It's official: Angelina Jolie is set to star in the film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. David Kelley, Founder and Senior Fellow of The Atlas Society (TAS) confirmed with producer Howard Baldwin that Jolie is "signed, sealed and delivered." Kelley is serving as a producer and consultant for the film, and TAS trustee John Aglialoro is serving as an executive producer.
The Baldwins acquired the film rights to the novel from Aglialoro in 2003, after launching Crusader Entertainment with Philip Anschutz.
When Anschutz decided not to make the movie, the Baldwins took the project with them when they left Crusader to form Baldwin Entertainment Group.
As TNI previously reported in our celebrity Rand fan issue of The New Individualist, Jolie is a longtime fan of Rand -America's most controversial individualist - so her enthusiasm for playing the female lead of Dagny Taggart, the intelligent and powerful executive of a railroad empire, is not surprising.
Producers Karen and Howard Baldwin spoke at The Atlas Society's recent Summer Seminar about plans for their film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. At that time we passed on the news Jolie had expressed a “keen interest” in playing Dagny Taggart and that the Baldwins had already had extensive discussions with her.
Producer Karen Baldwin also told Robert Bidinotto, editor-in-chief of The New Individualist, that Jolie showed up to one of their meetings with a copy of TNI under her arm -specifically, our January/February "celebrity Rand fan" issue, which featured Angelina and Brad Pitt on the cover that spoofed People magazine. "She really liked it," said Baldwin.
Jolie has the stellar box-office appeal that would allow the film to be a huge success, not only in the U.S. market but also abroad. The challenging and unique role would also no doubt, add an intriguing new dimension to Jolie's body of work.
The news comes at a time when America stands at a historic crossroads; much of Atlas Shrugged reveals the design of decline in America. The film could therefore be a pivot point for significant change in America.