Atlas Shrugged Gets a New Director
Objectivists to get their night at the theater after all?
According to the report, Lionsgate has hired House of Sand and Fog director Vadim Perelman to helm Shrugged, as well as rewrite Randall Wallace's script. Angelina Jolie is still attached to star as main character Dagny Taggart.
Interestingly, Wallace will apparently remain involved in the project; the report describes a recent meeting between Perelman and the screenwriter, during which the two conversed in Russian. (Rand and Perelman were born in Russia; Wallace learned the language while doing research for another project.)
Atlas Shrugged, originally published in 1957, revolves around what happens when the great thinkers of the world -- inventors, artists, businessmen, scientists, et cetera -- decide they're tired of being bled dry by the world's "looters and moochers" and go on strike. The book is over a thousand pages long, so there's a lot more to it -- in fact, it helped spawn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, which we're totally not getting into here -- but basically, the looters are governments, and the moochers are people who require some sort of aid from others.
As you might imagine, critical response to the book has long been mixed. Rand's point of view has been embraced by neoconservatives and certain creative types, while being roundly rebuffed by others who dismiss what they see as a grossly over-simplistic ideology (and wooden prose). In other words, if this thing ever gets made, we can all expect some entertaining debate.