The producers of the film version of “Atlas Shrugged: Part One” apologized for an “embarrassing” error on the DVD cover that described the theme of their adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel as one of “self-sacrifice.” As disciples of Rand, one of libertarianism’s heroes, are supposed to know, Atlas Shrugged is actually all about “rational self-interest.”
On Friday, the producers announced plans to replace more than 100,000 title sheets on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the movie because they “were packaged with an inaccurate synopsis of ‘Atlas Shrugged.’”
Whereas, according to the producers, the book presents “a cogent argument advocating a society driven by rational self-interest,” the synopsis instead described it as “AYN RAND’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life.”
“It’s embarrassing for sure and of course, regardless of how or why it happened, we’re all feeling responsible right now.” said Scott DeSapio, Atlas Productions’ COO and Communications Director, in a statement. “You can imagine how mortified we all were when we saw the DVD but, it was simply too late - the product was already on shelves all over the country. It was certainly no surprise when the incredulous emails ensued. The irony is inescapable.”
Harmon Kaslow, CEO of Atlas Productions and the film’s producer, added: “As we all well know, the ideas brought to life in Atlas Shrugged are entirely antithetical to the idea of ‘self-sacrifice’ as a virtue. Atlas is quite literally a story about the dangers of self-sacrifice.”
“Atlas Shrugged” was released in April to paltry box office returns and terrible reviews (including TPM’s review here). The movie was independently financed and distributed by a conservative businessman, and was promoted by tea party groups like Freedomworks who see Rand’s themes as a natural extension of Tea Party principles.
Though there was some speculation that the producers wouldn’t bother releasing the planned second and third parts of the movie because of how badly it did in the theaters, the producers added in the statement Friday that part two is expected to be released in 2012.
h/t Sean O’Neal at The A.V. Club.