Can Atlas Shrugged/Galt's Gulch ever become a hit series?

Posted by $ dhinet 7 years, 2 months ago to Movies
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Could Atlas Shrugged ever be the basis for a TV series? Can storylines be written that would educate and still entertain? The series House of Cards is a big hit for NetFlix. Would the AS series be better off with a continuing storyline or short segments? Would John and Joan Aglialoro be interested in continuing to promote the Ayn Rand book?
Would the public be interested a series about Galt's Gulch and getting there? Does Atlas Shrugged have more to say than just three 2 hour movies?
There are many outlets searching for new and interesting content. Is anyone interested in making it happen? Set up a group to make a framework?


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  • Posted by iroseland 7 years, 2 months ago
    I am absolutely certain that the book could be the foundation for a pretty spectacular series. It would provide some of the needed space to handle things that even the book left out. Like some awesome episodes with Ragnar on the high seas. 8^) Or the story behind the truck driver in the gultch who wanted more for himself.
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    • Posted by $ 7 years, 2 months ago
      I think with all the people who joined the Gulch, many have locations, business facilities and equipment they would make available at little or no cost to the series. Old factories, boats, ranch,,,,,,
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  • Posted by mmb 6 years, 7 months ago
    I absolutely do! If story lines were made up so that viewers had to make a choice in ethics or logic and then see how Aristotelian or objectivism could guide the choice versus fuzzy thinking I would say yes!
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 years, 2 months ago
    I say it could be a hit series, without a doubt. A good writer could get in the heads of the villains and trick us into seeing it from their view before making the truth clean. They could also tell countless stories about the rank-and-file people who the AS book only touches on briefly-- how collectivism keeps them down sometimes, and how sometimes it's just an annoyance that doesn't come close to stopping the human spirit.

    I know nothing about writing TV and movies, but I would certainly watch such a series.
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    • Posted by mmb 6 years, 7 months ago
      Again we're setting up or thinking up an idea and looking for someone with "unborrowed vision" to help. I just think the idea of showing people choices in logic could help, but know nothing of TV either.
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    • Posted by $ 7 years, 2 months ago
      I think so too.
      But, $ Maphesdus Posted:
      Get a group of individuals together? Careful, you're starting to sound like a collectivist... ;)
      With my reply: How can a series be made without a group working together. How can Taggart get new rails without Rearden Steel? How is a movie made without a large group?
      and Maphesdus Posted Reply:
      They can't. That's my point.


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  • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
    Ayn Rand was actually working on adapting the story of Atlas Shrugged into a script for a TV series, as she had decided after the movie adaptation of The Fountainhead that she didn't want to work within the time constraints posed by film again (too much material had to be cut, in her opinion). Unfortunately, she passed away before she finished writing it.

    Though to be honest, I personally don't think Atlas Shrugged would really have worked very well as a TV series. While there are some certain scenes and arcs which I would have liked to see in the movie (specifically, the childhood romance between Dagny and Francisco), the story is one that's built for a novel. Stretching it out into a TV series would just make the plot drag, especially if nothing was cut out. I think the audio book version is about 60 hours long, which would be either 60 full-hour episodes, or 120 half-hour episodes. When you consider that one season of a show is usually only ten or so episodes long, filming that much story would be a massive project, one which could potentially span anywhere from 6 to 12 years, and could potentially get cancelled halfway through if it didn't get good ratings (which is a high probability, considering the box office sales of the movies). Now they could certainly condense the entire story down into one season consisting of ten one-hour episodes, which would give them four more hours in which to tell the story versus what they had in the movies, but they'd still have to cut out a lot, and they'd also have to be willing to end the series after only season because there isn't anything else after it ends.

    Now if they wanted to make the plot of the TV series into a sequel to the novel, rather than an adaptation of it, then they'd have a lot more freedom to craft a unique story that was specifically written with TV in mind, and thus circumvent many of the challenges associated with adapting an existing work. But this presents its own unique problem of potentially straying from the spirit of the original story, as Ayn Rand is no longer around to provide new content or ensure that the new plot is consistent with her philosophy. Ultimately, while adapting Atlas Shrugged into a TV series is a fun idea to think about, I don't think it would be at all practical.

    However, if the TV series was a totally new story with a new setting and new characters, and didn't try to be Atlas Shrugged, but rather simply promoted Objectivist values, that might be much more feasible. Though at the same time, such a story wouldn't be Ayn Rand's Objectivism, but rather a new derivative of Objectivism as understood by whoever wrote the script. But that's okay. Everyone has a unique view on life, and it would be interesting to see the same philosophical construct which Ayn Rand created being projected through another person's value system.
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    • Posted by mmb 6 years, 7 months ago
      If the action of the new shows could be placed in time leading up to the disappearances such as Mulligan, Wyatt and Galt the audience might be shown when the decision by a new person might be made. We saw Galt's decision in Atlas III, when did the homeschooling mother decide? When did the doctor decide? What led up to the decision? Who spoke to them and told them about Galt's Gulch? The leading up to the decision is the most important part!
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
      Back in the prime of episodic TV, shows had as many as 28 episodes per season. And soap operas have new episodes every weekday - even on holidays. Only when pre-empted by other events such as football bowl games is that violated, even today. So, I think that even the volume of material in AS could be done, logistically, via a TV episodic venue.

      That said, I don't think it could work either commercially nor structurally. Episodes need to be self-contained, so that there is a premise, action, and resolution. They would also need to carry a theme that advances the story line but without alienating the audience should they miss an episode or two. That was why I always found 24 so frustrating during the TV presentation. I might miss an episode or two and when I got back, would be totally lost. When I could get the DVD's and watch in sequence, it was much more enjoyable.
      The other thing is commercial success. A show needs eyeballs and eyeballs need a compelling reason to watch. Who wants to watch the depressing dystopia of the world of AS? If that's what I want to see, I can just turn on FoxNews.
      So, no, I don't think this could ever be a commercially successful episodic TV series. Perhaps mini-series.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 years, 2 months ago
      " if the TV series was a totally new story with a new setting and new characters, and didn't try to be Atlas Shrugged"
      I'm thinking of something along the lines of the re-imagined BSG. It didn't try to be BSG even though it was about the exact same thing.
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
        BSG 2 had nothing to do with the original, other than the names of the characters and a starship. Not sure why they even kept the name. For me, the name itself kept me away to begin with. The original show was so campy (but not intentionally so like Batman) and sophomoric that I didn't want to invest any time in the reboot. Only after getting one of the "Movie" versions did I find that it was very intriguing and full of intellectual challenges.
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    • Posted by $ 7 years, 2 months ago
      Thank you for the lengthy reply. The series could be loosely based on the book, I am no expert.
      I see what Netflix original has done with House of Cards, lilyhammer and others. In the past it was very difficult to come from the outside and have the mainstream networks accept the series, especially if they disagreed with the principles.,
      Getting a episode storyboard may be the best place to start laying out an outline. We would need a chatroom to discuss ideas and themes.
      Also to discuss your suggestion of a objectivist based series.
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