Moviegoers largely, er, shrugged at the first two installments of “Atlas Shrugged,” the ongoing three-part film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel. Though the book has found a passionate readership, particularly among political conservatives and libertarians, the first two movies combined for just under $8 million at the box office in 2011 and 2012.
In an effort to drum up some buzz for the trilogy’s conclusion in the upcoming “Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?,” the filmmakers have enlisted an array of prominent conservatives to appear in the movie, including former congressman and possible presidential candidate Ron Paul.
In a video posted to the film’s YouTube page (watch it above), Paul talks about what inspired him to join the project. “‘Atlas Shrugged’ has been a fantastic novel, a fantastic book, but it’s much more than a story, of course,” he says. “It made me stop and think and assess all my beliefs and principles.”
Paul will portray a TV commentator covering the aftermath of a speech by the titular John Galt (Kris Polaha), and he’ll be joined by real-life media pundits Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Producer Harmon Kaslow quipped to THR, “We put out a casting call and those are the only guys who showed up. It could be the subject matter.”
Although “Part III” will mark Paul’s acting debut, it won’t be the first time he’s appeared on the big screen: He was infamously prank-interviewed by a disguised Sacha Baron Cohen in the 2009 comedy “Bruno.”
As with the first two “Atlas Shrugged” movies, which opened on Tax Day in 2011 and a month before the presidential election in 2012, “Part III” will be timed to make a political statement. The film hits theaters Sept. 12, about seven weeks before midterm elections.
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