'Atlas Shrugged' Paperback Cover"Who is John Galt?" Not even the team that claims to be about to shoot the long-gestating version of Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' seems to know the answer to the book's famous question.

According to Deadline New York, entrepreneur John Aglialoro, who has held the option on the film rights for 17 years, plans to begin shooting the project on June 11, even though there's no cast to speak of yet.

It's only the latest twist in the long history of attempts to turn Rand's 1957 novel into a movie. There have been daunting obstacles (not least the book's forbidding length and its dense chunks of Rand's Objectivist philosophizing that bring the plot to a crashing halt). Top stars, including Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron, have been close to signing to play 'Atlas' heroine Dagny Taggart, only to drop out of consideration for the role.

'Atlas' is one of many literary monsters long thought to be unfilmmable, either because of development difficulties (rights issues, casting, money) or because of the book's own complexity, or both. Then again, such "unfilmable" works as William S. Burroughs' 'Naked Lunch' and Alan Moore's 'Watchmen' ultimately did get made. Certainly, Aglialoro's determination to start shooting 'Atlas' next month, cast or no cast, seems to echo the grand, obstinate, rules-be-damned behavior of Rand's industrialist heroes.

What are the odds that Aglialoro will successfully bring to the screen a novel that's resisted adaptation for 53 years? Here's our handicapping of the chances we'll ever see a movie of 'Atlas Shrugged' as well as several other novels that have long languished in development limbo.
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