'Atlas Shrugged' Sequel Slicker, Faster than First Movie

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The sequel to Ayn Rand's epic trilogy, Atlas Shrugged Part Two, hits theaters across the country next Friday, Oct. 12.

"Atlas Shrugged Part I," released last year, cost producer and businessman John Aglialoro about $25 million to produce. After 19 years in the making, Part One was received at the box office tepidly and earned Aglialoro only $4.6 million.

Aglialoro said he hopes this second movie will resonate with Americans as the nation faces a heated debate over wealth distribution.

Atlas Shrugged Part Two brings Rand's robust defense of raw capitalism in a fast-paced tale of anti-capitalist regulators and parasitical bureaucrats grinding the economy down to a nub -- till the heroic entrepreneurs just can't take it anymore.

It's anticipated to be slicker and faster-paced than the first, with a train crash and a jet-plane chase.

The lead roles have all been filled by different actors, with Actress Samantha Mathis replacing Taylor Schilling as Taggart.

Cameos include Sean Hannity, Grover Norquist, and Teller of Penn & Teller. Actors Ray Wise and Paul McCrane, who played beside each other in "RoboCop" and have portrayed creepy villains in the past, will fill the roles of the two top government officials in the movie.

Aglialoro said doubters on both the left and right should embrace the film's context and the woman behind it, Rand.

"There's enough there for the liberals: no drug laws or sexual orientation issues. She's pro-choice. But so much more for the Right. I think Ayn Rand is a great ally for the Right because of her message on constitutionally limited government, free markets, really free markets," he said.

Even Aglialoro's stepson has spent much of his time trying to find ways Christians can come to accept Rand's more ultra-conservative, but atheist, philosophy.

However, "The Soul of Atlas" blogmaster, Mark Henderson, argues that aspects of her philosophy are "inconsistent with Christianity."

"I don't think they can necessarily be merged. I think there's a lot of uncommon ground. But I think there's a lot of common ground," Henderson said.

Despite their differences, both men are fascinated to see longtime Rand disciple Paul Ryan on the GOP ticket, even though he's equivocated in his devotion as the election approaches.

"It's no sin to disassociate himself and say, 'I reject Ayn Rand's philosophy in terms of her being an atheist.' I wish he had not separated himself so completely from the moral basis for capitalism, which he certainly does agree with," Aglialoro said of Ryan.

"I love the fact that he's taken things from Ayn Rand and internalized those, made them his own. I love the fact that he's pursuing a relationship that's found in Jesus Christ" Henderson said.

Atlas Shrug Part Two will open on three times as many screens as the first installment.

Rand first published "Atlas Shrugged" in 1957. It was the last novel by the Russian-born author, who at age 12 saw her father's business confiscated in the Bolshevik Revolution.

The futuristic fable is a lengthy 1,100-pages and written in three parts.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.