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Zach Braff Nabs Millions in Traditional Funding for Kickstarter-Funded 'Wish I Was Here,' Casts Anna Kendrick UPDATE

Thompson on Hollywood By Beth Hanna and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood May 16, 2013 at 11:52AM

UPDATE: Zach Braff's successful if controversial Kickstarter campaign for his next project "Wish I Was Here" -- which has raised over $2.6 million still with days to go -- has now helped the writer-director to land millions of dollars in traditional funding for the project, from Worldview Entertainment. The budget of the film is reportedly less than $10 million, with funds coming from Kickstarter, and gap funds from Worldview and foreign pre-sales from Wild Bunch.
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Zach Braff
Zach Braff
UPDATE: Zach Braff's successful if controversial Kickstarter campaign for his next project "Wish I Was Here" -- which has raised over $2.6 million still with days to go -- has now helped the writer-director to land millions of dollars in traditional funding for the project, from Worldview Entertainment. The budget of the film is reportedly less than $10 million, with funds coming from Kickstarter, and gap funds from Worldview and foreign pre-sales from Wild Bunch.

Braff was criticized harshly for his decision to Kickstart the film, with many claiming that crowd-funding should be for those projects without the possibility of traditional financing. Braff mentions in his Kickstarter mission statement that "financing an independent film the traditional way often means having to give away your right to 'final cut.'" This new development will no doubt fuel the fire of his critics' grievances.

In other multi-millionaires-who-turn-to-crowdfunding news, reportedly Ron Howard and Howard Grazer are following in the footsteps of the "Veronica Mars" success and planning just such a method for financing a "Friday Night Lights" film. 

Meanwhile, Braff has now cast Anna Kendrick in "Wish I Was Here," who joins Josh Gad (Tony-nominated for "The Book of Mormon") and Mandy Patinkin of "Homeland." 

Josh Gad
Josh Gad

Braff will direct and star in the film, which he promises is a tonal follow-up to his 2004 film "Garden State." He wrote the screenplay with his brother Adam. It follows a struggling actor (Braff), who is trying to find his purpose in life. Kendrick will play a young woman who's into Cosplay with Braff's character's brother (Gad), while Patinkin will play Braff's father.


This article is related to: Zach Braff, Kickstarter , CASTING WATCH


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.