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Zach Braff tries to Kickstart 'Garden State' follow-up

April 24, 2013|By Matthew Fleischer
  • Zach Braff's conceptual doodle of his new screenplay "Wish I Was Here."
Zach Braff's conceptual doodle of his new screenplay "Wish… (Zach Braff )

Nine years after making his directorial debut in “Garden State,” actor Zach Braff is looking to direct a follow-up he's written, entitled “Wish I Was Here,” about a struggling actor’s existential crisis.

One would think, given "Garden State’s" critical success and its $35.8-million worldwide box office take on an estimated budget of $2.5 million, Braff would have no trouble securing the financing and creative freedom he needs to make the film happen.

Not so, says Braff.

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“There are money guys willing to finance the project,” Braff says in video he posted online Wednesday morning, “but in order to protect their investment, they’re insisting on having final cut. Also, they want to control how the film is cast."

So Braff has decided to follow in the path of "Veronica Mars," the TV show which recently took to Kickstarter to raise more than $5.7 million from 91,585 donors. Braff's needs are more modest: He's seeking $2 million in next 30 days.

"Garden State" told the story of a wanna-be young actor who returns to his home town after the death of his mother. Natalie Portman co-starred.

If his campaign is successful, Braff insists it will give him the freedom to cast actors like Jim Parsons from “Big Bang Theory” in the role of his friend.

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Without Kickstarter, Braff insists he'll be forced into terrible sacrifices by Hollywood suits.

“What if instead of your friend, [Parsons] was a sexy pool boy? And what if that sexy pool boy was played by Justin Bieber?”

Braff has a reputation as being one of the most web-savvy actors in Hollywood. He has more than a million Twitter followers and is a regular in the Ask Me Anything section of the social aggregating site Reddit.

Early indications are the Kickstarter campaign will be a smashing success. Within hours of its launch, the “Wish I Was Here” campaign has already garnered nearly $300,000 from over 4,000 backers.

At that rate, Braff might just have enough money left over for a Justin Bieber sexy pool boy cameo. Just because he can.

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matthew.fleischer@latimes.com

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