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Weigh in on the New Atlas Shrugged Movie

Posted by GaltsGulch 5 years, 1 month ago to The Gulch: General
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Ayn Rand's masterpiece Atlas Shrugged is just under 1200 pages. And, no matter how hard we try, there is simply no way to squeeze it all into a single movie verbatim.

Now that preliminary work has begun on the new Atlas Shrugged movie, there are some tough decisions to be made before things can really get underway. One of which is, what storylines from the book would be considered not critical to Ayn Rand's message as a whole?

So, you tell us, what scenes can be left out and still result in a movie that does Rand's message justice?


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  • Posted by davidmcnab 5 years, 1 month ago
    An Atlas Shrugged movie?
    Are you KIDDING?
    ABORT MISSION!!!

    Forget movie or even trilogy. With the sheer volume of intricate and interconnected plot material in AS, it would be an insult to that book to try to edit it down to even 3 movies.

    If anything, it needs to be planned out as a 3-season TV series. I'm estimating it will need at least 25-30 hours of screen time.

    Note that a lot of the narration would need to be replaced by dialogue, which will pad it out even more. For example, the backstory scene with Dagny, Francisco and Eddy at the water swing where they had figured out differential equations from scratch.

    Plan for 3 seasons of 8-10 episodes each. Omit none of the characters, no matter how small. Budget, finance and cast accordingly. Then you will have a successful screen rendition.
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    • Posted by $ CBJ 5 years, 1 month ago
      Successful in terms of viewership or successful in terms of fidelity to the book? There is a trade-off involved.
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      • Posted by davidmcnab 5 years, 1 month ago
        I'm not convinced about that. There are plenty of "lowest common denominator" elements to hook in the viewers. For example, the just-barely-legal Francisco/Dagny love scenes. Francisco is also an easy sell as a brilliant adolescent young buck. Garnish his character with some rebellious punk elements for added interest. The speedboat scene is also raw fun.

        I maintain that AR has got enough entertaining elements in the book which can be elaborated on-screen without breaching the book's integrity.
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  • Posted by TheLightHouse 5 years ago
    They can leave out the conversation in the train, prior to the crash. Show only a two second shot of the train with smoke coming out of the tunnel, and then cut to Dagney Taggart.
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  • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 1 month ago
    Also to add a production company in Italy makes a version of We The Living. It's either 180" or two cinemas,each 90" or 120".Coordinating with the Atlas Shrugged book length, either believing Atlas Shrugged is three times or ~ 2.5 times the length, it may appear a no less than good quality cinema and its lenght may be ~2.5 to 3 times of the cinema of We
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    • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 1 month ago
      Continuing, We The Living.It's cinematic length may be a clue to of Atlas Shrugged.Or it may be a division of two. If a division of two, may be greater number two gets in theaters close to the time of number one. Maybe the same time.One cinema 2.5 times is 7.5 x's 60".3 x's is 9 x's 60", or 450" or 540"., maybe more than double the length of Gone With The Wind.A guess is a number may love 7.5 and 9. Or it may be two at 50% of each of the previous.Then 3.75 and 4.5,Or, 225" or 270". Each of them lengthy, too, not decreasing the interest of certain people.Three at 33% each then it's 150" or 180" each. It's resembling three Lord Of The Rings or three Hobbits. They are not selling low. Maybe note the three's if on the larger screen.A television series is possible.Each 60" or 120". There can be mixtures. There can be television and cinema simultaneously.Maybe two version sets.Will A.A. Abrams, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg,George Lucas, James Cameron, or one equal or greater like to direct? One may note the possible star quality, choices, and interests forty-four years before.A production company in Italy to make the cinematic version at present?Or Norway?If one cinema, maybe make 180" like it's 450" or 540".Then, too, one may note duration note the most important or prime. One can note 100% of the stories, then note the "time length".It may be from top screen writing, knowledge and comprehension of the book and characters and agreements and zeal of success and goodness,combining with more than familiarities of television, cinema, and screen and story adaptations, and additional details.Also note the very greatest of the recent screen versions. It's also possibly knowing the television and cinema theater audience and selling.There may be areas of not caring, like Howard Roark of various people, not to interfere with his architectural design lusts.Then the possibility of what's concise.Book noninclusions, or notes, sketches, and possibilities, may also get television and cinema versions, or the like of deletes or additional scenes and entries, possible alternates, "on" DVD's.Also at the start or during and/or interrupting credits.
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  • Posted by Doug_Ort 5 years, 1 month ago
    Weaknesses in the plot of the trilogy:

    "If your new metal works…." She has already viewed the specs and knows it will "work".

    "If I get nothing…" Rearden has been given a "generous" offer from the SSI. He needs another reason for refusing the order, something like "I don't do business with looters."

    "You're my forever." Surely there's a better way to word this. I felt embarrassed for Dagny when she said it.

    It would be better at the end of Part I if Galt's words were exactly what he said earlier to Wyatt.

    The end of Part II and the review at beginning of Part III should have been the same.

    "So you invented the motor?" Dagny has already figured out who Galt is in her conversation with Jeff Allen.
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  • Posted by Doug_Ort 5 years, 1 month ago
    Diminish the role of Cheryl. Yes, her wedding is the perfect scene for Francisco to expound on the nature of money, but the concern for her suicide is maudlin. I know Rand wrote it that way, but in my view it wasn't an important part of the novel. Anyone who would kill herself because someone didn't meet her hopes doesn't deserve my concern.
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  • Posted by DeanK 5 years, 1 month ago
    I was going to say no matter how long a movie it's worth the presentation, but the mini series makes sense. It would be great to have more people ask, "who's John Galt". I'm 70, its the youts (Cousin Vinny)that need to be inspired.
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  • Posted by iotovip 5 years, 1 month ago
    Your right too much content for one movie. how about doing a series instead, like they do on HBO, the one book has enough material for several seasons.
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  • Posted by Joseph23006 5 years, 1 month ago
    To do justice to the book a mini-series would probably be the best. The three motion pictures were a noble attempt to bring "Atlas Shrugged" out from the pages of the book. The major problem was the changing of actors which made it hard to emphsize with them by the sudden shift. By the third I noticed that the production values had declined from the earlier entries. Any new version should stick to the time line narration, some events were juxtaposed or ignored which changed the perspective, whole conversations disappeared. What needs to be tackled are the lengthy speeches and bring them to a concise form, even reading them I have to stop and digest and even reread the same passage. Don't mess with the ending, the end screwed up the 'Harry Potter' series, it didn't do much for "Atlas Shrugged'. Remember Eddie Willers on that lonely stretch of track?
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    • Posted by awebb 5 years, 1 month ago
      So you didn't think Eddie Willers should be taken to Galt's Gulch (as in ASP3)?
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      • Posted by Joseph23006 5 years, 1 month ago
        Absolutely not because he is the very first person we meet in the book, he is not a mover or a shaker but often is the 'Everyman' who is swept along by the events, sometimes acting like a Greek chorus in expressing the collective thoughts of many who maintained hope on this side of Atlantis and then had that crushed also. It isn't about the major players, it's about their affect on the faceless crowd which Eddie represents. The "We're going back!" addendum isn't as effective as 'the beam of a motionless headlight...going off into a limitless night.'!
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  • Posted by USinc 5 years, 1 month ago
    As a follower of Ayn Rand for years and a reader of Atlas Shrugged multiple times and an owner of the original movies I do think it can be done better! At least 4-5 movies and not much can be skipped. I applaud the original attempt but it did fall short of the Gold Standard Ayn Rand would have expected. The philosophy needs to be developed entirely since philosophy is not taught in our schools. The cast needs to understand the book and the philosophy also. Please make the next attempt the Gold Standard for book to movie/mini series standards as the industrialist's in the book would. It needs to be a labor of love of the work!
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  • Posted by DoctorObvious 5 years, 1 month ago
    I agree with the preceding comments. The entire story is extremely powerful. Make as many movies as it takes to tell the entire story. A miniseries makes sense. Understandably, budgeting is always a challenge, and the crowd funding certainly helps. Budgeting for a mini series for television may be less challenging than for a feature film. The literary work is not CG heavy, so that would make it less expensive. What are your current limitations? Keep all the parts of the story. If Ayn Rand thought she could tell the tale in fewer pages, I'm sure she would have. If it was as important to her to keep every word to communicate the message of her story, then you should too! Great idea to add more character to the villains. Ms. Rand certainly provided back stories on villains in her books, especially the Fountainhead. I have family in the movie business in California, so contact me if you want to connect with them.(Corman, Runyon, and Drain-CG)
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 1 month ago
    I don't think that any movie can truly do justice to the book. Wouldn't a mini-series be better? Better yet, a full season of perhaps 12 episodes?
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 5 years, 1 month ago
    First, since you asked what parts of this book I would consider leaving out: none of them. They are all equally important. I would also restore the Eddie Willers-John Galt dialogues in the Taggart Terminal commissary.

    Second: I would put in at least one scene in which someone comes to Eddie's rescue--or expand on Eddie's last trip to make clear that he will join that wagon train and give them a place to head for: Phoenix, Arizona, the home of Dan Conway. You see, the other end of the Phoenix-Durango RR--Durango, CO--is not far from the Uncompahgre River Valley that is the nearest real-life suggestion for Mulligan's Valley. In fact, the town of Ouray, CO, had a narrow-gauge track running into the valley from Durango, CO.
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  • Posted by MAL1027 5 years, 1 month ago
    I would love to see an approach (and some have already posted to this fact) of using a mini-series to drive the story of Atlas Shrugged and leverage a full production movie to drive it home! There is an abundance of real world stories happening right now that could be leveraged to not only entertain but educate in a way that will be easily consumed.
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  • Posted by Zarathustra 5 years, 1 month ago
    Like many, I also believe a mini-series may be the best way to address something with the length and depth of Atlas Shrugged.

    Think of the recent John Adams mini-series put out by HBO. Can you imagine something like that condensed into a movie, or spread out into 3 movies a year or more apart?
    I think a movie, or trilogy of movies, will only work if you have a huge budget.

    A mini-series is much more workable. Also, you can make the entire series at one time, to ensure that you have the same actors portraying characters throughout, for one thing.

    The 1st attempt at making the movies was at least an attempt. But if we are honest with ourselves in true objectivist fashion, fell way short of the mark. Those films felt much more akin to several of the "christian" films and christian programs of recent years - poorly produced productions that only "true believers" will want to see, programs that preach to the choir but will never generate interest or be seen by outsiders.

    This time lets be sure to get it right, and to put some real money into this. It's better to do this fully-funded, or not at all.
    Someone should approach Peter Thiel this time to fund this.
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  • Posted by Storymind 5 years, 1 month ago
    I was recently commissioned to write a comparative analysis of the Atlas Shrugged Book and the Movie Adaptations by a fan of both who wanted to understand why the films had not been as effective as he had hoped they would be. He has generously allowed me to post my resulting report publicly for all other fans, and has specifically asked me to post a link here in the hope it may offer some beneficial suggestions for the new movie. Here's the link: http://storymind.com/content/page608.... . I look forward to any responses from the community and am happy to discuss any of the points made in the report.
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  • Posted by Donniemac 5 years, 1 month ago
    I agree with AC1 as the only way to do real justice in coveying the message is through a mini series. I also liked the idea of two or three seasons. Casting is also key. That said, maybe the best way to tell this story on the scene is not to tell it the way it is written. If the title is going to be "Who is John Galt," then tell it through his eyes. Tell it through John's perspective. Doing this you can convey the development of the philosophy and his plot to go on strike and how it unfolded. This way the players to the story and their personal stories and interactions with one another become less intrusive to the overall movie giving the scene writers much more latitutde. Does this make sense to you?
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  • Posted by marc 5 years, 1 month ago
    I agree with Mike G. But I hope it could be available on a set of DVD's, as well! I am delighted to have been able to purchase and view all three of the earlier “Atlas Shrugged” DVD’s. I do hope we can be able to purchase the entire series on a set of DVD’s!
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  • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 1 month ago
    Whatever way it can be equally great and/or greater than additional great and the greatest cinemas.Bring out heroism. Reasons good is good and less is less.It's where heroes and heroines are toward what are good.Noting who, innocents, benefit. Where villainy is resembling villainy "in" additional novels, cinema, and the world.Also distinct.Pro-good and right American.An America not an enemy directly of various people not born in America.There are American loving people not born in America.The book's about certain good things in America and on Earth.To start at the start, including the tree, similar to one documentary, but to be a new one.One way:noting the possible cinema length. Noting by one cinema. Up to 240", or 180".Maybe up to 150". Note book divisions, too.With 240", what's possible per 60". Maybe 25% of the book.180", maybe each of three portions, or 33.33% of the book.Up to 150", each portion per 50" or,separately, 33.335 of the book per 50".Possibly hire the greatest "stars" and/or thespians.Who will answer to what amount of money?Look toward the possibility of a blockbuster.One cinema, or X number. A right start,middle, and finale to each.Note additional cinema series. Note also originalities of Atlas Shrugged and possible influences upon various subsequent novels and cinemas.It may be where numbers of things start.The characters are great. They are by more than one reason and trait. Coordinate toward the screens.Note the order of the book. Keep the order, or shuffle.Knowing the order of the book. Comprehending it.Correct to the book.Right with the characters and characteristics. What they are to the book. What they are toward the cinema.Correct and high cinema making.
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