Hannity: The movie is set to be released next month, something that might never have happened had Hollywood liberals gotten their way.How can he be so sure? Because shut up, that's how. This is Sean Hannity, who I assume blames liberals when his steak is overcooked. But then he brought out John Stossel for backup:
Stossel: It was hard to get the movie made.So, the essence of the Hannity-Stossel Theorem is that Hollywood is so single-mindedly devoted to liberalism, they've allowed Atlas Shrugged to languish for four decades, devoting their resources instead to liberal propaganda like Red Dawn, The Passion of the Christ, V for Vendetta, and United 93. Not to mention every disaster movie where Americans save the world (i.e. every disaster movie), every movie where government operatives are sinister and/or incompetent (i.e. every movie with government operatives), and the entire contents of any of the myriad lists of "best conservative movies."
Hannity: That's what I want to ask you next. Why [was there] a 20-year waiting period from the time that somebody bought the rights to this?
Stossel: Hollywood is liberal. They say, "oh, this is this woman who likes capitalism and selfishness. We don't like her." Still, some people signed on. Brad Pitt was interested, Angelina Jolie was going to play Dagny Taggart, but it just—the studios went, "we're not really into that." Finally, a businessman, John Aglialoro, said "I'll spend $10 million of my own money. I'm going to get this made."
But I digress. Getting back to Atlas Shrugged, I like how Stossel emphasizes that a "businessman" stepped in, because who, exactly, does he think runs the movie industry? Was it not businessmen and -women who made almost a billion dollars on a crappy CGI-fest Roger Ebert described as "a horrible experience of unbearable length"? And are they not, therefore, by Randian standards, incredibly good at their jobs?
Absent any actual evidence of an anti-objectivist conspiracy—and I haven't seen any—the idea that "Hollywood" would suppress a project for ideological reasons is absurd. In fact, the movie industry is, by all accounts, relentlessly capitalistic. People want to spend their money on formulaic drivel and mediocre sequels, and that's what the people get. Nobody wants to see a three-part adaptation of a lengthy, thematically-dense work of literature from the 1950s.
Oh, right, nevermind.
Still, Atlas Shrugged's potential to appeal to a large audience—which appears to have increased significantly now that America's gone socialist—isn't the only sticking point. There's also the clash between objectivists' notorious refusal to compromise and movie executives' notorious insistence on messing with everything. And I'd bet studios were (rather understandably) reluctant to commit to a three-part series without first knowing if Part I will have any success.
I'm not trying to argue that studios were right to be skeptical, or that I think the movie will fail. Studios are wrong all the time, and the culprit isn't anti-conservatism or anti-libertarianism—they just aren't immune to bad business decisions.
But why bring capitalism into this?
1. "What the hell?," you're probably thinking. "A libertarian who isn't fanatically devoted to Ayn Rand? You at least like Rush, right?" Um…no comment.
2. He probably also blames immigrants, come to think of it.
3. A lot of surprising movies show up on those lists, but I'm most amused to see Juno, which apparently qualifies because—spoiler alert!—she doesn't have an abortion. Honorable mention goes to 300, which qualifies because it's an allegory for…shit, I don't know. Something to do with America and awesomeness.
4. I think it'll do fine. Libertarians will love it. Conservatives will like it, but some will complain that the film implicitly promotes atheism. Everyone else will find it dull and a little preachy, but not terrible. I predict a Metacritic score of 60. I also predict Sean Hannity will blame every perceived slight—up to and including Atlas Shrugged's inevitable failure to win the Academy Award for Best Picture—on liberals. And maybe immigrants.