Shooting has begun on the $5 million adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged in Los Angeles, reports Variety. Shooting for five weeks, "Atlas Shrugged Part One" is directed by Paul Johansson from a script by Patrick O'Toole. John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow are producing. Aglialoro would have lost the feature rights if the film wasn't in production by Saturday.
A "Part Two" is expected to be filmed after the current movie is completed.
Published in 1957, the book takes place in a dystopian version of the U.S. in which society has collapsed as the government gains increasing control over industry. The decline occurs while the most productive citizens, led by John Galt, begin vanishing.
Johansson ("One Tree Hill") will play Galt while the lead role of railroad executive Dagny Taggart has gone to Taylor Schilling ("Mercy) and the part of Henry Reardon is being played by Grant Bowler ("Ugly Betty").
Michael Lerner (A Serious Man) portrays lobbyist Wesley Mouch and director Nick Cassavetes has signed on for the Richard McNamara role. Other key cast include Matthew Marsdan as James Taggart and Graham Beckel as Ellis Wyatt.
The film also stars Edi Gathegi, Jsu Garcia, Rebecca Wisocky, Ethan Cohn, Patrick Fischer, Neill Barry, Christina Pickles and Nikki Klecha.