Zack Snyder has decided to postpone the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead.
Snyder made the announcement on the latest episode of the Life is Short podcast with Justin Long, where the Justice League director discussed both his past films and future projects.
Zack Snyder has repeatedly shown his interest in the work of philosopher Ayn Rand and in particular her novel The Fountainhead, which generated a lot of excitement among Rand’s fans.
However, during the podcast, Snyder announced that for now, he would not undertake this project for fear of the political uproar it would cause. The director believes that to make this film, it would be necessary to wait for a “more liberal government” so that “not everyone would be scared off.”
Snyder said the book was seen as “politically charged,” to which the presenter added that it was like “trying to adapt Mein Kampf.”
“For a lot of people, [the novel] has a lot of political significance, but for me, it’s not so much about that,” said Snyder, who looks at the novel from the standpoint of creative freedom, comparing it to the process of making a movie.
“You’re constantly making small concessions. Maybe one less story, and it will be really good. Do you really need all those fancy window frames? Maybe you just have to do the windows. You wanted a mansion and you end up with something that looks like a house. To me, that’s what The Fountainhead was always about,” Snyder explained.
He compared his experience as director of Justice League to that of the architect protagonist of the novel The Fountainhead. Snyder said he felt “like Howard Roark, but saying yes, making concessions all the time.”
Snyder’s phrase refers to the character of Howard Roark’s character, a famous architect who makes no concessions of any kind, putting his creative and artistic freedom first and foremost when designing and constructing his buildings.
The similarities between Zack Snyder and the character of Ayn Rand
The truth is that the strange circumstances surrounding the filming and premiere of Snyder’s Justice League can be considered very similar to those experienced by Howard Roark’s character in The Fountainhead.
Just as Howard Roark had to deal with executives who wanted to make modifications to the designs of his buildings, Zack Snyder had to deal with producers who wanted to substantially change his vision of DC superheroes, which Snyder saw as the mythology of our times, and took very seriously.
Snyder began shooting Justice League with instructions to make it less dark than its predecessors, but even having relented on this aspect, Warner Bros. executives felt it should be more like the Marvel films, lighter in tone and loaded with humor.
In the middle of shooting Justice League, Warner Bros. hired Joss Whedon — one of Marvel’s star directors — to help Snyder lighten it up. Howard Roark would have considered this an unacceptable affront. Snyder at first reluctantly gave in, but ongoing clashes with Joss Whedon and a family misfortune led Snyder to eventually resign as director of Justice League, in a decision similar to what Howard Roark would have made.
Following Snyder’s resignation, Justice League ended up being directed and completely reshaped by Joss Whedon, in its 2017 release. Four years later, in 2021, with a plot worthy of Howard Roark, Zack Snyder managed to release his original project, the Justice League Snyder Cut, after the mobilization of millions of netizens.
In The Fountainhead, Roark’s strong convictions inspired a political movement around him. Somehow, the viral campaign #releasethesnydercut, and similar high-impact Internet campaigns, are now becoming political as well.
Just as Ayn Rand is considered by many to be a muse of the new right, Zack Snyder has become something of a spearhead against woke culture and cancellation culture, linked to the left.
It makes sense that given these parallels of the novel to the present day, Snyder has decided to postpone the adaptation of The Fountainhead to film, as it would effectively make a political stir.
Snyder should perhaps ask himself how Howard Roark would have behaved in his place. Would he have given up on his dream of filming his vision of The Fountainhead? Would he have given in for fear of backlash from colleagues, journalists, or Twitter? Perhaps this is precisely the right time to release such a film.