In 1972, Albert S. Ruddy approached Rand to produce a cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. Rand insisted on having final script approval, which Ruddy refused to give her, thus preventing a deal. In 1978, Henry and Michael Jaffe negotiated a deal for an eight-hour Atlas Shrugged television miniseries on NBC. Michael Jaffe hired screenwriter Sterling Silliphant to adapt the novel and he obtained approval from Rand on the final script. However, in 1979, with Fred Silverman's rise as president of NBC, the project was scrapped.
Rand, a former Hollywood screenwriter herself, began writing her own screenplay, but died in 1982 with only one third of it finished. She left her estate, including the film rights to Atlas Shrugged, to her student Leonard Peikoff, who sold an option to Michael Jaffe and Ed Snider. Peikoff would not approve the script they wrote and the deal fell through. In 1992, investor John Aglialoro bought an option to produce the film, paying Peikoff over $1 million for full creative control.
In 1999, under John Aglialoro's sponsorship, Albert Ruddy negotiated a deal with Turner Network Television for a four-hour miniseries, but the project was killed after the AOL Time Warner merger. After the TNT deal fell through Howard and Karen Baldwin obtained the rights while running Phillip Anschutz's Crusader Entertainment. The Baldwins left Crusader and formed Baldwin Entertainment Group in 2004, taking the rights to Atlas Shrugged with them. Michael Burns of Lions Gate Entertainment approached the Baldwins to fund and distribute Atlas Shrugged. A two-part draft screenplay written by James V. Hart was re-written into a 127-page screenplay by Randall Wallace, with Vadim Perelman expected to direct. Potential cast members for this production had included Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, and Brad Pitt. Subsequent developments cast doubt on the participation of some of these individuals, although the resurgence of public interest in the novel seemed to be attracting additional funding.[Writing
In May 2010, Brian Patrick O'Toole and Aglialoro wrote a screenplay intent on filming in June 2010. While initial rumors claimed that the films would have a "timeless" setting, later information revealed that they would instead be set in the year 2016, with a dystopian United States suffering economically amid greater calls for collectivism and government intervention. Other noted changes included reductions for some characters and side stories, such as that of Eddie Willers, and removal of others, such as that of composer Richard Halley.Filming
Though Stephen Polk was initially set to direct, he was replaced by Paul Johansson nine days before filming was scheduled to begin. With the 18-year-long option to the films rights set to expire on June 15, 2010, producer Aglialoro began principal photography on June 13, 2010, thus managing to retain his rights. Shooting took five weeks and came in on a budget north of US$5 million.Casting
Though director Johansson has been reported by various sources as playing the pivotal role of John Galt, he made it clear in an interview that with regard to who is John Galt in the film, the answer was, "Not me." He explained that his portrayal of the character would be limited to Part 1 of a planned film trilogy and would be seen only from the back of the head while wearing a hat, thereby suggesting that another actor will be cast as Galt for the subsequent parts of the trilogy. In the beginning of the official movie trailer for Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, Johansson appears as a silhouetted figure wearing a trenchcoat and fedora.
Well this all certainly bodes well for the film. I love the list of "potential cast members". Somehow it wound up so that the only cast members I recognize are Nick Cassavetes and Jon Polito.
And this is only Atlas Shrugged Part 1
. Do you think there's any chance parts 2 and 3 will ever get made?
They should have written some train explosions or hijackings or something into the movie, if only for the sake of the trailer. It would have been ideal if, somewhere in the development process, "Atlas Shrugged" ended up getting grafted onto Unstoppable or Under Siege 3.