Most Objectivists are aware by now that a movie version of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is in production, featuring Randall Wallace ("Braveheart," "Pearl Harbor") as screenwriter, Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart, and tolerationist-in-chief David Kelley as consultant. While hope springs eternal, I wager the movie will be a disaster on the terms that are most important to us, and that it will likely be attacked in the press as a vanity project for a bunch of egotistical Hollywood types.
There's a big silver lining in all this, no matter how awful the movie proves to be, or just how vicious the denunciations of Objectivism that result from it are, and that’s the simple fact that Atlas Shrugged will be in the news, and there is no way that can be a bad thing.
In fact, there are a lot of things that we can do to capitalize on an Atlas movie, and here's just one idea. Since one of the elements that will greatly impact the quality of the movie will be how well Ayn Rand's ideas are brought to screen (including the challenging job of culling Galt’s radio address), why not create a "Galt's challenge" for film students. Say for a top prize of $50,000, we run a competition that would have film students present excerpts from Galt's speech totaling no more that five minuets, but with the goal of dramatizing the presentation of Galt's speech in film.
This way, if the movie makes a muck of it because of the inherent challenges in encapsulating a climax that takes the shape of a three hour radio address, one could point to the film contest winners to show examples of how the various entrants worked to get the presentation right. Put the best on YouTube, and let the world beat a path to your door.
To pull the contest off, one would have to hire an IP expert to make sure that student’s use of Atlas snippets falls under fair use. Beyond that, I think it would be a fantastic way to present Ayn Rand's ideas, and good way to counter any weakness in the Atlas Shrugged movie.