave out the speech.


It was also a shock for me to hear of this news. i thought it was some sick joke when they announced that angelina was to be dagny. i further agree with your comment to the point that every element of the story is important and especially the speech! if they think it “has to work”. by what means? they are kidding themselves


If you even remotely think the speech is necessary, you must not have been paying attention to the first 1100 pages. The speech is solely there to reiterate directly what had been portrayed indirectly through the whole novel. On a side note…Angelina Jolie might be the only thing that could possibly make Dagny Taggart better. I will be at the first showing.



If you would like to see the brilliant Jeremy Northam as John Galt in the movie “Atlas Shrugged”, please sign this petition which is being sent to Baldwin Entertainment, executive producers of the film.



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