Ayn Rand wasn’t exactly known for having a sunshine-and-lollipops view of the world, and she may have found a kindred spirit in noted grim-and-gritty superhero director Zack Snyder. He and his wife (and producing partner) Deborah Snyder have revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he’s toying around with a screen adaptation of Rand’s best-selling 1943 ode to architecture and rugged individualism, The Fountainhead. When asked if he’s had time to work on projects other than DC Comics adaptations like next weekend’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this was his reply:
I have been working on The Fountainhead. I’ve always felt like The Fountainhead was such a thesis on the creative process and what it is to create something. Warner Bros. owns [Ayn Rand’s] script and I’ve just been working on that a little bit.
This would not be the first time the massive novel was adapted for film: Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal starred in a Fountainhead flick in 1949, which was penned by Rand herself. For the legions of folks who have heard about the book but never dived into it, it follows the trials and tribulations of an iconoclastic architect named Howard Roark. He spends the tale striving to overcome critics and colleagues who doubt the integrity of his creative vision, eventually (spoiler alert) winning out and being recognized for his greatness. He was a walking embodiment of Rand’s philosophy, which held individual achievement as sacred and dismissed anyone who would ask for a handout.
It’s also infamous for a scene in which Roark rapes the female lead, Dominique Francon. Rand was no fan of feminism, which makes another comment from Snyder especially interesting. Elsewhere in the interview, he talks about the differing tonal approaches to the DC shared-universe of superhero films, saying a Flash movie will likely be “lighter than making a World War I epic with this feminist icon like Wonder Woman.” Say what you will about Snyder, but you can’t accuse him of political rigidity.