Thesp slated for Rand adaptation

Angelina Jolie is set to star in the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s iconic tome “Atlas Shrugged” for Lionsgate.

Howard and Karen Baldwin (“Ray”), who hold the rights to Rand’s most ambitious novel, are producing with Media Talent Group topper Geyer Kosinski, Jolie’s manager.

Jolie, a longtime fan of Rand’s, was eager to play the role of Dagny Taggart, the most powerful female character in any of Rand’s books.

A movie version of the Russian-born author’s novel, which runs more than 1,100 pages, has been long in the making. For years, producer Al Ruddy tried to bring “Atlas Shrugged” to the bigscreen, attracting the interest of Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway along the way.

Also producing are Lionsgate vice chair Michael Burns and president of production Michael Paseornek, who were instrumental in bringing the project into the indie studio.

The Baldwins acquired the film rights in 2003 upon leaving Crusader Entertainment, a partnership between Philip Anschutz and John Aglialoro’s company.

Jolie will next be seen in Robert Zemeckis’ “Beowulf” and “The Good Shepherd,” directed by Robert De Niro. She’s about to start filming “A Mighty Heart,” based on the book by Mariane Pearl, widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. In addition thesp will lend her voice to animated pic “Kung Fu Panda.”

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