Atlas Shrugged, an apocalyptic vision of the future by US novelist Ayn Rand, has long been seen as an almost impossible tome to film. And Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are rumoured to be interested in playing the leads.
The 1957 book runs to 1,100 pages and follows a dark future path that sees a US economic collapse and a violent end for the country. It’s long been tagged as far too big and, more importantly, too bleak to turn into a movie.
But that hasn’t stopped people trying. Producer Al Ruddy shopped a version of the script around Hollywood for years, drawing interest from the likes of Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. But the sticking point was Rand herself – until her death in 1982, she retained script approval and refused most attempts. After ’82, Ruddy kept trying until a planned 1999 miniseries fell apart.
The new producers are Ray’s Howard and Karen Baldwin, who got the rights in 2003 and originally planned to split the story into two films. "What we've always needed was a studio that had the same passion for this project that we and John have," Baldwin tells Variety. Fast-forward to today and Lionsgate has agreed to come aboard and fund the tale – but only as a single pic.
Enter Jolie and Pitt, who are both fans of Rand’s work. They’re considering the two main roles of Dagny Taggart and John Galt. If they agree to work for less money upfront, the movie may finally see the inside of a cinema. We’ll let you know more as the story develops…