Atlas Shrugged to be miniseries for new network?

Charlize Theron, who won an Oscar playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, has been in talks with husband-and-wife-producing team Howard and Karen Baldwin at Lionsgate about turning Ayn Rand's 1957 dystopian SF novel Atlas Shrugged into a miniseries, according to the Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business Blog. The miniseries would be produced for Epix, a proposed pay-cable network that would be a joint venture between Lionsgate and MGM. While the focus of the project will be on the creation of the miniseries, there is the possibility of a shorter theatrical release as well.

Theron, familiar to SF fans for her role in 2005's Æon Flux, would play railroad executive Dagny Taggart, who exists in a world in which the intellectuals and innovators of American society go on collective strike by hiding themselves away in a technologically shielded stronghold.

The novel is a manifesto of Rand's Objectivist philosophy that promoted, among other things, rational self-interest. Sales of Atlas Shrugged have reportedly increased dramatically since the US financial crisis began in September of 2008.

Attempts to bring Atlas Shrugged to the screen go back at least to 1972, when Godfather and Million Dollar Baby producer Albert S. Ruddy tried to film the novel with Clint Eastwood and Faye Dunaway starring.

Randall Wallace, who wrote Braveheart, and James Hart, who wrote Bram Stoker's Dracula, have both reportedly turned in drafts of the screenplay.

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