The second installment in the “Atlas Shrugged” film franchise looks … different.
Yes, “Atlas Shrugged: Part II” features new actors playing Dagny Taggart and the rest of Ayn Rand’s cast of characters. The other changes are more profound, and positive, particularly for a franchise attacked by nearly all major film critics who chafed at its unabashedly right-leaning elements.
“Part II,” hitting theaters Oct. 12, finds the government clamping down on citizens in a way even Elizabeth Warren might reject “to protect the security of our fellow citizens,” we’re told.
Wages are frozen, copyrights now belong to the government and society is on the brink of collapse.
“I won’t be a slave,” says Dagny, now played by Samantha Mathis.
The trailer couldn’t have more red meat for Rand fans if the author came back from the dead and played Dagny herself, what with talk of rejecting oppressive rules and using ingenuity to spark freedom.
The first “Shrugged” didn’t have the budget of more mainstream fare, but “Part II” looks glossier, more impressive in its presentation. The cast is more familiar, too, including Esai Morales (“NYPD Blue”), Patrick Fabian (“The Last Exorcism”) and D.B. Sweeney (“The Cutting Edge,” “The Event”).