What happens when your first movie dies at the box office, gets savaged by critics and makes barely a blip on the cultural radar? If you’re producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, you spend even more money on the sequel, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
That’s right, even though the poor box office initially had Aglialoro putting the kibosh on plans for any sequels in the proposed trilogy, he quickly changed his mind and this fall the long awaited “Atlas Shrugged: Part 2” will hit theaters on October 12th. The $15 million dollar movie that shot this spring will now have a proper marketing budget says Kaslow, who has enlisted Russell Schwartz of Pandemic Marketing (and previously president of domestic marketing for New Line) to get the word out. He claims that “the industry will take us more seriously” with a better campaign and a 300 theater release, but if the filmmaking is anywhere near the disastrous first film, probably not. But it seems even the enthusiasm behind this project wasn’t able to keep the original cast in place.
Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler probably realized they have better things to do, and this time around, the roles of Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden will be played by Samantha Mathis (why?) and Jason “Hey it’s that guy” Beghe. In fact, pretty much all the major roles have been swapped out with D.B. Sweeney now playing John Galt, Esai Morales as Francisco d’Anconia and Kim Rhodes as Lillian Rearden.
Anyhow, we’ll see what Duncan Scott pulls together this fall, but judging by this teaser trailer, it won’t be subtle. [THR]