At First Glance: “Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?”

From a personal standpoint, it’s very rare for a trilogies third trailer to get one even the slightest bit excited! Sequels as a general rule are usually inferior, for various reasons.

On Aug. 11, at long last, the first official trailer was finally released for the Atlas Distribution Company film “Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?” or as I love to refer to it as, as it works better as a title, “Atlas Shrugged: Part III”. If you’ve managed to see the first two, or read the book, then there’s a lot worth getting excited for in this conclusion, to a film that took a very long time to get made.

This drama stars Kristoffer Polaha (“Produce”, “Back in the Day”), Laura Regan (“NCIS: Los Angeles”, “Fairly Legal”), Joaquim de Almeida (“Revolution”, “Bones”), Eric Allan Kramer (“NCIS: Los Angeles”, “Good Luck Charlie”), Rob Morrow (“Begin Again”, “The Whole Truth ), Larry Cedar (“Perception”, “Mistresses”), and Greg Germann (“The Little Rascals Save the Day”, “Law & Order: SVU”).

The film is directed by James Manera (“Nash Bridges”) and written by Manera and Harmon Kaslow. The film is the third part of the book of the same name by Ayn Rand.

The film is slated for release on Sept. 12.

This film series may be a small, and virtually unheard of, but dumped on by the critics that saw it, and for what it’s worth, it’s accomplished a great deal as a film series adaptation.

Firstly, and this films trailer shows it, although I know of it’s production history, has a small budget. It may be somewhat larger than before, but not by much. Never the less, I’m sure it will be a great conclusion.

As stated above, I’ve read the book, and while it’s more known, as is the author, for extreme philosophical ideas, I fell in love with it from a literary perspective. The story and characters were just incredible. In walks a non-traditional manner of telling a story. This is carried over, I feel, pretty well.

Regan and the entire cast, are the third group of people to portray most of these characters. It was strange at first, as will it be here, but there’s always something new to get from the new portrayals. A new way of thinking. That’s what makes this film series pretty brilliant and thought provoking.

This trailer was kind of skimpy on much action or overall plot details, focusing instead on a growing romance between the leads, but still shows enough of what the stories overall message is. Yes, the story has a specific message, much like the book, which is where this differs as an adaptation. Most adaptations focus on the best way to translate the contents of a book, including characters, scenes, types of dialogue; this series focuses on how to ensure the message of the book and author are in tact, but easy enough to understand as a casual viewer. Not that easy, but I believe successfully done thus far.

Which is why I’m excited for this last film. For a series with an unknown cast, directors, writers, and crew, plus a low budget, the overall quality of these films is on par with that of some made for TV movie. I’m confident that this film, as it stands from the trailer, will deliver what I’m excited for and what got me excited for this film series. For instance, there’s a massive, 90 page long monologue by John Galt, and that of course, can’t be replicated as such. I’m excited to see him deliver this speech, which is shown a little in the trailer.

The saddest part isn’t that there is once again a new cast or that most of them are somehow unknown actors, but I the writer and director. They have virtually nothing to their names. Does that mean the final product will suck? No. But it gives you more pause as you have nothing really successful or mildly so, to point at and say, “Hey, they did that.”

When this series first started to be promoted I was instantly hooked. One simple clip, of an encounter with the films heroine, and I was sold on every aspect. After watching it, and eventually the film, over and over, I knew this small almost indie film, was well done. Here’s to a solid ending!

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