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ASP3: This is John Galt

Posted by sdesapio 4 years, 1 month ago to Entertainment
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Ideally, the actor playing John Galt in Atlas Shrugged Part 3 will appear to have jumped right off of the pages of Atlas Shrugged. However, in our quest to find the perfect John Galt, some tough choices may have to be made. That's where you come in.

If you had to choose, which would you consider the number one priority in casting John Galt?

A. As long as the actor looks and acts like John Galt, I don't care what his personal beliefs are.
B. The actor needs to possess a deep understanding of, and passion for, Ayn Rand's ideas first and foremost.

Leave your answer in the comments below.


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  • 18
    Posted by khalling 4 years, 1 month ago
    Gods Hairy balls! Not again!
    Get a great, well-trained, good looking actor. Make him read the book! Any good actor wants to know as much as they can about their character. Well trained actors intersected with Objectivism is a dang small pool from which to draw. The only thing that might be annoying is if the actor is an outspoken liberal. Many have decided to boycott those actors' movies.
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    • Posted by heidiannej 4 years, 1 month ago
      I would not be surprised if in his "research" for the role that he didn't see the light...
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      • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 1 month ago
        'Atlas Shrugged' sold a million copies last year, according to recently released records.That is phenomenal, and very encouraging.

        The records show, however, that only 2 were shipped within the Hollywood zip code....

        Don't get your 'hopes' up....
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        • Posted by mindskater42 4 years, 1 month ago
          I hope it's NOT Hollywood. Note that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" picked an excellent actor unknown to the American public and he was ideal! We need an actor, not a philosopher, to protray an engineer frustrated with a system not recognizing anyone's quality of work and paying "value for value"; I think it's a damn good story with a great "hook": 'Who is John Galt'. Don't get a "star"; get an actor that tells the story!
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      • Posted by  $  Susanne 4 years ago
        If they're gone too far, nothing - not even the common sense of Objectivism - will bring them back, no more than putting a piece of rotten meat in a butcher case would make it fresh. Sad, but some are truly just too far gone to save...
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    • Posted by Maxine_Godfrey 4 years ago
      the heck with "hollywood handsome" -- get someone who will BE John Galt. i vote emphatically for Adrien Brody. his face is so expressive, and in his eyes i see John Galt. physically, he's right, too. and the right age. don't know his personal politics; don't want to. it's acting, after all. as long as it isn't a total lib, of course!
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  • 10
    Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 4 years, 1 month ago
    Jim Caviezel has to be #1 choice, based on quality of acting, appearance, basic philosophy. His acting style is very much in line with the Galt character's persona: cool, committed, rational. What isn't so well known is that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie wanted to produce Atlas Shrugged (Angie as Dagny, Brad as Galt), but got talked out of it. Still, Pitt is too much "pretty boy". Gary Sinese has the beliefs, and is an excellent actor, but I'm just not sure it's his style.
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    • Posted by LeeCrites 3 years, 11 months ago
      I honestly think if we case anyone who is "known," that it will be a disservice to the part. John is mysterious and unknown -- the actor playing the part needs to be as well.

      Forget the "acting ability" argument I've seen college productions with actors as good as hollyweird's a-list.

      None of the hollyweird elite, irrespective of their theoretical "acting ability" will deliver one ounce of credibility to the part.
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  • 10
    Posted by mlatona 4 years, 1 month ago
    To the extent the majority of the audience for "Atlas Shrugged" are of a libertarian or conservative philosophy, the actor portraying John Galt should be a credible one. Choosing Matt Damon might fit the physical characteristics, but this is a guy who is upset Obama hasn't done MORE to limit our freedoms! Consequently, Damon is out and so should be anyone who has publicly backed Obama.

    Mel Gibson might have worked 20 years ago before he began to show his age and before his private life damaged his brand. I like Gary Sinise, who seems to be someone who might be a Randian plus, although he is in his fifties, looks younger. I just ran into Sinise at a play in Chicago and he looks very youthful. Why not?
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  • Posted by MaxCasey 4 years, 1 month ago
    PLEASE CHOOSE SOMEONE THAT UNDERSTANDS RAND. The film should communicate the no compromise between good and evil attitude Rand espoused. Its important to the films integrity, more than a brand name that is a hedonistic douche off screen. This film and this topic are Art. Art communicates on many levels, it integrates complex concretes into a tangible idea. This casting is critical imho.
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    • Posted by khalling 4 years, 1 month ago
      not all actors are hedonistic douches max. Gary Cooper was an excellent Roark and he hardly understood Rand. People still watch the Fountainhead. The same can happen with AS III. What if the acceptable aged and type-looking who might also understand Rand-can't act their way out of a paper bag on screen? You'd hate it!
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      • Posted by MaxCasey 4 years, 1 month ago
        99% of actors are unemployed. You have a very deep pool to fish in. More over I didn't suggest all are hedonistic douches, don't put words in my mouth. As I said before, this film communicates on more levels than just on screen. its more than just pretty pictures with dialogue and effects. Its the communication of ideas, the sum of concretes. And yes, the individuals cast DO communicate the practical implementation of those ideas. This isn't just story telling. This book and film deal with a philosophy of life. If you cannot utilize the philosophy productively to create an artwork that communicates the philosophy, you have a contradiction. Do not do a disservice to Ayn Rand by creating a contradiction on screen in the visual representation of her work.

        This role deserves and most importantly needs to have an Objectivist be cast in it. He may be unknown, hell that's probably better. After all, "who is John Galt?" I don't care how good an actor you are, if you don't believe and try to live by that speech it will be ruined, at least on some levels, by an actor who doesn't believe it.
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        • Posted by tedster69 4 years, 1 month ago
          Quality actors can play a variety of roles, the quality of the actors talents outweighs his personal viewpoint of the role he or she is playing. Gary Sinise, Kurt Russell, and Anthony Hopkins have all shown a great acting ability to take on a variety of characters.
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          • Posted by  $  winterwind 4 years, 1 month ago
            In Fountainhead, Cooper [who did not impress me, on many levels] said that he didn't understand a word of Roark's court scene. Until I read that, I didn't realize WHY I never believed in him. I especially didn't believe the "broken stone" scene with Dominique. He not only didn't get it, he didn't understand it - so he literally COULD NOT show the character or the ideas. A lot of times you can say "You're an actor, act like the costume fits!" and it works. "You're an actor, act like John Galt" is impossible.
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          • Posted by  $  winterwind 4 years, 1 month ago
            In Fountainhead, Cooper [who did not impress me, on many levels] said that he didn't understand a word of Roark's court scene. Until I read that, I didn't realize WHY I never believed in him. I especially didn't believe the "broken stone" scene with Dominique. He not only didn't get it, he didn't understand it - so he literally COULD NOT show the character or the ideas. A lot of times you can say "You're an actor, act like the costume fits!" and it works. "You're an actor, act like John Galt" is impossible.
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          • Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 5 months ago
            Kurt Russel, I like that. I can see him working on a machine or on a railroad. I can hear him giving John Galts speech a lot of realism.
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          • Posted by khalling 4 years, 1 month ago
            I agree ted, but they're too old, don't you think? we need someone who is old enough to have done some serious technology building, but young enough to want to share it for the first time with the perfect woman. John Galt is still building his first life, not on the trophy wife second life. ok, that was provocative-on purpose. in trollville. what am I thinking?
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        • Posted by meltdown 4 years, 1 month ago
          You need to have an Objectivist and then train him to act, and all will fall into place. As stated below, let's not have another Gary Cooper from "Fountainhead" whose lack of understanding of Ayn Rand's principles showed in his acting.
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        • Posted by khalling 4 years, 1 month ago
          first of all, I did not put words in your mouth. I made a statement which I believe utilizing a phrase you used in your comment to make a point. Second, the most important thing are are the words, dialog, events that shape the story. You need someone who very much knows how that camera is going to work up close and personal. Ultimately, it will be the director who needs to fully understand the importance of Atlas Shrugged the Novel and translate it to the big screen. Rand's art has already been created. Have you seen the Fountainhead? Neither Cooper or O'Neil were Objectivists. I would not be against a relatively unknown actor. I am most concerned with the director. Good director will most likely lead to good casting
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          • Posted by MaxCasey 4 years ago
            You did put words in my mouth. You used the phrase "not all actors". I never said nor insinuated "all actors" were hedonistic douche bags, I specifically stated do not use one of those who are. By your reply that not "all are" you are suggesting that I said that "all" are. Your use of the word "all" seeks to undermine my point by attributing to my statement a sentiment I never conveyed. Or perhaps you simply wanted to state the obvious, and although that doesn't add any value to the conversation, it still carries a suggesting that I had committed a sweeping generalization, which I didn't. Either way, you were putting words in my mouth.
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            • Posted by khalling 4 years ago
              you are determined to attribute motive to my statement that I did not have. and if THAT fails, the unintended consequence carries the same result. Aren't you doing what you are bent on accusing me of?
              My point is there is alot of ground between hedonistic douche and Objectivist in actors: my daughter, for one. Hundreds who practice the craft, have not read Rand perhaps, yet are passionate deliverers who understand how to engage the camera, and can be counted on to do an exceptional job.
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              • Posted by MaxCasey 4 years ago
                Ok, so you had no motive, choose your words better next time. I accused you of either intentionally of unintentionally putting words in my mouth, either on purpose or because you were careless. Again, someethong I haven't done to you at all.

                If an Objectivist exists that can deliver the lines,and im sure one does, the work of art demands that it be created without contradictions. Its just that simple.
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                • Posted by khalling 4 years ago
                  Rand had no patience for those who put out Objectivist books that were failures as novels. an Objectivist shitty novel is still a shitty novel. same applies to movies. I was discussing your point, not putting words in your mouth. I am rarely careless, Max.
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        • Posted by darren 4 years ago
          >>>This role deserves and most importantly needs to have an Objectivist be cast in it.

          So a film dealing with Christian themes requires a committed Christian to star in it; a WWII film dealing with Nazis needs to have actual Nazis in it . . . now, what about space alien films, eh? Do they require real space aliens, or do they simply require people who can act with lots of makeup and customes?

          This is why the great majority of the world regards Objectivism as a cult: "You gotta be one of us if you're gonna pretend to be one of us in the movies!"

          Right.
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          • Posted by MaxCasey 4 years ago
            Wrong. You comment fails to understand that this film is communication a philosophic theory via a work of art. A theory that should be practiced in life. The demonstration of which should be capable in the work itself less it become a contradiction. This differs from basic story telling, or lesser works of art, specifally where one isn't outlining a philosophy of life. The fact that some can't grasp this distinction is just sad.
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            • Posted by darren 4 years ago
              >>>Wrong. You comment fails to understand that this film is communication a philosophic theory via a work of art.

              Wrong. Your comment fails to grasp that ALL films communicate a philosophical theory, not just THIS film. However, it's not the PURPOSE of a fiction film to lecture to the audience explicitly on philosophy (or on anything else). The purpose of a fiction film is to tell a story. PERIOD. The story will communicate the philosphical message.

              Oh, and by the way: the more entertainingly the story is told, the more effectively the philosophical theory will be communicated. As filmmakers, you should be concentrating your efforts on TELLING THE STORY.

              Therefore, the notion that the actors -- or the director, the cinematographer, the editor, the production coordinator, the honeywagon vendors, or kraft service -- must themselves believe in, or adhere to, the particular philosphy intended by the film's story, is not just silly; not just puerile; not just plain dumb; no, the attitude is far, far worse: it's UNPROFESSIONAL. And that's the worst insult in the entertainment biz.

              >>A theory that should be practiced in life.

              You clearly have never shot film, directed film, edited film, or written a screenplay. You've never even been on a set. You have precisely ZERO idea of what you're talking about. I would say "how sad", but given the generally declining intellectual abilities of Objectivists today compared to the 1970s, I say instead "how typically Objectivist."
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      • Posted by Neo 4 years ago
        Gary Cooper was great as Roark, but that was a different era: when Hollywood actors actually liked America! Today they just want to transform America into their version of Utopia... "Ameritopia"
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  • Posted by  $  Rmart520 4 years, 1 month ago
    Well lets be practical here. We are not going to get an A List actor as the budget would not withstand the hit
    Given that I think the thing that comes across the most in the film is the gravitas this person had whenever he talked or met anyone. This actor has to have a presence when he enters the room. Aside from that he has to be able to articulate the ideas that are at the core of this book and film.
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    • Posted by AmericanAthena 4 years ago
      If an A list actor loved the book, there's a chance they'd take the role just for the chance to be involved. It may not be a probability, but it's a possibility.
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      • Posted by darren 4 years ago
        >>>If an A list actor loved the book, there's a chance they'd take the role just for the chance to be involved.

        You're dreaming. No A-list talent will go near Part 3 ESPECIALLY if they loved the book; to do so would be an act of altruistic self-sacrifice on their part. They're not stupid. They're very aware of the failure – commercially and critically – of Parts 1 and 2.
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  • Posted by mrknowmo 4 years, 1 month ago
    You need someone that has a lean, robust, rugged individualist look - self-cnident without being smug or conceited - someone who looks like they would be at home in a formal setting or living off the grid. I would prefer someone who embraces the ideals of John Galt but that may seriously narrow the field. I think Jim Caveziel could pull it off, and Timothy Olyphant seems a decent choice, too. Maybe even Guy Pearce. We shouldn't go for "star power" because it will take away from the movie's message. Oh yeah, I think you've got to have someone that is mid-40's. Someone that that could easily be seen as "the total package" that Dagny could fall for over Francisco and Hank.
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    • Posted by  $  winterwind 4 years, 1 month ago
      Dagny doesn't pick John over Fransisco and Hank because he's the right age, she picks him because of who he is, and what he does, and how. and it's not just Dagny. Galt has to be believable as the guy who convinces Fransisco to completely destroy the world his family built, and live a lie on top of it. "presence" doesn't even BEGIN to describe what he has.
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      • Posted by mrknowmo 4 years, 1 month ago
        Oh, no argument, winterwind! My thinking is that there is a message to deliver to those who haven't read the book and aren't devotees. This is, after all, a movie. Personally, I'm willing to give a little creative license to please peoples' physical expectations and biases to expose them to our message. After all, everyone remembers Clark Gable's lines in Gone With The Wind but does anyone remember Leslie Howard's? Both were central, crucial characters.

        Not everyone can overlook physicality to see a person's true self, certainly not in a 2-3 hour movie. There are many horses that we need to lead to the water. If briefly satisfying their preconceptions will get them to drink, so be it.
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      • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 1 month ago
        I am with you here: John Galt doesn't 'win' Dagny by sheer sexuality, or even sheer revolutionism.

        I believe that he 'wins' all of his followers no differently than Christ built his following. The parallels are there, and while Rand may not have been religious, I submit that she understood, and admired, this type of magnetism, and borrows freely upon it.

        Where is John Galt any different than the 'fisherman of men'...and his disciples any different from those of old?

        They listened...and believed...and gave their devotion and love.
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    • Posted by  $  BeenThere 4 years, 1 month ago
      Guy Pearce deserves strong consideration. He has the acting chops, he is not "a star" (possibly by
      his choice), and he can portray "the looks" (huge diversity of roles), calm intensity with a mind working behind those eyes. He is 45 y/o, but can easily look 5 to 8 years younger, and could believably be romantically chosen over Francisco and Rearden.
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    • Posted by newtlove 4 years, 1 month ago
      "the total package" that Dagney would choose over Francisco and Hank... That's exactly right. We need someone young enough to match Dagney, too. The right elements will make a good film.
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 5 months ago
        Oh, let's not go there.
        Throughout the story Dagny has been shown to have character, and y'all want to portray her as a faithless whore on the hunt for the most alpha male. Well, what the hell. That's what Rand did in the book, so why not?

        Maybe we can add on to the story, so that Galt gets cancer from exposure to radiation or something, and as he's getting sicker and weaker, she runs and finds herself *another* alpha male to give herself to.
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    • Posted by Maxine_Godfrey 4 years ago
      i agree that Guy Pearce would be a good choice. Caveziel is jesus, not Galt -- unfortunately for him and for us. it would be like having the same actor who played hitler play Churchill. i still think that Adrien Brody could pull it off tremendously -- his work ethic is Galtian, and he's a man who can fit into a crowd AND stand out when he chooses to.
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  • Posted by DebbiL 4 years, 1 month ago
    Why are so many people choosing Gary Sinise? Not that I have anything against him as an actor, but I really don't think he has the charisma to pull off the John Galt character. I thought you guys were looking for a male actor who stands out in a crowd, even if he is more of the nerdy type character. It's too bad Greg Kinnear is almost 50 (too old to play a 30 something man) or I would have suggested him. I don't think you necessarily need star power because the actor might overshadow the the plot but it would certainly help to have a decent actor who is convincible in the role. I love Jim Caviezel as an actor but I think he is a bit too old for the part of John Galt. I also like Timothy Olyphant, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (loved him in August Rush), Ryan Gosling (superb in The Notebook) and I would have suggested Channing Tatum until I saw the promos for White House Down which looks like it could be the not so distant future with a POTUS of color being threatened by Tea Party Patriots! So he is definitely OUT! It's a shame that most of the young, good looking actors are Liberals because it really doesn't leave you with much to choose from, IMO.
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  • Posted by mr_walsh 4 years, 1 month ago
    Everyone has their own mental image, but to me he the least 'colorful' of the heroes that were men. He's not flamboyant like Francisco. He's not a big husky burly man of action like Ragnar. He's not a suited captain of industry who lives in two social worlds like Hank.

    I think of him as a good old fashioned somewhat mild-mannered American engineer; the kind that get to work early, keep a neat desk, do what they say they'll do, wear a short-sleeved button down shirt, and so on. He is more of what we would call an 'individual contributor' - albeit of the most brilliant sort. IIRC he comes from a poor family. Those "you do what you say and stick to your principles" remind me of what a properly-raised kid would be ingrained with, and those convictions carry him through his torture even. Remember, he blended in with the working class. Could Hank have done that?

    I know some will bristle at this and want someone with enormous presence, but to me that was part of the brilliance - greatness doesn't have to come from the flashy. In a sense Ayn Rand's world enables and the celebrates the achievements of people the world find boring - people Lillian, "Tinky" and Betram would scoff at.

    So I'd pick someone more 'understated'. LIke Toby MacQuire - earnest and slight of build - but who can transform into a courageous hero (and someone we could believe Dagny would be attracted to).
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    • Posted by Darrell_McGuire-7 4 years, 1 month ago
      Indeed, I agree that Galt is not like the other characters. He is, in fact: somewhat of a geek. He is mildly personable, but intense, intelligent and creative, and engineer. I seem to be beating the drum for Damien Lewis, owing to his performance in Band of Brothers. I recommend that series (available on DVD at Amazon and at Netflix) so that others can see what a fine and believeble actor Lewis is. I don't disregard your suggestion of MacQuire, but I just don't know of him, so you may be right about him as well. But have a look at Lewis.
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    • Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 5 months ago
      Mr Walsh that wasn't flamboyance in Francisco that was sensuality. I thought of Fransisco as working class able to fit in. I agree with some of what you said about working class. I don't see Toby Mac Guire.
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  • Posted by gerstj 4 years, 1 month ago
    Pick a professional actor with good skills who looks the role and is willing to learn about Ayn Rand. The acting should carry the message rather than a professorial style.
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  • Posted by Snoogoo 4 years ago
    For the love of John Galt and all the female viewers out there, can people stop recommending actors over 55?? I don't want to see John Galt breaking his hip during his big escape scene. Also, I would prefer someone with his original teeth. I think Ayn would agree with me since she seemed to like younger men.
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    • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 5 months ago
      Okay then...

      Elijah Wood or Sean Astin as John Galt.
      Jon Favreau, maybe...
      McCaulay Culkin as Ragnar...
      Josh Hutcherson as Galt, with AnnaSophia Robb as Dagny.
      Viggo Mortensen as Ragnar? (can't recall.... but "...sen" is Norwegian, and "...son" is Swedish... or vice versa. Anyway, it's a Scandinavian thing.)

      If we're going to "go back in time" to get actors when they were appropriate age, there's only one choice.... Mel Gibson.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOuNMFXb...

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    • Posted by  $  fivedollargold 4 years ago
      Good point. Need to find someone under 50 for sure.
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      • Posted by Snoogoo 4 years ago
        thanks fivedollargold, I don't mean to seem age-ist but speaking as a woman in my 20's, anyone playing such an important role of a character who is clearly supposed to be in his 30's who does not look anywhere NEAR their 30's would totally turn me off - in more ways than one. Many people are mentioning Brad Pitt, I looked him up and he is turning 50 this year people! Let's move right along, I think there has to be some decent up and coming talent somewhere out there...
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        • Posted by  $  Susanne 4 years ago
          I entirely agree - if Dagny is a woman in her mid-late 30's (37 IIRC), Galt BETTER be about her age. With the understated sexuality between the two of them (and everyone in Atlantis picked up on it) if there's too much disparity between them age wise it won't work. Think about it - Galt works as a younger low level track worker, and has for 12 years, after working for 20thcentury (and only leaving it when it went from a good company to a worker's collectivist nightmare). Add to this - Galt, De Anconia, and Danneskjold are ALL classmates, which also means they have to be about the same age. Dr. Akston is their professor, and unless he's in his 90's, that means the trio (and Dagny) should be in the same age bracket.
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  • Posted by IIGeo2 4 years, 1 month ago
    Nathan Fillon, as an actor he comes across as believable in many of his roles and even the sci fi films/ series itshis acting that carries him not the special effects. He speaks with a clear direct tone and I believe that he would be a good choice. Because the film relies more on an actors ability to get you to listen to them I believe that he easily fits this mold. Also if you look at his twitter comments he is more like the proverbial "us" then the hollywood "Them" For this reaso I would select him. and I believe he would actually do it, many of the actors in your movie have also worked with Josh Whedon and this is essential for set chemistry.
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    • Posted by  $  winterwind 4 years, 1 month ago
      Hmmmm, not bad. Physically, he's a bit too....solid.
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      • Posted by IIGeo2 4 years, 1 month ago
        its not that he usually plays the free spirit, is known for roles in which he has flown, his past roles are one of "me against the man", The biggest reason is they must be realistic as to who they can actually get.Name recognition with intellecyual audiance that may come just to see him, firefox and serenity fans, so its a matter of finding a following
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  • Posted by dhoberry 4 years, 1 month ago
    WHY can't you bring back ALL of the original cast members - Dagney, Reardon, Galt, Frisco, Eddie, the clueless brother - even the hateful Mrs. Reardon. PLEASE. They were SOOOOOO much better than the second casting. The chemistry between Dagney and Reardon was better and they were much more believable in the roles. They seemed to be IN the roles - not just acting them out like in Part II. I probably would not have gone to see Part II if the cast had been in Part I. (Be wonderful if you could remake Part II with the original cast and then run it right before the release of Part III. In a perfect world!).
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    • Posted by shana02 4 years ago
      Dagney's scream at the end of 1 just totally nailed it. You felt her pain. Bring back Taylor Schilling!!!
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 5 months ago
        I have to say... I listen to ASp1 and 2 at work a lot... and every time I get to the scream, I get this ornery little smile as everyone around stares at me...
        I wanted to make that my ringtone...
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    • Posted by Vegasrenie 4 years ago
      Maybe I'm the only one, but I did *not* like Taylor Schilling as the first Dagny. Her acting IMO was wooden until the Wyatt Fire scene, and then it was a little overdone, especially in comparison to her performance in the rest of the movie. I didn't see life in her eyes and didn't know if she got it. Besides, she was about the same height as the Hank Reardon actor and that made me think of him as a pipsqueak, although I thought he was otherwise quite good. Their first love scene just didn't strike me as real. Liked the masculinity of the second Reardon much, much better, and think that he would have done an outstanding job in Part I.

      Reardon's wife was a much better choice in the first - she really came across as a frigid, demeaning woman. In the second, Reardon's wife was very forgettable. Although he has a heavy accent, the Mexican actor Eduardo Verastagui would have made an outstanding Francisco, as he fit the physical part to a "T." I didn't like either Francisco much.

      John Galt has to be in his late 30s, early 40s tops. This is a must. Gary Sinise does not fit the picture as he is pushing 60. And yes, I'm a fan. John Galt has be confident, fluent, intelligent, and fit. He must have great hair (I know, I know, wigs, extensions, hair dye, blah blah blah) as that was a focus in the book. Short, squat actors (no matter how good) need not apply.

      I could go on...
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      • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 5 months ago
        I loved Taylor and Grant as Dagny and Hank... until I saw part 2. Then I thought Jason Beghe better fit the self-made steel magnate look, and Samantha Mathis' desperation as Dagny I thought perfect.

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