The Fountainhead

Zack Snyder is turning from superheroes to Randian Objectivism. The Batman v. Superman filmmaker took to his favorite platform, Vero, to announce that his long-talked-about adaptation of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is his next movie.

Another day, another bit of news gleamed from Zack Snyder’s Vero account. While fielding questions from fans on the social media platform, Snyder revealed his next project is The Fountainhead, an adaptation of the novel by Ayn Rand, favorite author of Paul Ryan and other unlikable people. This has been a dream project of Snyder’s for a while. Back in 2016, the director said:

“I have been working on The Fountainhead. I’ve always felt like The Fountainhead was such a thesis on the creative process and what it is to create something. Warner Bros. owns [Ayn Rand’s] script and I’ve just been working on that a little bit.”

Published in 1943, The Fountainhead focuses on architect Howard Roark. Roark’s architecture is super-modern and cutting-edge, which means he must contend with a world that just doesn’t understand his brilliance, maaaan. Architecture critics are so disturbed by Roark’s vision that they’d rather lie and give his work poor reviews instead of awarding it the credit it deserves. Feel free to draw your own conclusions about why someone like Zack Snyder is so interested in this material.

Here’s the official book synopsis.

This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite…of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy…and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. As fresh today as it was then, Rand’s provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress…

Snyder’s take on the material won’t be the first adaptation of Rand’s book. In 1949, King Vidor helmed an adaptation that starred Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. This film changed a lot from Rand’s book, despite Rand having a screenwriting credit on the project.

There are two ways this film will turn out. One: it will be an accurate interpretation of Rand’s repugnant philosophies, writ large on the biggest screen possible by super-stylist Zack Snyder. A sort-of mega-budgeted version of the crowd-funded Atlas Shrugged trilogy that barely got made in the first place. Or two: it will give Snyder will merely use Rand’s source material as a springboard to tell his own big, extravagant story about the creative process. Neither of those options sound very exciting to me, but I’m sure there are plenty of Snyder fans itching to lay their eyes on this thing.

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