Zach Braff's bid to fund a follow-up to Garden State, his critically acclaimed 2004 directing debut, closed on Friday after gathering support worth a total of $3.1m from more than 46,000 supporters and fans on Kickstarter.
Braff's campaign for Wish I Was Here, the latest high-profile bid for financial support through the crowdfunding site, achieved its goal of $2m in pledged funds just days after launching on 24 April. Since then, the former star of TV comedy Scrubs has signed Kate Hudson, Jim Parsons and Homeland's Mandy Patinkin to appear in the film, which he co-wrote with his brother, Adam. Braff will also play the lead role of a father, actor and husband struggling to find his identity.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you. I won't let you down! Let's do this," Braff tweeted on Friday.
Wish I Was Here has been a source of controversy after Twitter users and bloggers questioned why Braff, who reportedly earned $350,000 an episode for the 2007-08 season of Scrubs, did not simply use his own cash to make the film. Others wondered if it was reasonable to ask fans to contribute when they would not benefit if the movie became a surprise box office hit. The issue was clouded further by last week's announcement that a traditional film financier, Worldview Entertainment, was due to provide "gap financing" on top of the money pledged by fans.
Braff subsequently said he felt fans were being well rewarded for their contributions, with special early screenings and after-parties available to many.
"I have said on here and in every interview I've done on this project that the film would be fully financed from three sources, my Kickstarter backers, my own money [and] pre-selling foreign theatrical distribution," he posted on Wish I Was Here's Kickstarter page.
"I guarantee you it will be a lot of [my] money but I don't know what it is yet because it will all depend on where we close on Kickstarter," he told Kim Masters of the Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.
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