No longer content limiting his onscreen appearances to guest spots on Fox News and slur-slinging cameos in Sacha Baron Cohen movies, former Congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul has been cast in the latest Ayn Rand adaptation.
The 78-year-old politician will appear in “Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?,” the third and final installment of a trilogy based on Rand’s Objectivist novel, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Paul will be joined onscreen by several other conservative icons, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, former Fox News host Glenn Beck, talk-radio host Andrew Wilkow, and Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist.
"‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a fantastic book, but it's much more than a story -- it's a philosophy," Paul told THR. "It's influenced millions of people already and because of its greatness it's going to continue to influence a lot of people."
Paul and Beck will reportedly play TV commentators covering the fallout from a speech by inventor and capitalist John Galt, which forms the lynchpin of the novel. “Atlas Shrugged” producer Harmon Kaslow says most of their performances will be ad-libbed as they offer genuine responses to Galt’s speech. Presumably, their responses won't be snores from having fallen asleep during the speech, which runs 70 pages in the novel.
The “Atlas Shrugged” adaptations have been weighed down with financial difficulties since the first installment premiered in 2011. “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” cost a reported $20 million to film, but only brought in $4.6 million after a limited theatrical run at 465 theaters over five weeks. “Atlas Shrugged: Part 2” was produced for a leaner $10 million and opened on 1,012 screens, but only took in $3.3 million. For the third installment, the films’ producers turned to Kickstarter, though they acknowledged in a statement on the campaign’s page that the film had “already been funded” and the Kickstarter fundraiser was more about marketing than production costs. Still, the campaign raised nearly $200,000 over its $250,000 goal.
Watch Ron Paul discuss his role in “Atlas Shrugged” below.