'Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?' Sets Sept. 12 Release Date (Exclusive)

 Elisabeth Caren

Filmmakers behind the third Atlas Shrugged movie have set the politically opportune date of Sept. 12 to answer the question they pose: "Who is John Galt?"

The movie is the final installment in the Atlas Shrugged film trilogy, which is based on Ayn Rand's novel of the same name that has become a favorite among libertarians and others who promote capitalism and have disdain for excessive government regulation.

Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? stars Laura Regan and Rob Morrow as protagonists Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden, while Kristoffer Polaha plays the mysterious John Galt, who may or may not be responsible for the disappearance of many of the most productive (and richest) people in society.

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The release date, seven weeks ahead of what are expected to be contentious midterm elections, was chosen to take advantage of a political climate that producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro intend to use to their marketing advantage. It's a strategy they used for the first two films in the trilogy, though with only limited success: The first installment was released on Tax Day 2011 and made $4.6 million domestically, while the second was released a month prior to the most recent presidential election and made $3.3 million domestically.

"We fully expect people to draw a connection between the political implications in Atlas to the midterm elections and use the film as an opportunity to show their support for Atlas' message of freedom and the rights of the individual," Aglialoro said.

Kaslow adds that "people who have read Atlas will also very much appreciate the significance of a September release date," given that Rand began writing the book Sept. 2, 1946, and she used the date to mark many significant events in the novel. Sept. 2 also is known in some circles as Atlas Shrugged Day.

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This time around, the filmmakers also used Kickstarter to raise $446,907 -- just a small portion of the budget and far more than the campaign's goal -- and they are hoping to get a marketing boost from the 3,554 donors who are likely to become evangelists for the movie.

The Kickstarter page includes a four-minute video, embedded below, that includes footage of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and John Stossel.

The movie is being distributed by Atlas Distribution Co., an entity created for the purpose of doing so. "We're considering several scenarios, including a platform theatrical release in those parts of the country where the prior films received a lot of support," said Bill Lewis, the company's general sales manager.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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