As The Blaze reported yesterday, the film Atlas Shrugged opened in theaters one week ago. The film is based off of Ayn Rand’s novel of the same name, which is a favorite among those with libertarian leanings.
John Aglialoro, producer of the new film, spoke to Fox News in the clip below about the struggle to get the film made.
But first, some context. The Wall Street Journal’s blog Speakeasy has some helpful background on the book, and on Rand:
Rand and her army of ideological adherents—both then and now—claim that “Atlas Shrugged” is the greatest novel ever written. Even those who have never read it know the plot: America’s productive titans go on strike against a progressively intrusive, tax-happy, and morally corrupt socialistic government until, at last, the nation’s “looters and moochers” beg them to come back and restore prosperity on their terms, ending with the promise of a utopia of the competent and the strong.
“For the first time [in history], you have depicted persons and their actions in perfect accordance with principles and their consequences,” libertarian founding father Murray Rothbard wrote to Rand about the book in 1957, adding that she had “a mind that I unhesitatingly say is the most brilliant of the twentieth century.” (A few years later, he compared her exercise of control over the minds of her followers to the cults of Hitler, Mao, and Trotsky.) Delineating a world in which productive, purposeful people like herself could thrive without being thwarted by the envy, greed, or interference of others less gifted was her life’s mission. She accomplished it in “Atlas Shrugged” and wanted to see nothing less than a movie that represented her imagined world in all its glorious details and dark colors.
Aglialoro explains that he purchased the right to produce the film in 1992. At about the same time, the New York Times and the Library of Congress did a study of the top-ten most influential books—and Atlas Shrugged came in second (after the Bible). So, Aglialoro says, given the popularity of the book, he expected to get the movie done in a few years.
But, when he went to pitch the film to the Hollywood studios, no one bit. So he took matters into his own hands:
Also, here’s a flashback clip of William F. Buckley Jr. discussing Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand. Rand and Buckley had a bit of a testy relationship, to say the least, as a result of a damning review Buckley published in National Review of Atlas Shrugged. The review was written by Whittaker Chambers.