Dagny Taggart almost got into the olive oil business in 1972, when
…15 years after the publication of Atlas, [Albert S.] Ruddy, fresh from producing "The Godfather," decided to make a run at Rand, who was already in her late 60s. Atlas Shrugged, let's face it, was probably the most important novel of the 20th century that was never a film,' he said." …
Rand told Ruddy she has worried the "Soviets might try to take over Paramount to block the project."
"I told her, 'The Russians aren't that desperate to wreck your book,'" Ruddy recalled in a recent interview with the International Herald Tribune.
Now there's another effort to make Atlas into a movie, starring Angelina Jolie. Delivery of a screenplay written by Randall Wallace, who wrote "Braveheart," is expected this month. The film is being produced by the team that made "Ray."
At least Wallace won't have one of the hurdles that Ruddy faced: Ayn Rand herself.
Rand's agents warned him to expect rejection, he said, but reluctantly set up an appointment. Ruddy said he warned Rand that it was not her ideas that interested him. "Forget philosophy," he said. "The abstract of the story is quite lovely: the power and the sustainability of the great individual, of the creative person, of the entrepreneur." Rand, he said, "thought that was brilliant, because that's how she saw her book," as a story first.
But Ruddy refused to grant Rand final script approval, and their courtship quickly broke off. "It's a fool's game to spend a lot of money and time only to have her say, 'I think you should take this out,'" he said. So, he recalled, he told Rand that he would wait for her to "drop dead" and then make the movie on his own terms.
Via A&L Daily