Here’s the background from The Hollywood Reporter:
Hollywood could soon be going Objectivist.
After decades in development hell, Ayn Rand’s capitalism-minded “Atlas Shrugged” is taking new steps toward the big screen — with one of the film world’s most prominent money men potentially at its center.
Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media is circling the Baldwin Entertainment project and could come aboard to finance with Lionsgate, which got involved several years ago.
Rand’s popular but polarizing book — it’s derided by many literary critics but has a huge public following — tells the story of Dagny Taggart, a railroad executive trying to keep her corporation competitive in the face of what she perceives as a lack of innovation and individual responsibility.
A number of stars have expressed serious interest in playing the lead role of Taggart. Angelina Jolie previously had been reported as a candidate to play the strong female lead, but the list is growing and now includes Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.
Although it was written a half-century ago, producers say that the book’s themes of individualism resonate in the era of Obama, government bailouts and stimulus packages — making this the perfect time to bring the 1,100-page novel to the big screen.
“This couldn’t be more timely,” said Karen Baldwin, who along with husband Howard is producing, with film industry consultant John Logigian advising on the project. “It’s uncanny what Rand was able to predict — about the only things she didn’t anticipate are cell phones and the Internet.”
Not that I’d kick any of them from my private little Tea Party, but I think Julia Roberts may play the role the best. I love Jolie, but she may a bit too glamorous. I always pictured Dagny as attractive, well-spoken, but very practical. Sexy at times, common sense at others, bright and hard working always. This seems to describe Roberts to a T. I snagged this photo from Best Google Images, as I can picture Dagny looking like this (at the rare moment when her sleeves aren’t all rolled up) while hanging around for a while in Galt’s Gulch.