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Sylvester Stallone Takes to Kickstarter After Investor Pulls $250K from 'Reach Me' (VIDEO)

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 22, 2013 at 1:03PM

Sylvester Stallone's "Reach Me," directed by John Herzfeld ("2 Days in the Valley"), recently hit a snag when one of its investors pulled $250K worth of funding out of the picture. And so -- ta da! -- Stallone, Herzfeld and producer Cassian Elwes are now on Kickstarter to crowdfund the rest of the film. Watch their pitch video, below.
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Sylvester Stallone in "Reach Me" Kickstarter video
Sylvester Stallone in "Reach Me" Kickstarter video

Sylvester Stallone acting vehicle "Reach Me," written and directed by John Herzfeld ("2 Days in the Valley"), recently hit a snag when one of its investors pulled $250K worth of funding out of the picture. And so -- ta da! -- Stallone, Herzfeld and producer Cassian Elwes ("Lee Daniels' The Butler")  are now on Kickstarter to crowdfund the rest of the drama about a sports coach turned self-help author. This is just the kind of movie it's hard to finance these days. Watch their pitch video, below.

The team has until September 19 to raise the funds. As Deadline points out, with recognizable names like Stallone, Kelsey Grammar, Kyra Sedgwick, Nelly, Kevin Connolly and Danny Trejo, the film most likely won't have a problem finding backers. Its plot is briefly summarized on the Kickstarter page:

"Several characters whose lives collide due to an underground inspirational book written by an anonymous author."

Creative perks for backers include a fight session with MMA champion Urijah Faber for $2000; and having a song -- written by the backer -- included in the film, with an onscreen radio DJ announcement of the backer's name, for $10,000.

Stallone recently made news with his "Expendables" Twitter tiff with Bruce Willis, who declined to be in the third installment of the middle-aged-guys-with-guns franchise for only $3 million. Stallone tweeted that this made Willis "greedy and lazy." Harrison Ford has subsequently replaced Willis.

Buyer beware. While high-profile Kickstarter campaigns from wily promo-whiz Spike Lee, Zach Braff and others have turned Kickstarter into a viable funding source, there are always gazillions of projects of varying quality struggling to find backing. Clearly, when the usual financing suspects in and outside Hollywood fail to deliver, Kickstarter is more and more considered an acceptable option. But one, you need a loyal fan base. And two, a tough skin. 

Let the celebrities-shouldn't-invade-Kickstarter backlash begin---but the train has left the station. 


This article is related to: News, Sylvester Stallone, Kickstarter , News


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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.