Arts & EntertainmentThe EnvelopeCompany Town

Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here' hits its Kickstarter mark

Justin BieberKickstarterJim ParsonsNatalie Portman

Haters, hate away.

Despite facing criticism in the media and online for allegedly milking cash from fans, actor and director Zach Braff’s Kickstarter campaign to fund his latest film “Wish I Was Here” reached its $2-million fundraising goal over the weekend.

It only took three days.

“I really did not expect this level of support,” Braff said in an interview with The Times last week, as his campaign neared its goal. “It’s extremely gratifying.”

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“Wish I Was Here” is up to nearly $2.2 million with 25 days to go in the fundraising campaign.

The film is a follow-up to Braff's 2004 directorial debut "Garden State," in which he starred as a wanna-be young actor who returns to his home town after the death of his mother. Natalie Portman co-starred.

"Wish I Was Here" will star Braff again and cover similar territory — about a struggling 35-year-old actor's attempts to rediscover purpose in his life. 

Braff has said on his campaign’s page that he needs at least $2 million to ensure he has creative control over "Wish I Was Here" and over its casting decisions. He said he intends to cast Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory” in the role of his friend — though he gave no specifics about how large that part will be or what it will entail.

If Hollywood has its way, according to Braff, things would go something like this:

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

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Now that Braff has the cash he needs, it looks like Parsons’ job is safe.

But what about Bieber? Should Braff magically hit the $20-million mark, will we see a Bieber pool-boy cameo, just because?

“It’s funny,” Braff said. “There is a part in the movie for a young, singing kid who hangs out by the pool. Justin Bieber does happen to use my agency. Sometimes things do work out like that.

“That won’t be my case,” Braff clarified after a pause. “You will not see Justin Bieber in this film.”

ALSO:

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

Attention comedy geeks: Splitsider enters film distribution business

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’: Zach Braff on talking monkeys, bodysuits 

Follow Matthew Fleischer on Twitter @Mattefleischer

matthew.fleischer@latimes.com

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Justin BieberKickstarterJim ParsonsNatalie Portman
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