Oscar-Winning Producer of 'The Godfather' Joins 'Atlas Shrugged' TV Miniseries

Ayn Rand and Book Atlas Shrugged - H 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS; Penguin Books Ltd.

Albert Ruddy, who also won an Oscar for 'Million Dollar Baby,' will co-produce the miniseries, which could be as long as 15 hours.

An Atlas Shrugged TV miniseries is in the works.

The people behind the recent movie trilogy, based on the works of Ayn Rand, have tapped industry veteran Albert Ruddy to produce. Ruddy is the Oscar-winning producer of The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby

Ruddy will produce along with John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, the duo behind the three Atlas Shrugged movies that were released in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The three films, while popular among Libertarian fans of Rand's book, made a collective $9 million at the box office.

Kaslow said the 1,200-page book lends itself better to a miniseries of up to 15 hours than it did to the movie trilogy that ran less than six hours.

"Atlas deserves, and requires, more time if a reflective adaptation is the goal," Kaslow said. "A TV series is the one medium we're sure to have that opportunity."

Ruddy will line up principals for a TV miniseries adaptation of Atlas Shrugged to be produced by Atlas Productions, the company founded by Aglialoro and Kaslow.

Beyond producing Oscar-winning films, Ruddy has a history with Rand; prior to her death in 1982 he negotiated with her to adapt Atlas Shrugged into a miniseries, though the project never made it into production.

In 1992 Aglialoro obtained the rights to Rand's novel, once named second to the Bible in a Library of Congress poll to determine the most influential book ever written. His rights would have expired had he not started production on the first movie when he did. In doing so, he maintained exclusive rights to the story, paving the way for a TV miniseries, though the project has not yet been sold to a network (or streaming service).

Atlas Shrugged tells the story of government regulation that has run amok, ruining innovation and the economy while scapegoating the most productive and successful citizens.

"Our priority has always been to propagate Ayn Rand's ideas and the message of Atlas to as wide an audience as possible," Kaslow said.

Aglialoro and Kaslow also recently founded Atlas Distribution Co. for acquiring distribution rights to films unrelated to Rand's novel, the first few of which are A Royal Night Out due Dec. 4 and director Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman and James Franco. Atlas plans next year to distribute that film, which tells the true story of a female British spy who played a role in the formation of Iraq.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com