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For the first time, the filmmakers behind the Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy will raise production and marketing money through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.
The campaign is scheduled to kick off Monday and is designed to raise $250,000 of the film’s $10 million budget.
Filmmakers also said Monday that the movie has been officially titled, Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?
Filming is set to begin in the fall and, as with the first two installments, Who is John Galt? will get its theatrical release at a politically relevant time: in 2014 just ahead of the mid-term elections.
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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.
Despite the disappointing box-office numbers, producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro vowed to press on with Part 3. The filmmakers don’t necessarily need an extra $250,000 but they intend to ride the Kickstarter campaign to some free marketing, especially from detractors of Ayn Rand’s politically controversial story that is exceedingly popular with advocates of a smaller, less intrusive government.
“There is an incredible amount of vitriol out there and we have every intention of capitalizing on it this time around,” Kaslow tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The day we launch the Kickstarter campaign those haters are going to come alive. They’re going to come after us in droves, attacking us everywhere online. To them, we say, thank you.”
In Rand’s book, the U.S. is close to financial collapse and government officials blame the calamity on the most productive, wealthy and successful people in the country. When some of those scapegoats disappear, things only get worse. John Galt is a mysterious figure who may or may not be involved with the disappearances.
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In their mission statement for the Kickstarter campaign, the producers wrote: “Atlas Shrugged was written over 50 years ago as a warning to future generations. This movie is being produced to alert those same generations.”
Kaslow also cut a 4-minute video for the Kickstarter campaign, embedded below, that includes footage of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, John Stossel and Dennis Miller.
As with all Kickstarter campaigns, contributors do not profit financially, though they do get something for their money. The rewards for Who is John Galt? range from a simple thank you at the website to a ticket for the world premiere. Other rewards include being an extra in the movie and having your named carved into John Galt’s fictional house in a way that it will be visible on the screen to moviegoers.
In Part 1 of the Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy, protagonists Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden were played by Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler, respectively. In Part 2 they were played by Samantha Mathis and Jason Beghe. The filmmakers have not yet revealed who will star in or direct Part 3. Like the second installment, Part 3 will be distributed by Atlas Distribution Co.
Paul Bond email: Paul.Bond@THR.com
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