Wondering whether the new movie will successfully keep the underpinnings of Rand’s original novel?
Here is an interesting exchange on that topic — as it pertains to the first installment of the trilogy — from the Facebook page for the Atlas Shrugged movie, between a fan and screenwriter Brian Patrick O’Toole.
Fred Barney: Brian, I think I speak for many fans of Rand when I say that while we recognize the difficulty of adapting a novel to the screen, we don’t want the movie to lose the philosophical underpinnings of the story.
Brian Patrick O’Toole: Hi Fred! I was very sensitive to those underpinnings, believe me. The first part of the book is the underdog story, the trials and tribulations of Dagny Taggart as she tries to save her family railroad from inside (her brother’s incompetence) and outside (the government) forces.
With the triumph of the first John Galt Line run, our heroes (who are businessmen) are systematically crushed by a Robin Hood government government and a frightened Science Institute. Hope lies in finding the designer of the kinetic engine they discover at the abandoned 20th Century Motor Company.
This search ends with what I’ll call Dagny’s Gone With The Wind moment. Within the movie, we want audiences to feel what Dagny feels, side with her anger and frustration — TAKE BACK THE RIGHT TO HER OWN LIFE.
I think the movie will move people to want the whole story — to read the book! That is the goal! Hope this helps!
From elsewhere within the same thread:
Kurt Lehman: Brian, Did you have access to or refer at all to the last writing Ayn Rand did, namely her work on the AS screenplay? I am not implying that I think you necessarily should have done so, but have always been curious as to how she would have written the adaptation. You seem to have a great grasp of the plot and theme.
Brian Patrick O’Toole: Excellent question. Nope. I started from scratch. Page one to page 1168.
My main job in Hollywood has been working on adaptations. I go into each job with the same goals: find the heart, the spirit of the original story and re-imagine it with the utmost respect for the original material.
I deliver the baby. Then the baby gets sent to school and is given to other influences that I have little control over. However, I can assure you that the baby John Aglialoro and I conceived was as true to Ayn Rand as we possibily could do within the media of film.
I respect books. I respect stories. I respect writers. But most of all I respect audiences. I really hope you like what we have done. I can’t wait until we release the trailer (just a couple more weeks!!!)
I added paragraph breaks, above, to help readability.