That packed house was filled with some of the staunchest Ayn Rand advocates on Earth. It was the “Galt’s Gulch Online Producers Only Premiere” of Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? and it was the first official showing of the film.
I then proceeded to introduce the other VIP guests on hand at the event, Producer Harmon Kaslow, Consultant David Kelley, Associate Producer Joan Carter and then, as I introduced Producer John Aglialoro, the words came out of my mouth, “the man of the hour.”
It was not a fitting introduction.
In 1991, a Library of Congress poll revealed that Atlas Shrugged is the second most influential book ever written.
Second only to the Bible.
That’s a hard legacy to live up to.
Imagine the courage required to take on the job of adapting such a book to film.
Imagine the passion for the ideas expressed in that book that would compel you to spend millions of dollars of your own money to propagate those ideas to as many people as possible.
Imagine the integrity of the man who would take on such an endeavor - knowing full well that he would be met with, not only resistance, but harsh criticism every step of the way.
Imagine knowing you would never live up to the legacy of the book but that you had to try… you had to give it everything you had... because it just had to be done - the ideas just had to make their way to the masses - come hell or high water.
Most of us will never know a battle like that of Producer John Aglialoro’s 22 year battle to bring Atlas Shrugged to the silver screen - 22 years of “No.”, “It can’t be done.”, “You’ll never make your money back.” 22 years of climbing an unscalable mountain.
I, however, have had the distinct honor of standing by this man for the past 4 years… watching him knock down barrier after barrier through sheer determination… listening to him wax poetic of his love for Ayn Rand and the importance of Atlas Shrugged… walking with him, steadfast as the walls around him collapsed - at times due to sabotage from within. All the while, never once considering stopping.
I am proud. Proud of every step, of every word, and of every moment this man has permitted me to be a part of. It has been an awe inspiring adventure and I would trade it for nothing.
Are the movies perfect? No. Do they live up to the legacy of the book? Of course not. But, what they do accomplish, what they do deliver on, is the ushering of Ayn Rand’s ideas to the forefront of public discourse. The sales of the book will go up this year, more people will be introduced to Ayn Rand’s ideas, and those ideas will be propagated further and wider than they ever have... just like with the release of each of the previous Atlas Shrugged films.
Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?, the final film in the trilogy, is now in theaters. If you’re in an area where the film is playing, grab a friend, head to the theater, and take part in this wonderful moment in the history of Atlas Shrugged. Buy some popcorn, introduce your friends to Ayn Rand, and say thank you to John Aglialoro - the man who made it all possible.
Thank you John Aglialoro. Thank you.
Scott DeSapio, Associate Producer