Friday, September 22, 2006
Angelina Jolie has apparently signed up to play Dagny Taggart in a big budget production of Atlas Shrugged. I will admit that my first reaction was "Angelina Jolie?!? Isn't she a looter?" But then I read that Taggart was her "dream role," and that Jolie has said that she was a big fan of Rand. None of the stories that report this fact have reconciled it with her work for the United Nations, but that is probably asking too much of any Hollywood reporter. Indeed, even a grump like me can see the value in being a "goodwill ambassador" for the UN High Commissioner on Refugees.
Brad Pitt is also apparently considering a role in the film, and you have to figure that it's John Galt. The question is, how will they cast Hank Rearden? It has to be somebody amazing enough to (i) win Taggart's heart in the first instance and (ii) be just freakin' fine with losing out to John Galt in the end. Matt Damon would meet those minimal requirements, but he's too young and baby-faced to play Hank Rearden. Who in Hollywood can both play Rearden and not hate playing Rearden? It's a very short list.
Who says they have to like playing Hank Reardon? George C. Scott refused to accept his Oscar for playing Patton.
However, one name comes to mind for the role: Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Mal Reynolds in Firefly and Serenity.
Fillion is good. He definately needs to do more work. He's so deft with comedy, but I find it hard see him spout some of Rand's more humorless speechifying (Isn't it ALL humorless speechifying? -I digress.)
Maybe Matthew McConaughey? He's pretty underrated, and needs something to make him stop from doing yet another mediocre romantic comedy.
Also, isn't Vince Vaughn a Rand fan too?
I don't trust Hollywood to get it right. I fear it will turn the message of the novel inside out (Ayn Rand, champion of altruistic, leftist causes!).
The bit that REALLY interests me is, will the movie even show Francisco d'Anconia's speech about the "goodness" of money? Would film goers even understand the speech?
How 'bout Ron Silver. I think he'd be great. I'd like to see Ben Stein get cast against type, although I'm not sure how he'd be in this role. Of course with Jolie in the role, they're going to gut it, so they might as well get Mike Farrell or Meathead to do it, so we can have a good laugh when it's played on tv in a year.
Am I the only one who is REALLY upset that Jolie and Pitt are both going to be in this movie? Jolie might be a "Rand fan" but I don't buy it. This movie is going to be a joke. Speeches on the goodness of money, the virtue of self-interest...the average American just isn't going to get it. What's even worse is that even if the movie does a decent job at "Atlas Shrugged: the Seriously Abridged Version" Ayn Rand's life work is going to become a disgusting Hollywood "fad" similar to how everyone thinks the understand ancient European and Catholic history just because they read the DaVinci Code. Reading Atlas Shrugged, then The Fountainhead, then We the Living, etc...essentially discovering Ayn Rand were turning points in my intellectual life and I feel like Hollywood is going to screw all of that up.
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