Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Atlas Shrugged Movie

At long last, Atlas Shrugged has made it to the big screen, not by a major studio but by an independent group (John Aglialoro at the helm) who has had the rights to the movie since 1992. Apparently the rush to release it was due to their rights running out and reverting back to the estate (on June 13, 2010) so they started production right away.

Shooting apparently took 5 weeks and the final production was around $10-15 million. So far, according to BoxOfficeMojo, it's at about 1.5 million - so that's a good start, when you consider it's only starting in 300 theatres.

Toronto Sun is noting that it won't be available in Canada until after Cannes - as you can only show your film in your own country to make it eligible. 

Most critics have panned it - but that would be expected. Some simply refer to the importance of the book and its relevance in today's society, where the parallels are getting fairly ominous. There's a fairly good discussion going on here - where the consensus is that while the actors do a great job, they are hampered by bad film-making (editing, production and direction). Since this is only part 1 of 3 films, hopefully, they are able to push it forward and make any improvements needed.

The challenge in bringing Atlas to film is how do you decide what parts of the story do you keep.

- Do you keep the "childhood history" of Eddie Wilkers and Dagny?

- Do you keep Richard Halley (apparently they didn't) and his concertos? (thus breaking the link between the arts and the business-line philosophy espoused in the book)

- How much of the "speeches" do you keep?

- Did they get the right cigarettes or did they pull them out of the movie?

Producers tried to do it with the Fountainhead and didn't succeed, even with Ayn Rand helping out (she stopped supporting it when they changed the wording in the final speech). 

The Rearden Comes Home clip is interesting.

It looks like they got the right Hank Rearden.

The producers are doing a fairly good job promoting : You Tube videos requesting responses, the trailer is pretty cool and their Twitter account is featuring voice mails  from both the antagonists and protagonists in the movie.

Can't wait for it to hit Canada. Check out the trailer below:

Atlas Shrugged Movie - The Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site