Announcing the Atlas Shrugged movie blog

Hans Schantz and I have launched a new blog exclusively devoted to covering the Atlas Shrugged movie, at
For those not already familiar with Hans, he has done some excellent work already covering the Atlas movie, including interviewing screenwriter Brian O’Toole and creating an excellent Atlas Shrugged chronology, outlining the dates of major events in the novel itself. I’m pleased to have his help covering the movie.
The Atlasphere’s meta-bloggers will continue covering any major developments in the movie, but this new blog will become our primary repository for Atlas Shrugged movie news and discussion.
Recent posts there include a preview (in text and photos) of the Atlas Shrugged movie, an interview with screenwriter Brian O’Toole, and a post with a link to the new official Atlas Shrugged – Part I movie website (a splash page, for now, enabling you to sign up for announcements).
Comments are enabled on this new blog and we look forward to hearing your thoughts as more and more information about the new movie becomes available.
If you’re as excited about the movie as we are and would like to join Hans and me as a co-blogger at the Atlas Shrugged movie blog, let me know.

Interviews with the creators of the new Atlas Shrugged movie

In addition to our own new interview with Atlas Shrugged movie producer John Aglialoro, also check out this interview with screenwriter Brian Patrick O’Toole.
One noteworthy exchange:

Ã?therCzar: The production of Atlas Shrugged has been criticized for its relatively low budget and lack of famous acting talent. Do you believe these factors have compromised your ability to bring Ayn Randâ??s story to the screen?
Brian Oâ??Toole: Why is it that everyone on the Internet, when talking about our production of ATLAS SHRUGGED-PART ONE, seem to fixate on the â??low budgetâ?? It puzzles me. Five million dollars is still a lot of money.
We made ATLAS SHRUGGED-PART ONE independently â?? in every sense of that word. John Aglialoro personally financed the film so that the story could be told without studio executive pressure to make the story more Hollywood-friendly, which I believe he encountered in his past dealings to have the book brought to the screen. I think itâ??s heroic that someone would put up their own money to finance something that obviously means a lot to them. Itâ??s something to be respected. To me, thatâ??s the story people should be focusing on, not who the actors are and how much the movie cost.
As for the lack of star power behind the names in the film, I think itâ??s a bit ridiculous. I canâ??t believe audiences would rather say â??Wow, Julia Roberts did a great job portraying Dagny Taggartâ? than be involved in the journey that the character takes in the story as portrayed by a very gifted actress like Taylor Schilling.
There was a story in the Los Angeles Times recently about a television production that was paying each of its writers $200,000 a week and yet they were not required to write a single word until Spring 2011. This is a good example as to why Hollywood productions are out of control.
When you use money efficiently and wisely, and you hire a crew that is imaginative and thinks out of the box and not from the checkbook, youâ??ll be surprised by the quality you can get up on the screen. In my opinion, the budget was exactly right for this film, so, please everybody, stop worrying how much the film cost to make and enjoy the show.

See the full interview for much more.

"Atlas Shrugged: The Making of a Movie" event in NYC on December 7, 2010

Want to see a ten-minute clip from the Atlas Shrugged movie, including the first scene from the movie? If you’re in New York City, you’ll get your chance on December 7th.
An announcement from the Atlas Society:

The Atlas Society is proud to present Atlas Shrugged: The Making of a Movie. After years of anticipation, John Aglialoro has completed filming Part I of what will be a trilogy. David Kelley, Atlas Society founder and CEO, consulted on a script that is true to the characters and philosophy of Ayn Randâ??s epic novel.
The program will feature a ten-minute, first-time viewing of an Atlas Shrugged film clip, which will include the first scene from the movie. Youâ??ll hear special remarks from producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, Kelley, and select cast members. The event will be followed by a general cocktail reception. There will also be a VIP reception with an opportunity to meet and mingle with the producers and cast members.
Donâ??t miss this opportunity to celebrate the cinematic achievement of Aglialoro, Kaslow, and their team in bringing Randâ??s great literary achievement to the screen. Join us in the historic Hudson Theatre for an evening to remember.

See the full announcement for more information and registration details.
PS. Ed Hudgins sends the following information for Atlasphere members: Those who want to receive our lower member price can get an intro membership for $50 which will get them our quarterly, The New Individualist, newsletters, event discounts, and other goodies.

Filming wraps up for Atlas Shrugged movie: Update from David Kelley and John Aglialoro

David Kelley has written an article, “Atlas Shrugged Filming Wraps Up,” about the new Atlas Shrugged movie.
An excerpt:

The Hollywood press has taken a dismissive view of the project. How could an outsider hope to produce a successful film with so little time, a reported budget of $5 million, a director with limited film experience, and a cast without stars?
Offsetting those limitations, however, is the passion of the producers, cast, and crew to realize the vision of the novel. Thatâ??s why Johansson took on the challenge of directing on such short notice. (Though Atlas will be his first film, Johansson has considerable experience directing TV, with an Emmy to his credit.) Schilling was attracted to the lead roll because she loved Randâ??s work, having read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Many crew members came on board at less than their usual fees just to be part of the project. As for the budget, the producers says the actual figure is at least twice the reported $5 million. And Atlas is not really a star vehicle. The power of an adaptation, and its ultimate success or failure, turn on how well it captures Randâ??s narrative and its meaning. As an independent production, this adaptation has pursued that goal directly, without having to bargain with studios, stars, or screenwriters who donâ??t get it.

See the full article for much more.

New Atlas Shrugged movie budget more like $15 to $20 million, instead of $5 million?

From a new article by Big Hollywood’s John Nolte:

Big Hollywood has enjoyed two visits to the filmâ??s set, which our own Charles Winecoff will be writing more about soon, but due to the fact that much of what weâ??re reading in the media regarding the filmâ??s production doesnâ??t coincide with what weâ??ve seen and heard for ourselves, I asked producer Harmon Kaslow to help set the record straight.
Much has been made of the filmâ??s reported budget of $5 million, especially for a project major studios have shied away from out of budgetary concerns. Like most smart producers, Kaslow wonâ??t talk specifics, but thereâ??s more to the story than the $5 million…
Assuming weâ??re talking in the area of $15 to $20 million to film the entire novel, with no big star salaries thatâ??s still a low budget but not a ridiculously low budget. As far as the casting of unknowns, as is the case with any film, budget constraints are a reality and when youâ??re working in the arena of millions as opposed to hundreds of millions, youâ??re not going to get a Charlize Theron or Angelina Jolie.

Of course, replacing Angelina Jolie with Taylor Schilling isn’t an entirely bad move. 🙂

Taylor Schilling (cast as Dagny Taggart)

See the full article for much more, including photos of the actors playing John Galt and Jim Taggart.

Filming has begun on Atlas Shrugged movie

Filming has begun on the new Atlas Shrugged movie.

The long-brewing feature version of author Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” has begun shooting in Los Angeles as a $5 million indie produced by John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow.
Cameras began rolling over the weekend on a five-week shoot for “Atlas Shrugged Part One” with Paul Johansson directing from Brian Patrick O’Toole’s script. Aglialoro would have lost the feature rights if the film wasn’t in production by Saturday.
A spokesman for Aglialoro — the CEO of exercise equipment producer Cybex — said there will be at least one more “Atlas Shrugged” shot after the current film’s completed. Rand’s massive novel is divided into three parts, each consisting of 10 chapters.
“Atlas,” published in 1957, takes place in a dystopian version of the U.S. in which society has collapsed as the government gains increasing controlover industry. The decline occurs while the most productive citizens, led by John Galt, begin vanishing.
Johansson (“One Tree Hill”) portrays Galt. The lead role of railroad executive Dagny Taggart has gone to Taylor Schilling (“Mercy) and the part of Henry Reardon is being played by Grant Bowler (“Ugly Betty”).

See the full article in Variety for more.

Another Atlas Shrugged movie update from John Aglialoro, via The Atlas Society

On the heels of the recent Atlas movie update from, the Atlas Society has posted an update with official word from John Aglialoro on his Atlas Shrugged movie plans.

Aglialoro expects the film to be released by the first quarter of 2011. He currently projects a three-movie sequence, following the structure of the novel. He has engaged Paul Johansson as director. Locations have been booked and casting is nearly complete.
â??Thereâ??s obviously a lot of risk in doing it this,â? says Aglialoro, head of Cybex, the exercise-equipment company, and a trustee of The Atlas Society. â??But taking risks for something you believe inâ??thatâ??s what Atlas is all about. The strength of the project is what itâ??s always been: the power of Ayn Randâ??s novel.â?

See the full post for more.

Atlas Shrugged movie scheduled to definitely start production – on June 11th, 2010!

A new article at begins:

For almost two decades, Hollywood has tried unsuccessfully to turn Ayn Randâ??s 1100 page classic Atlas Shrugged into a feature film with actresses ranging from Angelina Jolie to Charlize Theron to Faye Dunaway. John Aglialoro, the entrepreneur who 17 years ago paid $1 million to option the book rights, is tired of the futility and is taking matters into his own hands. Heâ??s announced that he is financing a June 11 production start in Los Angeles for the first of what he said will be four films made from the book.
Aglialoro, who had a hand in writing the script by Brian Oâ??Tool, is taking on this ambitious plan with an unproven director, and is weeks away from production without stars to play Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, John Galt and the other roles. He’s moving forward despite the conventional wisdom that without stars, it could ultimately be the audience that shrugged.

It will be a four-part three-part series [see update from Aglialoro]. See the full article for much more.