Thursday, August 14, 2008

This ought to be interesting!

We know that Ayn Rand's best-seller Atlas Shrugged has been an on-again, off-again film project for years now. Supposedly it is in one of those on-again phases except things are moving very, very slowly. You'd almost think it was a government project considering the snail's pace at which it is moving.

Well, Christianity Today magazine let something out that might cause some consternation among true fans of Ms. Rand. It discusses the career of Randall Wallace, a scriptwriter who has worked very closely with the anti-Semitic Mel Gibson. Wallace was a religion major at university and the magazine says he is a Christian -- I assume by evangelical standards since the publication is of the Billy Graham school of religion.

What may worry some Randians is that Mr. Wallace "recently finished a script for Atlas Shrugged" according to the magazine. Would this mean Mr. Wallace is likely to cut any of Rand's criticism of religion from the film because of his own views? I don't know. But I have to wonder how well a Christian could interpret the atheistic work of Ms. Rand. I figure the plot is difficult enough to whittle down to film length. But having the script in the hands of someone who, out of necessity has to oppose Rand's atheistic views, could pose some interesting problems.

The problems are potentially big for the production company. Rand's fan are notoriously prickly even under the best of circumstances. The necessity of editing out 80% of the plot for time constrainst will pretty much guarantee dissatisfaction among Objectivists. But if Mr. Wallace manages to censor out Rand's non-religious perspective, or even worse, smuggle in some religious overtones, they just might take a page out of Rand't other best-seller, The Fountainhead, and blow up the theater. Certainly pissing off the core audience is not a good way of making a profit. We'll see.