While filmmaker Zack Snyder looks like he’s going to be very, very busy for the foreseeable future, he’s not only focused on making DC Comics adaptations for the rest of his life. The director just spent three years developing, shooting, and editing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and is currently gearing up to start directing Justice League – Part 1 next month, but in between helming his own massive features and overseeing a bevy of other DC Comics adaptations as part of the DC Cinematic Universe Brain Trust, Snyder has his sights set on a different kind of adaptation: Ayn Rand.
During an interview with THR, Snyder was asked what non-superhero projects he was working on, and the filmmaker revealed his desire to turn Rand’s polarizing 1943 novel The Fountainhead into a feature film:
“We have The Last Photograph that I’ve been working on for a long time. It’s a small, sort of weird project about a war photographer in Afghanistan. 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.”
So yeah, it appears as though during Snyder’s downtime from dealing with some of the biggest superheroes in the world, he’s been toiling away on developing something entirely different.
Rand’s book follows an individualistic young architect named Howard Roark who makes the choice to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic vision, as he favors modern architecture over the establishment-supported traditional style. As with all of Rand’s work, it’s a philosophical work of fiction that deals with topics like individualism versus collectivism, and has been used as a political token in the ensuing years.
Warner Bros. previously turned The Fountainhead into a feature film in 1949 starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, boasting a script by Rand herself, but the film wasn’t received all that well. Recently, a trio of laughably bad adaptations of Rand’s Atlas Shrugged have made their way to a few screens here and there as part of some “political statement,” but their critical derision and minor box office performances make the prospect of a Fountainhead adaptation dubious, even with someone like Snyder at the helm.
One assumes Rand’s script that Snyder is referring to is the one she wrote for the 1949 film, so if this project does indeed come to fruition, it’ll be interesting to see if Snyder decides to use that same script as the basis for his film or if he plans on writing a new adaptation himself. Regardless, this is a curious choice of material for Snyder and I’m interested to see what (if anything) becomes of all this.