'Atlas Shrugged: Part II' Filmmakers Hope to Sway Election (Video)

7:38 PM PST 10/12/2012 by Paul Bond

"There’s no time left to pull any punches," says producer Harmon Kaslow, who acknowledges his movie was released before Nov. 6 in an effort to influence U.S. voters.

The studios and filmmakers behind Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln are avoiding the appearance of trying to influence the U.S. presidential election by holding their movies' release dates until after Nov. 6.

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Another film, though, is making no bones about its attempt to sway voters. Atlas Shrugged: Part II, which opened Friday, not only wants to encourage moviegoers to vote against President Barack Obama, it’s boasting of its motives in its ad campaign. 

Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel is now a major motion picture event. Will it influence the election?” a TV and radio commercial has been asking.

And if that's too subtle, the filmmakers aren't shy about clarifying their message.

“There’s no time left to pull any punches,” producer Harmon Kaslow tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We purposely set out to release the film just before the election. It was no accident. As a country, we need to right the ship now. This is the most important election of our lifetime and we intend on shining a light on Ayn Rand’s ideas.”

That attitude goes against recent history in Hollywood.

When Sony indicated it might release director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, just a few weeks ahead of the November presidential election, conservatives cried liberal bias. The studio was trying to remind voters of Obama’s biggest foreign-policy victory right before they head to the voting booths, they said. While Sony dismissed the accusations as ridiculous, it eventually scheduled the movie for Dec. 19.

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More recently, Steven Spielberg said that he specifically asked Disney to release his new film, Lincoln, about the country’s first Republican president, after the Nov. 6 election, lest it become a “political football.”

Making his on-screen acting debut in Atlas Shrugged: Part II is Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity, who also doesn't mince words about what he hopes to accomplish with the film.

“I want to influence the election,” he tells THR. “I don’t want America to accumulate $6 trillion more debt and have a net loss of jobs in the next four years like we had in the last four years. So if this movie has an impact, I’m all for it.”

So, liberals beware. If you see Atlas Shrugged: Part II, it could offend your political sensibilities, and Kaslow is fine with that.

“Ayn Rand’s heroes speak to the individual in all of us, they do not speak for everyone,” he says. “For those that feel a sense of entitlement – as in the government owes them something simply because they exist – Atlas is not a story for them. They are whom we are warning against.”

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com

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