Monday, June 14, 2010

Production Moves On "Atlas Shrugged"

Filming has now started for 5 weeks on the $5 million big screen adaptation of author Ayn Rand's 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged".

Shooting in Los Angeles, "Atlas Shrugged Part One" is directed by Paul Johansson from a script by Patrick O'Toole, for producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow.

The book explores a dystopian United States where leading innovators, ranging from industrialists to artists, refuse to be exploited by society. Protagonist, 'Dagny Taggart', sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry, while society's most productive citizens, led by the mysterious 'John Galt', progressively drop out. Galt describes the strike as "stopping the motor of the world" by withdrawing the "minds" that drive society's growth and productivity; with their strike these creative minds hope to demonstrate that the economy and society would collapse without the profit motive and the efforts of the rational and productive.

The novel, referencing the mythical 'Titan' 'Atlas', who holds the weight of the heavens on his shoulders,
includes elements of mystery and science fiction and contains Rand's most extensive statement of 'Objectivism' in any of her works of fiction.

The theme, as Rand described it, is "the role of man's mind in existence", expressing many facets of philosophy, including the advocacy of reason, individualism, the market economy and the failure of government coercion.

Galt will be played by director Johannson, railroad executive 'Dagny Taggart' will be played by Taylor Schilling ("Mercy), Grant Bowler ("Ugly Betty") is 'Henry Reardon', Michael Lerner ("A Serious Man") is lobbyist 'Wesley Mouch', director Nick Cassavetes is 'Richard McNamara', e Matthew Marsdan is 'James Taggart' and Graham Beckel is 'Ellis Wyatt'.

Also cast are Edi Gathegi, Jsu Garcia, Rebecca Wisocky, Ethan Cohn, Patrick Fischer, Neill Barry, Christina Pickles and Nikki Klecha.

Click the images to enlarge...