Apparently, Brad Pitt is John Galt. Angelina Jolie is Dagny Taggart. At least, that's what reports regarding the cinematic treatment of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged are suggesting. Galt, to me, is taller than Pitt, but he, like Pitt, carries a bit of mystery around him. So, maybe it could work. Dagny Taggart is sort of a capitalistic superwoman, and Angelina Jolie is that--superwoman that is--so I definitely could see the casting rationale there too. Jolie is slightly exotic looking, and Dagny I picture as a serious, Nordic goddess. But, as with Pitt, they could do a whole lot worse--for instance, Danny DeVito as Galt and Sally Field as Dagny.
Casting this movie right is important. More important is that this movie is being made. It should be huge, Lord of the Rings-huge, Passion of the Christ-huge. Yet, for years, because of concerns stemming from Hollywood's inability to be true to the 1,000-plus-page book, this film was never made. Rand, the difficult purist, regretted Hollywood's treatment of The Fountainhead, so the experience soured her on the idea of Atlas Shrugged for the silverscreen. And now that Atlas Shrugged (buy it here) will be made (and I wouldn't be surprised if some snag came along and killed it), some questions arise.
How will Hollywood condense Galt's sixty-page radio address? Who cares about the heroes? What self-respecting, self-loathing Hollywood liberal will consent to play a caricature of himself? (I nominate whim-worshipping looters George Clooney and Tim Robbins for Wesley Mouch and James Taggart.) A la George Lucas, will the producers of Atlas Shrugged capitalize on the film with a marketing campaign featuring dollar-sign cigarettes? Will the trailers, months in advance, simply ask: "Who is John Galt? Find out month/day/year"? Will Randians who hate the film accuse Randians who like the film of betraying the Randian sense of life?
Atlas Shrugged won't come to a theater near you for years, and already I'm excited. Just think of what hardcore Randroids are feeling--silly me, I should say what harcore Randroids are thinking.
Must be the best of times and the worst of times for Leonard Peikoff. By the way, Dan: do you have your intellectual heir all set up?
This movie should be amazing, hopefully. I can't think of a way that hollywood could liberalize Atlas Shrugged.
Ayn Rand is super powerful. For an atheist, she got individualism right. Personally, I say f*** Hollywood goo-goo gossip about who's playing who: just read her books. I just started her book on the New Left, the anti-industrial revolution: the first 30 pages cut to the quick about how academic freedom has been crushed by Leftists. (She focuses on Berkeley, too, who as some FF regulars know, is where I let my mind rot for a long time.) Again, f*** Hollywood, just be your own hero!