Ayn Rand's iconic novel Atlas Shrugged may soon be streaming on a device near you.
Hollywood producer Albert Ruddy recently acquired the rights to the 1957 novel and plans to produce a 6- to 8-hour miniseries for a streaming service such as Netflix. The producer's credits include The Godfather, The Longest Yard, and Million Dollar Baby.
You may remember that a trio of films based on Atlas Shrugged appeared between 2011 and 2014. New Jersey-based entrepreneur John Aglialoro spent $15 million producing them after buying the rights to the book for $1 million.
Ruddy, age 85, considers the novel to be the greatest literary work of the 20th century. He cites a 1991 survey from the Library of Congress in which respondents chose Atlas Shrugged as the book that had the greatest impact on their lives, second only to The Bible.
"Why does everyone fall in love with it?" Ruddy asks. "Because it talks about the ability of the creative person to be able to function--to create."
Such startups as Uber, he says, are facing opposition from taxi companies in the same way Hank Reardon's fictional steel company in the book is challenged.
"It lends itself perfectly to what's going on today," Ruddy says.
The recent adaptations held an overly preachy Randian message of objectivism in his view. Ruddy's version will instead focus on telling the dramatic story of the novel in a contemporary setting.
"I'm not interested in doing a dialectic on what Ayn Rand is about," Ruddy says.
Ruddy first pursued the project more than 40 years ago. He was even in a position to purchase the rights in the early 1970s, but he says Rand never signed the contract. She insisted on having the right to approve the final script, according to Ruddy.
"I said to Ayn, 'No one will start working on a screenplay where you have that kind of influence,'" Ruddy says. "We could never resolve it."
While the Aglialoro films weren't financial or critical successes, Ruddy believes that remaining true to Rand's story will ensure his project's success.
"Anyone who loved Atlas Shrugged is going to love what I'm doing," he says.