The "Atlas Shrugged" movie trilogy disappointed on several levels, but its impact is far from over.
The movies didn’t do much business at the box office, and critics were far from kind. However, just getting the movies made after decades of development hell seems to have inspired producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow.
The two have taken their distribution company, Atlas Entertainment, and charged ahead with projects so far out of the Hollywood norm Ayn Rand herself would stand up and cheer.
Their biggest project is a new adaptation of Rand’s influential novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” The team has been making steps recently to get the television series made with famous producer Albert S. Ruddy of “The Godfather” fame.
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A television series may go a long way in redeeming the company in the eyes of some Rand fans, who saw the films as little more than Cliffs Notes versions of the book. The project could be a six or eight-hour miniseries for a Netflix-type service, according to The New York Times.
However, perhaps more impressive than their “Shrugged” plan is the company’s new way of promoting and testing their films, including Werner Herzog’s latest, “Queen of the Desert.” The movie stars Nicole Kidman and James Franco, and it just played at the AFI Film Festival.
Instead of testing their movies for people plucked off the street and then thrown into a dark theater, Atlas has shown their future movies to their fans online. They ask for feedback on everything from the movie itself to promotional ideas.
It’s a fascinating way to approach releasing movies, one perfectly attuned to today’s Internet world. Taking the product directly to the consumer and cutting out Hollywood’s red tape would make Rand proud.
Though we have yet to see how some of these future movies will perform or test with critics, the Atlas team is moving forward from their past failures. They are working independent of the Hollywood machine and creating pictures directly for the consumer.