Atlas Shrugged Filming Wraps Up

The Atlas Society's picture
Submitted by The Atlas Society on Mon, 2010-07-26 14:24

Atlas Shrugged Filming Wraps Up
By David Kelley

I spoke with Dagny Taggart the other night. “It’s a huge honor to be part of this film,” said Taylor Schilling, who plays the heroine in John Aglialoro’s independent production of Atlas Shrugged. Tuesday evening, July 20, marked the completion of filming. We caught up with Aglialoro and his team in a weary but ebullient mood as shooting wrapped after an intense five-week schedule.

The movie covers Part I of Ayn Rand’s novel, with two more films in the planning stage to tell the rest of the story. With six months of editing still to go on “Atlas Shrugged, Part I,” Aglialoro expects it to be ready for release by next March—unless it is accepted for Cannes or other major festivals, which would probably mean a June release.

[For the rest of the story plus a video interview with Aglialoro, visit The Atlas Society website!]

I hear ya, Liv...

Jameson's picture

... except those small budget films had tiny casts on a handful of locations. Unless they did an I Claudius on it and kept it all under a studio roof, I'm not sure how they would have preserved the production values.

Undoubtedly, John Aglialoro’s got balls, though on a budget that would have barely paid for the set lunches, it's a pretty safe bet he'll recover his investment given the size of the audience who loved the book. But if the behind-the-scenes snippets are anything to go by, I'm afraid this project smells a lot like an average Made-for-TV flick. While I commend Aglialoro’s entrepreneurial hutzpah, it would be a tragedy if a poor quality film marred the greatness of the novel.

Ayn hung out on greenlighting the project till the day she died. I highly doubt she'd have let her Magnum Opus into the hands of a producer without a single movie credit, let alone a two-bit actor with a couple of TV soap opera directing credits—a far cry from the calibre of Al Godfather Ruddy and his cast of Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway.

I don't know how keen she'd have been on the Brangelinas, though their screen star quality would have caught her eye. And certainly Brad would have run circles around Gary Cooper in comprehending the lines. She would've loathed Oliver Stone's politics, but there's no denying the man can direct (notwithstanding that blunder Alexander), while Randall Wallace knows how to write a taut tale. And I have to say, if his script was a thematically faithful abridgment, then I know which film I'd rather pay money to see.

Having said all that, Aglialoro’s confident enough that he's sending his inaugural movie into the Cannes jury, so who knows... maybe this will turn out to be the greatest student film ever made. Smiling


atlascott's picture

"...sensibilities like an Objectivist Frank Capra were the director"

I think it COULD be done, I just do not think, from what I have seen, that they have created anything even vaguely resembling what we here would like to see.

Good Riddance to Angie Jolie

Sandi's picture

Rand would have turned in her grave to see that apologist being cast to play Dagny!!


Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

It's all about the skill level of the writer and the director. The quality of the actors and size of the budget is far less important.


Olivia's picture

low budget films are much better than large budget ones simply because they focus more on the dialogue and character development rather than the visual spectacle. 12 Angry Men springs to mind, also Glengarry Glen Ross, a History of Violence and Phonebooth. All low budget films. All a great watch.

It is bound to be terrible.

Jason Quintana's picture

It is bound to be terrible. The only way the movie could be good is if there were a large budget, if Ayn Rand were to write the script, and if someone with the correct kind of sensibilities like an Objectivist Frank Capra were the director. Of course the actors would have to be perfect selections. And it would have to be at least 8 hours long. This movie should not be made. It is world beater as a novel and it ought to stay that way. It shouldn't be made into a lousy movie.

Let me get this straight

Michael Moeller's picture

The actors do not have much experience, not a big deal. Most of the top-grossing films over the last half century did not have star actors, or gave a star actor his launch. However, the director and producer are inexperienced???? THAT is not good, especially when the director is called in nine days before the filming was set to begin.

The budget was initially said to be $5 million (can you make a home movie for that?), but now they are saying it's more, maybe $15 million. For Atlas to be done in the highly-stylized manner of the book, it seems this amount wouldn't cover the production values if done properly. But what seems particularly ominous is that there was a rush to film in order to not lose the movie rights, then they filmed it in 5 weeks. Five weeks for Part I of Atlas? Seriously?

Here is Part I and Part II of an interview with the director Paul Johansson. Definitely listen to the video interview given in Part II. The director apparently has ADD.

I would love to see a great film made of Atlas, but this sounds like a low-budget disaster in the making.


(Edit: Earlier I read a different producer than the one listed here, but Harmon Kaslow's filmography doesn't look very inspiring.)

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