Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Can a film be pushed into production through sheer force of will? Over the decades there have been multiple attempts to film Ayn Rand‘s novel Atlas Shrugged. In the last decade the movie has almost been made a couple of times, but plans have always fallen through.
Now producer John Aglialoro, who bought the book rights for $1m in 1992, will make the film one way or the other. He plans to shoot on June 11. The only problem: he’s got no cast.
Deadline reports Aglialoro’s ambitious plans, which are almost hilariously in line with the scope of the novel. He aims to produce four films, with the relatively inexperienced Stephen Polk, son of former MGM chairman Louis Polk, set to direct. The producer claims he’s working to hire Maggie Gyllenhaal or Charlize Theron to play the central role of Dagny Taggart, but neither is cast.
All of which doesn’t have to be outlandish or a big deal; other independent films work like this fairly often. Get the machinery moving and hope everything falls into place. But this is Atlas Shrugged. The project has had an array of high-profile talent attached: Angelina Jolie, Vadim Perelman (OK, I don’t think he’s much of a talent, but still), Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Russell Crowe, just in the last few years. Several producers have tried to tackle the material, and several screenwriters have worked on it. All has come to nought.
Aglialoro is working from a screenplay he wrote with Brian Patrick O’Toole, and I can’t honestly say that it’s s futile enterprise. Maybe the script is good and they’ll be able to attract a capable cast in the scant time remaining before cameras roll. And if not, this will be just one more failed attempt to bring Rand’s massive novel to the screen.
Or, is this just an elaborate shell game to keep the book rights in Aglialoro’s hands?