The Making of Atlas Shrugged, the Movie

With the first excerpts released last week at an Atlas Society event, Atlas Shrugged movie speculation has surged and opinions are heating up websites all over. A week after the event, I spoke with John Aglialoro, producer of the movie Atlas Shrugged.

His optimism about the message and the quality of the film is crystal clear. The message is not just consistent with the novel in a passive sense; Rand’s philosophy has motivated Aglialoro from the very beginning. By Aglialoro’s reckoning, Rand’s message demands a quality production: one that is driven with the speed and precision of a Taggart  locomotive on tracks of Rearden Metal. Talk with him and you see why John Tamny of Forbes Magazine calls Aglialoro “A Name to Know in 2011.”

Not surprisingly, people who have been impacted by the novel–the second most influential book in people’s lives, according to a Library of Congress poll–have strong opinions about how the characters in the movie will be portrayed. I sense the passion surrounding Ayn Rand’s philosophy every time I read a new post. Rand’s protagonists rally in the face of insurmountable barriers–economic, political, and ethical–that read like today’s headlines. None of this is lost on Aglialoro. A life-long proponent of rational self-interest, his work surrounding the production of the movie has been an extension of his passion for her message. Rand’s message resonates with everyone who sees the parallels in the situation that we face today in the economics, politics, and ethics of the Western world.

That’s why I agree with the moderator’s reference to Tea Partiers–a mix of secular and Christian political conservatives–as supporters of the movie’s message. Tammy even compared the movie to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, not because it has a religious message, but because its message is clearly outside of the Hollywood mainstream.

He saysAnd much as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ exposed a flat-footed Hollywood studio culture that shunned a film it deemed too religious (along with massive box office receipts), so will Aglialoro hopefully once again expose a system too rooted in the formulaic over the philosophic. Atlas Shrugged’s devotees are legion, and Aglialoro’s $8 million production will deliver on a heretofore unmet consumer need.

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