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Another Shrug

Somehow it had gotten past me till today, but there is a sequel to last year’s Atlas Shrugged coming out.  They are looking for an October release date, so it can come out at the height of the presidential campaign.  No, this is not another production rumor of a movie that might or might not get made, it is already in the can; filming ended a month ago.

First big change: pretty much 100% recast.  Giving it a quick look, the only repeat name I found from the first movie is the producer.  It looks like, again at first glance, that they recast older actors most everywhere, about ten years older.  Perhaps the idea is to suggest the passage of some years since the last movie, but they also seem to be trading up.  The always-dependable Samantha Mathis is taking over the lead and, while she does not have the model-like looks of her predecessor, she may be a little more believable as a senior executive of a major railroad.

Second, far more recognizable names in the cast.  In addition to Mathis, Esai Morales, D.B. Sweeney, Robert Picardo, and Ray Wise are amongst the cast.  Ray Wise?  If you don’t know the name, just look at his picture on the internet and I promise you will recognize him; sort of looks like Robert Wagner’s evil twin.  Oh, and Diedrich Bader is in there too, which is probably fine, but I can never look at him without thinking of Jethro Bodine.  No, they are not superstars by any standards, mostly television actors, but familiar faces can often make a film more inviting and enjoyable, one of the reasons that independent films often do not find an audience.

Naturally, I am of two minds: 1) glad to see that Part Two is being made when it had been pretty much given up for dead a year ago and 2) please, please, please don’t screw this up.  The first movie remained mostly true to the source material, but never got much of an audience and the film critics were never going to like it no matter what they did.  There were After-School Specials that had bigger budgets.  There were script changes that could have made the film more inviting to the uninitiated that would not have upset the purists too much and still stayed true to Rand’s vision – hey, Peter Jackson didn’t change Lord of the Rings all that much.

Atlas Shrugged Part II, Either-Or is the official title.  No trailer for it yet.  The poster art is two Roman columns, denoting the “two,” and something behind it that both looks like an “S” – such that the “S” and the columns look like a dollar sign – or maybe it is a man-slave looking for a way to break out through the columns.

Well, here is hoping that they manage to pull it off well enough that Part III can be made.  It would be nice to have the full set of DVDs on the shelf, even if DVDs are approaching end of life.  I don’t see where I will find the time to reread the frickin’ huge, often ponderous novel any time real soon, so having the videos would be nice.

No, Ayn, great novel.  Huge novel!  Important novel.  You go, girl!  But I really think you left your sense of humor behind in the gulag.


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