Atlas Shrugged Part 3 Will Shoot

Statue of Atlas, that became the cover illustration for Atlas Shrugged. Is the Third Option a variation on this theme?
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The producers of the two Atlas Shrugged movies made it official this week. Atlas Shrugged, Part 3, will release to theaters next summer. The producers face a challenge: how to keep their series relevant. Have the American people turned their backs on the American work ethic and all the inalienable rights to life, liberty and property? The producers of Atlas Shrugged are betting that they haven’t.

Atlas Shrugged shooting schedule

Atlas Shrugged will shoot beginning in the second half of 2013, according to this press release. Duncan Scott and Brian O’Toole will write the script. Mr. Scott co-wrote the Atlas Shrugged 2 script and also helped edit and produce an earlier Ayn Rand project, We the Living (1986). (See his profile at the Internet Movie Database.)

Other than that, details on cast and crew are sketchy. The latest project has this page at IMDb, but with no information. (Premium users might have access to more.) From Part 1 to Part 2, the producers changed the entire cast. Will they do so again? They won’t say.

Producer Harmon Kaslow does say what he wants to do with the project:

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.

Two weeks ago, Kaslow’s partner John Aglialoro gave an interview to Politico. Correspondent Patrick Gavin seems to think Aglialoro is a glutton for punishment. After all, Parts 1 and 2 had poor reviews and almost-as-poor receipts. Aglialoro doesn’t expect to improve on the reviews:

We’re not going to get critics coming on board. The academic-media complex out there doesn’t want to like the work, doesn’t want to understand it, fears the lack of government in their lives, wants the presence of government taking care of us. … The MSNBC crowd doesn’t like us.

A high-stakes game

Statue of Atlas, that became the cover illustration for Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

A statue of Atlas, that became the cover illustration for Atlas Shrugged

Aglialoro also said he wants to make his project more faithful to the original novel. He can’t do that perfectly. Several key scenes that set up other scenes in Part 3 of the Atlas Shrugged novel did not play in the Part 2 film at all. Aglialoro explains it this way:

There’s 300 people running around, doing one thing or another and sometimes things get in and sometimes things get left out.

Like, for example, Ragnar Danneskjöld, the buccaneer, or privateer, who seizes government relief cargoes. Or Project X, the government’s answer to dissent: a weapon of mass destruction that (at least in the novel) uses neither radiation nor noxious chemicals. Those elements bore no mention in Atlas Shrugged, Part 2. And so that film ends in such a way that the producers didn’t have to make Part 3 to say what happened to the story’s hero and heroine.

As Part 2 ends, Dagny Taggart has crash-landed in a valley in Colorado that is host to a remarkable, and well-hidden, community. The leaders of that community hide the valley itself from view with a technique that the late Gene Roddenberry might envy. All the men who in Part 1 and Part 2 quit and vanished from the near-communist American society, live in that community. Its name: Atlantis, or Mulligan’s Valley, or Galt’s Gulch. Its leader: John Galt. As in “Who Is…?”

Why even make Part 3? Because Dagny Taggart does not stay in the hidden valley. She sympathizes with John Galt’s goal, but does not approve of John Galt’s method. To her, Atlantis means retreat. To a stronghold whose leaders will try the most foolish thing any soldier can try: to withstand siege. (Its very name suggests sinking beneath a merciless ocean.) But John Galt says any such siege will fail. Why? Because anyone having any brains at all, would join his community, not try to invade it.

Thus Dagny Taggart will be the wild card. She will hold the balance of power in the war between the producers and the non-producers. For as long as she stays outside this community, she will come under pressure to help its enemies. Only if those same enemies win, they will lose in the long run – because John Galt and his followers will never surrender, even if their enemies capture them.

And yet John Galt will not hold her prisoner, or try anything else as crude as that. That would break every rule of human liberty he stands for. Besides, he loves her, and wants her to love him enough to accept his method as well as his goal.

Atlas Shrugged in real life?

Critics, from Whittaker Chambers to Jason Lee Steorts, have always said Atlas Shrugged was an outrageous war against a straw culture, said culture being Ayn Rand’s own adopted country. But what would those critics say about the United States today? At second glance, they might realize, with a sinking feeling in their guts, The looters are real after all!

Exhibit A

The International Monetary Fund yesterday called for a sur-tax of $1.40 US per US customary gallon of motor fuel sold anywhere in the United States. That, they say, is the cost of air pollution and – get this – “mitigation” of global warming. Didn’t anyone tell them that the game was up, when citizen journalists exposed this e-mail to the world?

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Thus wrote Phil Jones, the global warmist’s answer to Robert Stadler. (Or maybe to Floyd Ferris, who’s even meaner.)

Exhibit B

Producers are already migrating to States that have producer-friendly governments. Investors Business Daily reported this, and quoted this study from George Mason University.

People are voting for places with greater freedom.

In Atlas Shrugged, the producers first moved to Colorado. In that story, Colorado was the most free State left. When the federal government taxed it to oblivion, the producers moved again – to Galt’s Gulch.

Exhibit C

Doctors going on strike, as your editor already reported (twice).

Exhibit D

The FAA closes 149 control towers. Doesn’t this slice of life exactly imitate the art of Atlas Shrugged movies 1 and 2?

Summing up

Atlas Shrugged will be out next summer. Midterm election campaigns will be in full swing. Those who value freedom will have yet another chance to remind voters of the stakes. Dagny Taggart plays a high-stakes game of love, politics, and ultimately civil war. The American people might find themselves playing a similar game.

Related:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

ARVE Error: need id and provider

[subscribe2]

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

10 Responses to Atlas Shrugged Part 3 Will Shoot

  1. CowHammer says:

    “Why even make Part 3?”

    I think this is the most relevant question, since the first movie bombed hard and the second bombed worse (even though it had about half of the budget!). I guess the producers of the movies have decided to ignore the lesson of letting the free market decide whether their ideas succeed or fail and are plowing through with making a sequel to two movies almost no one saw. The irony is absolutely staggering.

  2. yarnoiser says:

    “That, they say, is the cost of air pollution and – get this – “mitigation” of global warming. Didn’t anyone tell them that the game was up, when citizen journalists exposed this e-mail to the world?

    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    You neglected to mention what the decline they are referring to actually is. Density in tree rings, not temperature. In fact, the text of the email even states that the real temperatures are being used in the data processing.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Tree-ring-proxies-divergence-problem.htm

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      If not bothering to mention irrelevancy is “negligent,” then I am “negligent.”

  3. yarnoiser says:

    If the entirety of your argument that “the game was up” with regards to climate change after climategate is irrelevant, “negligent” is quite the understatement. There might as well be a big blank space for the first part of your argument for the existence of “looters”.

  4. MDB says:

    Didn’t the first two Atlas Shrugged flop massively? It would seem as if the magic of the free market has demonstrated a complete rejection of the movies.

  5. MDB says:

    Terry, do you have a dictionary tucked away somewhere where “irrelevant” is defined as “disagrees with you agenda”?

  6. Fergus Mason says:

    Pity really. I’m a big fan of the novel and although the films never released over here the clips I’ve seen look quite good.

    Of course I do tend to view the novel as a statement of principles rather than a blueprint to be followed exactly….

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      For what it’s worth, I could have written better scripts. But I would have preferred a different format: a TV series. By that I mean the way modern TV series generally run, with recognizable long-term story arcs. Picture to yourself Jeremy Irons as Henry Rearden, François Arnaud as Francisco d’Anconia, and Holly Grainger as Dagny Taggart.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.