James Hill, via the paddies of Viet-Nam in 1968, had a mission to pursue world change through politics. He earned his law degree in 1973, but events lead him away from a law career. He went into real estate development, then syndicated an oil drilling business which ended after government intervention. With several partners he then formed an investment banking company. His interest turned to screenwriting and film production in 1990, and in 1992 he purchased the rights to produce The Fountainhead. He has since signed a production agreement with Warner Brothers. He is now in preproduction of two other projects which have come to him as a result of the notoriety of The Fountainhead. He is married, has two sons, and currently resides in Del Mar, California.

James Hill spoke at "Objectivism Today" in 1994 about The Fountainhead project; the following is reprinted directly from the June1994 issue of the IOS Journal.

At the Institute's May 14 [1994] conference, "Objectivism Today," James Hill spoke during luncheon about his plans for producing a new film version of The Fountainhead. Mr Hill could not comment on reports that Warner Bros will invest $40m in the project - making it one of the year's high-budget films - or that a top director, Barry Levinson, has agreed to take on the film. But he did say that the screenplay, written by himself and screenwriter Christopher Cleveland, is virtually complete, and Mr Hill's commitment - and battle - has been to show that you can make a movie from a book.

Mr Hill said that he is winning his battle to use a screenplay faithful to the book, so that "when you go to the movie, you'll feel as though you are in The Fountainhead." Another goal, said Mr Hill, is to demonstrate to Hollywood that "you can make money on a film about capitalism." Mr Hill referred repeatedly to the liberal inclinations of actors, actresses, directors, and producers in Hollywood; but preconceptions about audiences, and fear of being Politically Incorrect are just as powerful, he said. Film backers, for example, are "paranoid" about offending feminists by suggesting that Howard Roark's first sexual encounter with Dominique Francon is a "rape scene."

On the question that tantalised the audience most - casting the film - Mr Hill could provide no information. He did say, however, that one big difference between this and the earlier version of The Fountainhead would be far greater emphasis on building up the characters of Roark, Peter Keating and others in the first third of the movie. (And yes, as of now, the new film begins with Roark on the cliff.)


interviewed in
June 1994





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