If you're one of those people who totally gets Ayn Rand's magnum opus "Atlas Shrugged," kudos and all for your grapple on the concept of Objectivism, but don't you think this movie adaptation business is just not working out?
'Cause the first two installments did pitifully at the box office and even worse with critics ("Part I" got 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes! Eleven!), and now the filmmakers on "Part III" are turning to Kickstarter for a 'lil crowd-source funding and weird fan interaction while Rand rolls in her grave.
Development on the "Atlas Shrugged" film adaptation was a looooooooong ordeal — Rand was first approached about the thing back in the '70s — but there was a short, promising time when Lions Gate and Angelina Jolie were involved and this train had plenty of steam. Things slowly fell apart, though, once key people started disappearing from the project (see what we did there?), and yet somehow still the first two segments of the trilogy were produced.
With all due respect to actress Taylor Schilling, she's no Angelina Jolie where audiences are concerned, so the star power was pretty much just gone from the get-go. Not to mention, the marketing tactics were shaky at best. "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" hit theaters on April 15, 2011 — a Tax Day release which was totally not coincidental, duh — and scored just $4.6 million. "Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike" followed on Oct. 12, 2012 and grossed even less with $3.3 million. The two-parter cost its producers an estimated $30 mil, so this was definitely not what Ms. Rand would consider a profitable venture.
Nevertheless, these stubborn filmmakers still want to see the series completed with "Part III," and they'd like to throw some of the crowd's money into the
toilet mix with their own by way of a Kickstarter drive.
'Cause you know you wanna know who John Galt is! Right?
"'Atlas Shrugged' was written over 50 years ago as a warning to future generations," the drive insists. "This movie is being produced to alert those same generations."
Creator Scott DeSapio claims the production budget ("just under 10 million") for "Part III" is already in place but that the additional $250k sought from the campaign "will be put towards expanding the production, distribution, and marketing budgets."
And to those smartypants who know that Rand is not particularly fond of charity and such (thusly making this effort a conundrum, to say the least), DeSapio has crafted his own little rationale for the move calling the site "not charity" but rather "a voluntary value-for value trade." Ha!
Better yet, the guy knows that non-Rand fans are gonna hate on this move because hello, so he's gone ahead and made peace with that fact and considers it fuel for his little dystopian engine. A total "I'm rubber, you're glue" situation.
"We know from our experience with the first two films that there is an incredible amount of vitriol out there and, we have every intention of capitalizing on it this time around. As we launch the Kickstarter campaign, those haters are going to come ALIVE," he wrote. "They're going to come after us in droves attacking us everywhere online. To them, we say thank you. Thank you for helping us spread the word. We're looking forward to the onslaught of all those negative blogs, facebook posts, and tweets."
Production on the movie is expected to begin later this year, with a late 2014 release.