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Atlas Shrugged Movie News
[Editor's Note: This article, by John Aglialoro, is republished here by permission. It was first published on April 10 on his blog. ]
In 1995, I had the distinct pleasure and honor to dine with the longest-serving and, dare I say, most impactful British Prime Minister of the 20th century.
I'm not talking about dining in the same building mind you. I'm talking about dining at the same table.
The conversation was fun, at times deep, and even went so far as to push me back in my chair a bit with the candor she displayed regarding her "replacement." Those comments were of course, private.
At the time, believe it or not, getting Atlas Shrugged made into a movie was at the top of my priority list. There were other things on that list too but, as you can imagine, Atlas was pretty high up there. As a result, the upcoming film managed to make its way into the conversation with a fair amount of fervor.
And, she was into it.
Before the night ended, rolling the dice, I told Mrs. Thatcher that I would be honored to have her attend the Atlas Shrugged Movie Premiere. In my mind, I would fly her in on a private jet, put her up in the finest hotel, the whole nine. It would be epic.
I'll never forget her response.
With her famously unique cadence and delivery, responding in the way only she could - as if each syllable had its own period attached - she looked at me and ardently said, "I would be delighted."
It would be 15+ years before the night of the World Premiere of Atlas Shrugged Part I would arrive and, unfortunately, a few years too late. Mrs. Thatcher had already stopped traveling and had to decline.
Oh, but what a glorious moment it would have been.
In 1995, I had the distinct pleasure and honor to dine with the longest-serving, most impactful, British Prime Minister of the 20th century - who, not surprisingly, also happened to be quite the fan of Atlas Shrugged.
Margaret Thatcher was an inspiration, a political power house, and bigger than life. I'm pleased to have made her acquaintance and perhaps more pleased to have discussed with her Atlas Shrugged.
I was... delighted.
Atlas Shrugged Part 3, the final installment of the movie trilogy, is set to begin principal photography in the fall of 2013. The Atlas Society is pleased to announce that we will work with Atlas Productions LLC on the film. Atlas Productions has officially greenlit Part 3 today, March 26, 2013.
David Kelley, founder of The Atlas Society and an expert on the philosophical themes of Atlas Shrugged, will consult on the script, as he did for Parts 1 and 2. David Kelley and The Atlas Society's Laurie Rice recently met with Atlas Productions to discuss the storyline of Part 3.
The movie trilogy follows the three-part structure of Ayn Rand’s epic 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged. Part 3 takes place in a near future dystopian United States with the nation's economy quickly approaching collapse. While overreaching government regulations persist in strangling the country's few remaining entrepreneurs, society’s most productive continue to mysteriously disappear. One man has the answer. Some will stop at nothing to control him. Others will stop at nothing to save him. Who is John Galt?
The producers have tapped four-time Emmy® award-winner Duncan Scott as the film’s screenwriter along with Brian O’Toole. Both Scott and O’Toole worked on Part 2. Scott also worked extensively with Rand on the restoration and editing of the classic motion picture We the Living, based on Rand’s novel of the same title. “We’re thrilled to have Duncan and Brian back. Having sat shoulder-to-shoulder with Rand, no one else could do what Duncan can when it comes to adapting Atlas. His unmatched experience and his incredible depth of knowledge regarding Atlas are absolutely invaluable,” stated Producer John Aglialoro.
“The challenge,” says Kelley, “is to create a narrative in Part 3 that stands on its own but also builds on the larger narrative of the trilogy and brings it to a climax. With his deep knowledge of Rand’s work, Duncan is the writer to meet that challenge.”
Aglialoro’s company, Atlas Productions, produced and distributed Parts 1 and 2, and has set a USA theatrical release for Part 3 in the summer of 2014. Parts 1 and 2 are now currently available on DVD and internet download. (We suggest The Atlas Society's Special Edition DVDs of Part 1 and Part 2. Any item purchased at the movie's merchandise store through The Atlas Society's affiliate link will help to support our organization.)
Producer Harmon Kaslow said, “Our number one goal with Part 3 is to pull the prescient message of Atlas off of the page and project it clearly onto the screen. Ayn Rand drew incredibly sharp archetypes with stark backdrops. Our goal with Part 3 is to bring these characters to life as accurately as possible and celebrate Rand’s message.” While Parts 1 and 2 were filmed in and around Los Angeles, Kaslow reports that Part 3 will probably be filmed on location on the East Coast. “For Part 2, filming in California added about 20% to our production costs.”
—Aaron Day, CEO
“We are thrilled to be involved with the completion of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy,“ stated The Atlas Society’s CEO Aaron Day. “The movie trilogy offers a significant opportunity to spread the ideas of Atlas Shrugged at a time in which they are desperately needed.”
TAS has worked with the film producers on the scripts, promotion, advance screenings, and film-related educational material, student programs, and activism projects. To expand these activities, and take advantage of the opportunity to promote the ideas of Atlas Shrugged, TAS seeks to raise a total of $1 million in special contributions.
Learn more and contribute to The Atlas Society’s Atlas Shrugged Capital Campaign, today.
Are you ready for the next item in your Atlas collection? The Atlas Shrugged Part 2 DVD is now available for purchase at the movie's online store! We recommend The Atlas Society's Special Edition DVD, but you can support The Atlas Society by making any purchase at the movie's store, if you click on the hyperlinked image below. Shoppers using this hyperlink direct 20% of their item's price to The Atlas Society, for the continued promotion of the ideas of Ayn Rand.
Features on The Atlas Society's Special Edition DVD include:
- Three beautifully produced video commentaries on scenes from the film by David Kelley, including Francisco D'Anconia's "money speech."
- David Kelley's interviews with leads in the film: Samantha Mathis (Dagny Taggart), Jason Beghe (Hank Rearden), Esai Morales (Francisco D'Anconia), Patrick Fabian (James Taggart), and Kim Rhodes (Lillian Rearden).
- "Atlas Shrugged and the Struggle for Liberty," a panel discussion at the 2012 Atlas Summit, with John Stossell, Grover Norquist, Robert Poole, and Alexander McCobin.
- Laurie Rice's interview with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) about Atlas Shrugged.
- "The World of Atlas Shrugged" audio feature (Also included in our Part 1 Special Edition).
We hope you enjoy Atlas Shrugged Part 2 and the further discussions of its ideas on The Atlas Society's Special Edition DVD. You can also get Part 2 as a premium in thanks for your sponsor-level-or-higher support for The Atlas Society, beginning at $1,000 per year.
A movement is more than a body of ideas; it’s a body of people connected around those ideas. In a lasting movement, those people span generations.
The day Atlas Shrugged Part II hit theaters, Amanda Luce shared a story about that connection on Facebook. I asked her whether I could share it with you, and she elaborated:
I had been sitting at the bench outside the theater entrance, waiting for the last of the people from the previous show to file out. The old man was one of the last ones coming out, so I smiled at him and shifted so he could see that I was wearing my “Who is John Galt?” T-shirt. He saw the shirt, paused, and walked over to me. “I’ve waited fifty years for this movie,” he said. “It was so much better than I could have imagined.” He looked on the verge of tears. I leaped up and hugged him.
I started gushing to him about everything I had seen at TAS’s summer seminar last July. I can only imagine how glad he had been to see me—a teenager—so excited about Objectivism. He told me that he had read Atlas Shrugged, cover to cover, over twenty times, and that his copy was marked all the way through with red tabs on the best parts. He said that chills had started running through him when the movie began, and he was still feeling them.
As he walked away, I knew that there were not words to describe how he must have felt to finally see this movie come to fruition and know that a new generation would pick up John Galt’s banner. I never knew his name and I will probably never see him again—but it is so wonderful to know that some of the early readers from half a century ago are still around to see this day.
On a morning that began “brighter than daylight,” Dagny Taggart asked Ragnar Danneskjold how many centuries John Galt represented. “None at all,” the pirate replied, in the opening pages of part III of Atlas Shrugged. “None behind him—but all of those ahead.”
What stories like Amanda’s remind us—what we see every year at Atlas Society events—what you may see at your local theater if you go watch Atlas Shrugged Part II—is that John Galt’s centuries have actually begun, not just on the page and on the screen, but in reality.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 arrived in theaters last week on Friday, October 12. We at The Atlas Society have spent the weeks leading up to the release busily promoting the movie and speaking about its ideas.
First, staff members attended the official premiere hosted by Atlas Productions on October 2 at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, D.C. TAS Founder David Kelley spoke at the event, along with producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro, whose remarks can be found here.
Next, The Atlas Society hosted a premiere for students on Saturday, October 6, at Regal Cinemas in the Ballston, Virginia mall.The event was organized by Aaron Rainwater and hosted 110 students. It was followed by a Q&A session with David Kelley and Will Thomas, then a cocktail hour at Bailey's Bar & Grill.
Finally, last Wednesday, October 10, The Atlas Society held a premiere for Atlas Shrugged Part 2 in New York City at the Dolby 88 Theater. Guests filed through marble hallways into the cozy, modern theater lobby, where the evening began with wine, beer, and hors de ouvres. Guests then filed into the screening room where TAS Board Chairman Jay Lapeyre welcomed them and introduced John Aglialoro, who reprised his remarks from the D.C. premiere. Next, David Kelley gave a presentation on the Atlas Shrugged Movie Capital Campaign, TAS's fundraising effort to promote the movie and spread the ideas of Objectivism. The event ended back in the lobby, where guests had an opportunity for photos and autographs with Esai Morales, who plays Francisco D'Anconia in Part 2. Thanks to TAS Director of Advocacy, Ed Hudgins, for organizing the New York event, the Dolby 88 Theater event staff, and John Argueta at JargaPix photography. More pictures to come!
The following is a message from Harmon Kaslow, producer of Atlas Shrugged Part 2.
This Friday, October 12th, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will be in theaters.
Since Hollywood does not produce, and the left-leaning main stream media will not support, a movie with this message, its incumbent upon us to show the rest of America that there's a vast population that does in fact support this message.
So, please email everyone in your address book and urge them to see Atlas Shrugged on October 12, 2012.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 --the official site
Eight days until Atlas Shrugged Part 2 comes to theaters and premieres are in full swing. Tonight, Thursday, tune in at 9:00 p.m. EST to watch livestreaming of the L.A. premiere at the Linwood Dunn Theater.
October 2, Tuesday of this week, marked the first official movie premiere in Washington, D.C. Atlas Society staff attended to celebrate, represent TAS, and discuss the movie with the capitol crowd. David Kelley gave a short speech before the film began, highlighting the ideas of Atlas Shrugged and emphasizing their relevance today.
Also on Tuesday, the movie's Facebook page posted this clip from Part 2. It shows Hank Rearden (played by Jason Beghe) meeting "the wet nurse" (played by Bug Hall), a young bureaucrat sent from Washington to keep tabs on Rearden Steel. A few lines from this scene appeared in a teaser trailer for the movie, but now we get to see the scene in full:
Fans of the Atlas Shrugged novel will remember that Hank's other nickname for the wet nurse was "Non-Absolute," and the final line from this clip-- "Try pouring a ton of steel without rigid principles"-- is lifted directly from the novel, in the chapter called "The Man Who Belonged On Earth." Here's a passage from that chapter:
"The young boy from Washington-- whom the steel workers had nicknamed the Wet Nurse-- hung around Rearden with a primitive, astonished curiousity which, incredibly, was a form of admiration. Rearden watched him with disgusted amusement. The boy had no inkling of any concept of morality; it has been bred out of him by his college; this had left him an odd frankness, naive and cynical at once, like the innocence of a savage..."
"He spoke in flat assertions. he would say about people, 'He's old-fashioned,' 'He's unreconstructed,' 'He's unadjusted,' without hesitation or explanation; he would also say, while being a graduate in metallurgy, 'Iron-smelting, I think, seems to require a high temperature.' He uttered nothing but uncertain opinions about physical nature-- and nothing but categorical imperatives about men."
The Wet Nurse was not only a satire of clueless young politicians, but also Ayn Rand's comment on metaphysical materialism, epistemological skepticism, and moral pragmatism. Atlas Shrugged's answer, in Hank Rearden and the other heroes, is the philosophy of Objectivism: the metaphysical existence of man's consciousness and free will (in addition to matter), the power of reason in epistemology, and the principled morality of self-interest.
Returning to the movie, now, let's take a moment to acknowledge the graveled glory of Jason Beghe's voice. Coming full-circle, the end of Tuesday night's premiere found David Kelley sitting at a D.C. bar with Jason. David was hoarse from an oncoming cold and from his speech at the event. In a truly delightful Atlas Shrugged mash-up, David and Jason compared their delivery of Hank's lines: "Damn, son, you're brighter than you look" -- "We're done here."
Right: Patrick Fabian (James Taggart), Samantha Mathis (Dagny Taggart), and Jason Beghe (Hank Rearden) at the D.C. premiere on Tuesday October 2.
The Atlas Society's founder, David Kelley, who has worked closely with Atlas Productions on the movie, answers the often asked question: Why is there a new cast for Atlas Shrugged Part 2? Kelley explains:
"Re-assembling the cast for all the speaking roles would have been a near-impossible task, especially since the producers were committed—in early 2012—to have Part 2 in theaters by October. Without a previously negotiated contract, the actors understandably moved on to other projects. Re-assembling the whole cast would have been difficult enough, and potentially costly. Re-assembling them along with the other principals would have been an order of magnitude more difficult."
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 leads: Jason Beghe as Hank Rearden, Samantha Mathis as Dagny Taggart, and Esai Morales as Francisco d'Anconia.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is amping up to hit theaters on October 12 with a new look, new web outlets, and new merchandise. The third and final movie poster has been released, featuring a golden Atlas statue holding up a geometrical sphere-- its deco style is remniscient of the statue in front of the Rockefeller center in Manhattan. In the movie poster, however, the "world" part of the structure is bursting into shards and the caption reads "Everything has a breaking point."
The printed poster is available for sale at the Atlas Shrugged Movie store for $24.95.
Download the poster image for print or for the web, here, as well as many other "downloadable assets" from the movie, such as banners for your Facebook page.
Choose an image for your cover photo to help promote the movie and the ideas of Atlas Shrugged.
Atlas Productions has refined its Web site called Galt's Gulch Online, where you can read recent threads about the movie, find screening events in your area, sign up for announcements, and interact with other Atlas Shrugged fans. Currently, they are looking to their fans for feedback on logos for the site. Go there, vote, and comment on the images you think best represent the spirit of Atlas Shrugged!
Finally, the movie's Facebook page has also been releasing some beautiful photo stills from the movie, such as this one of the mysterious motor found by Dagny Taggart in Part 1. In Part 2, she continues the search for its inventor.
Sep 25, 2012
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 comes to theaters on Friday, October 12. Just a few weeks away!
And the Web site has listed theaters with confirmed play dates for the movie.
The site has a handy organization tool to check theaters by state. Hundreds of theaters across America have confirmed and many have advanced ticket purchase available. There are also links to Google maps for each theater. In the Atlas Shrugged novel, we're not sure if Eddie Willers ever finds Galt's Gulch. But if it had been up to the Atlas Shrugged Part 2 movie site, he certainly would have. Check out your state's theater listings and share them with your friends.