Life Imitates Art: A number of Soviet dissidents did take menial jobs, writing in their spare time. Because they were critical of the government, the Soviets wouldn't hire them as writers. Refusing to work was considered "social parasitism" and a serious crime on the Soviet Union.
Out of the heroes' camp, Taggart, Rearden, Mulligan and Galt are names of Scots-Irish extraction, just as their opponents Ferris, Kinnan, Chalmers and Boyle. Ethnicities associated in popular culture with business and politics (Jews, like Ayn Rand herself, and others) are nonexistent.
Technology Marches On: A "super-color-four-foot-screen television set" is mentioned as being "erected" in a public park like it was some sort of monument; today you can get one for a few hundred dollars and mount it on your wall in an hour or so.
For the film
Ashcan Copy: Millionaire investor John Aglialoro bought an 18-year long option on the book, and tried to pitch it to various studios throughout the 90s and the 00s. With his options set to expire, Aglialoro sunk much of his personal fortune in financing the first installment in the hopes of a higher budget for the next installments. It didn't work out the way he wanted to.
Box Office Bomb: All three films were miserable financial failures, with none of them even making back their budgets despite the budgets for each continually being slashed in half:
Part I made US$ 4.6 million on a US$ 20 million budget.
Part II made US$ 3.3 million on a US$ 10 million budget
Part III made US$ 846 thousand on a US$ 5 million budget.
Doing It for the Art: Look above you at the critical reception of the film. It's obviously not being done for big bucks. It's for fans and would-be fans of Ayn Rand. Conservative radio host Jack Hunter summed it up with this remark: "Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies youll ever see"
Executive Meddling: The first film flops and they continue on but with an entirely new cast? Someone has a personal interest in this.
Meaningful Release Date: The first installment came out on Tax Day in the US, while the second installment came out near the 2012 elections.
Not Screened for Critics: The second film wasn't screened for critics, instead it was shown for the conservative Heritage Foundation and libertarian Cato Institute. Producer John Aglialaro claimed it was because professional movie critics had dubious integrity. Then the film actually came out and managed to do even worse than its predecessor did even without critics giving it early bad reviews.
The Other Darrin: The entire cast changes between all three films. In particular, Dagny Taggart starts out being played by Taylor Schilling in the first film, then is played by Samantha Mathis in the second film, and Laura Regan in the third.