Many fans of Rand are thrilled at the prospect of an movie of Atlas Shrugged. Frankly, I’ve heard such announcements so often (about both Atlas and The Fountainhead) over the past ten years that it’s hard to get excited. But Ari Armstrong gives us actual reason to worry in this post to OWL:
“The Objectivist Center is pleased to announce that a new project to film Atlas Shrugged has just been launched [by] Crusader Entertainment… The company also announced that it has signed veteran screenwriter James V. Hart, whose film credits include the ambitious adaptation of Carl Sagan’s science fiction novel Contact, to write the screenplay… James V. Hart’s writing/producing credits include: Hook, directed by Steven Spielberg; Bram Stocker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola; Contact, directed by Robert Zemeckis; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, directed by Kenneth Branagh as producer with Coppola and John Veitch; Jack and The Beanstalk: The Real Story, directed by Brian Henson, a Jim Henson/CBS mini-series; and Tuck Everlasting, directed by Jay Russell for Disney.”
Hart managed to turn a great pro-reason, pro-science book by Sagan into an apology of faith. (See my earlier review.) Contact is a good movie because it is based on a good book, because Zemeckis has a lot of talent, and because the cast does a good job. Hart, though, turned the theme on its head.
Obviously, ideas are all-important in Atlas Shrugged, and I fear Hart will similarly screw it up.
The rest of Hart’s resume does little to ease my anxiety. Hook and Dracula were fun but intellectually vacuous. And Frankenstein, shall we say, was an apt title for that particular movie.
The mere fact that Hart ended up as the screenwriter indicates to me the studio lacks either an understanding of the subject material or money (or perhaps both). I will breath a sigh of relief when, once again, an announced filming of Atlas Shrugged falls through.
Given the emegence of big screen miniseries with Lord of the Rings and The Matrix (as opposed to self-contained sequels), I do wonder whether either Atlas Shugged or The Fountainhead could be made into say, a two or three movie movie. That would be cool.