Epix eyes Atlas Shrugged commission

Epix, the soon-to-launch US cable network, run by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, is eyeing its second original commission – a miniseries based on Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.

This would follow its commission of drama Tough Trade, produced by Lionsgate and executive produced by Weeds creator Jenji Kohan, about a dysfunctional family in the country music scene.

Although no deal has been confirmed, Lionsgate is thought to be prepping the adaptation of the 1,300 page novel, which was Rand’s last, for the network, eschewing a feature film version.

The novel looks at the issues of a dystopian America, where artists and industrialists refuse to be exploited by society and instead escape underground. There have been many attempts to remake Atlas Shrugged including in 1972 with Albert Ruddy, creator of Hogan’s Heroes, and a number of miniseries for networks including NBC and TNT.

Epix is expected to launch via cable in October – although the company has yet to ink any distribution deals – and will air a mix of hit movies from its studio owners as well as a handful of original series and live events.