Atlas Will Shrug In June

But will everyone else?

Atlas Will Shrug In June

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Seventeen years after paying a million dollars for the option on Ayn Rand's colossal magnum-opus, producer and entrepreneur John Aglialoro is finally preparing to get started on **Atlas Shrugged. The first of a projected four films based on the novel will go before cameras in Los Angeles on June 11th. The snag? Nobody knows who's going to be in it yet.

Aglialoro, who made his fortune in exercise equipment, is funding the start date out of his own pocket, having got fed up with the studio runaround. Pre-production has apparently been quietly underway for several months. The director is Stephen Polk, son of former MGM chairman Louis Polk. He explained to Deadline that "for more than 15 years, this has been at studios and there has been a whole dance around who’ll play the iconic roles. Making it an independent film was the game-changer. Everybody is saying, how can you shoot this movie without a star? We’re shooting it because it’s a good movie with great characters."

The central "iconic role", that of industrialist heroine Dagny Taggart, the railroad executive faced with a strike heralding the possible end of civilsation as we know it, has been linked in the past to Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron. Theron and Maggie Gyllenhaal have both been approached recently, but neither is likely to sign up for a start-date in three weeks time.

Polk likes the idea that cutting to the chase is consistent with Ayn Rand's notions of entrepreneurial risk. "There’s so much crap about how you need a great big budget and stars. We aren’t looking for big names to trigger press or financing," he says. That's either hugely brave and laudable, or suicidally naive. It may well be "a good movie with great characters", but will anybody get to see it? Let's hope so, otherwise Bioshock may be as as close as we get to seeing Rand's anti-utopian ideas realised on screen.

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