Atlas Shrugged – Movie Update

Back in July, I blogged about the coming film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.  So, where does the project now stand?

The plan is to release the film on April 15, 2011 – a great date given the themes of the book.  There isn’t yet a trailer available as far as I know.  However, a preview of the film was shown recently in New York City to a group put together by the Atlas Society.  Here is a description of the event by one attendee (though I have never heard of his Dallas-based group).  The film will be rated PG-13.

Some of the stills I’ve seen look great (see above for one of them found on the movie’s Facebook page).  In fact, they’ve got me pretty geeked up to see the film.  Funny that despite the movie’s launch being noted on IMDB and in the New York Times, etc, that I almost have trouble believing the film will actually appear in theatres until I see it myself given how difficult the road from book to film has been. 

Finally, here is a case for why actress Tilda Swinton should have been cast as Dagny Taggart.  It is a reasonable argument – though I picture Dagny more as a brunette (and I’m not sure if the text contradicts or supports my present image but I thought she was described as having brown hair) and a bit tougher looking than Swinton.  Swinton, though, is a stellar actress who would probably perform quite well in the part.

16 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged – Movie Update

  1. I can’t wait to see this film!! After reading the book, it’s going to be interesting to see how they adapt everything. I hope they release it in all 50 states instead of only a partial release. Not to compare Atlas in anyway, but I hope it ends up like Twilight and gets a lot of funding and a big production after part 1.

  2. Dagny is indeed a brunette in the book, but I actually always had to stop myself from seeing her in my mind as a blonde. As far as I can tell though, Taylor Schilling both looks the part and acts the part very well, so I don’t think it’s fair to her to speculate over who *should* have had her place. As to whether I’ll still feel that way after Tax Day… well, we’ll see.

  3. Uh, Mr. Cleveland. Don’t expect the description of the characters in the book to all appear the same in this movie. For political and safety reasons, one of the characters in Rand’s book underwent a dramatic change. The character starts off life as a white boy with blue eyes and blond hair, but grows up to become an African American actor in the movie.

    Now, why is that? I laugh, sadly, at all of those who comment upon the hair color of Dagny, or the girth of Wyatt, or the age of the character Jim Taggart, but are forced to remain totally silent about the remarkable need to alter dramatically at least one actor. Nobody wants to ask why and absolutely NOBODY wants to answer. I, having family in Hollywood movies (for the last 40 years) know exactly why this had to be done. But, ssshhhhh. Hush. Don’t say a word.

    1. Albert –

      You keep making this “conspiracy theory” on the Facebook fan page as well. As we explained, the actor portraying Eddie Willers in our film was the best actor that we saw for the role. End of Story.


      Brian O’Toole
      The Strike Productions

  4. I actually remember Dagny as a blonde in the book. I also remember thinking that when I picture her, she’s a brunette, but being surprised to find out when I re-read the book, that she’s a blonde. At least that’s what I remember.

    I also won’t believe it’s out until I see it! Can’t wait.

    1. Greeting Brian.

      I have refrained from this topic (for the most part) on your facebook page out of respect for you, the movie and the book, but, please don’t expect me to remain quiet at other sites.

      Hollywood today is extremely political. Actually , it has been political from it’s inception, but none the less, there is always a dominant political current. Today, it is diversity, inclusiveness and multicultural. And it is forced.

      Movies that do not have minority actors in “dominant” roles find themselves faced with problems. Casting problems, union problems, location problems, security problems and distribution problems.

      To say that the actor playing Eddie was the best actor for the role leaves one to wonder. The book (in at least 3 distinct scenes) calls for a blonde, blued eyed, male person. You mean to tell us that out of the thousands of such actors in Hollywood, you couldn’t find one? I would love to have seen the auditions for that.

      As for “End of Story”. Brian, you haven’t seen nothing yet. Not from me, but when this movie is released, there are going to be thousands of raised eyebrows upon this shape-shifting character and their questions and comments to you will make me look polite. My advice to you is not to comment. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be my advice since too many of us can see through all this. We are not Objectivists for nothing.

  5. I just read it recently and although I always pictured her brunette she is referenced as blonde. I pictured Angelina Jolie playing the role but think Taylor is going to be great.

  6. Brian O’Toole is a fraud – barely a horror writer and 90% the script he said he wrote was re-written by TV actor/director. He’d never even read the ATLAS SHRUGGED book!

    Click link (or cut and paste into browser) and read the comments section.

    The casting of this movie was rushed, sad and contemptuous – and if he was the “writer” he took zero part in casting it, for sure.


    1. Dear “Eddie Willers”:

      Glad to meet you. Even though I think Brian O’Toole is being a bit evasive with his answers to me about your immaculate transformation from a small white boy to an adult black man (a lot like what Michael Jackson did in reverse), you are being unfairly harsh on him. To understand the situation, you must understand race relationships and racial politics of Hollywood.

      You, “Eddie”, got the part in order to fulfill understood demands. Mr. O’Toole can NOT speaks freely or openly about this or his reputation and future will be RUINED in Hollywood and he will be “blackballed”. Pun intended. Even if he wanted to, he is not stupid. He will give the company line since he must.

      In the 50’s if you had ANY linkage to the “communist party” you were toast. Today, if you have an all-white cast, you are toast. It is the way it is. It is natural for Hollywood. No producer of any production out of Hollywood can violate these written (there are written directive floating about concerning this) rules of “inclusiveness”.

      So, even while I tease him and poke fun at you, “Eddie”, (I think you are actually the first Black actor to play a white role) I realize that this movie could NOT have been made in America, nor distributed in America, if it retained the all European characters of Ms. Rand. Mr. O’Toole is doing us a favor in being willing to take the heat, thus we need to send him a TOKEN of our appreciation. Our responses should be Affirmative for his Action.

  7. Non – issue – a writer has ZERO input on casting. He’s being less-than-honest – as it his nature. For instance, I have it on good source – you’re all being taken for a train ride as Mr. O’Toole was almost entirely rewritten. His script was such garbage that the financier stepped in and started writing – a non-pro writing a movie script of this magnitude – heaven help us all! Read between the lines, he did not write 90% of the shooting script for the movie. He never even read the book before he began writing his sorry version. Simply put, he’s a fraud hosting a facebook page as if you’ve ever heard of a writer having defend his work or offering up his phone number – what a joke. Pay attention and take one look at his credits – there’s no adaptations at all albeit he says he does them all the time? All he has listed are just pure dreck horrors – a monkey could figure out this manipulation and con job.

  8. Eddie Willers:

    Why such hostility? Brian has given you the luckiest break in the world. You will become the most famous black white man ever…..or is that white black man…..uh this is getting a bit confusing…….. You are about to be seen in the movie adaptation of the best book ever written and you say such things?

    One would think you are ungrateful to the man. You have been GIVEN an opportunity based on your acting skills, and not the color of your skin, and you will go down in history, yet you protest, you rage, you may even miss the Academy Award for the best supporting minority actor playing a majority character in a supporting role without the need of ANY makeup. What a resume addition!!!!!

  9. Hollywood is much darker than its political background implies and the conspiracy doesn’t lie with the fact that Eddie Willers was casted as a black man to fill the status quo. I honestly pictured Dagny as a brunette as well but Ms. Schilling is absolutely beautiful so I don’t mind. In fact, I’m glad a major film production company is not in charge of this film because I don’t want Hollywood to construe Ayn Rand’s overall message. As long as the film emphasizes the fundamental ideas Rand conveyed in this literary masterpiece, I will be satisfied.

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