Anna Kendrick has signed on for one of the lead roles in the Zach Braff upcoming indie film “Wish I Was Here.” The Oscar nominated actress (“Up in the Air”) of “Twilight” fame will play a young woman obsessed with Cosplay who garners the attention of Braff’s character’s brother in the film.
Kendrick’s attachment is also good news for the Braff Kickstarter project, which has been plagued with controversy in recent weeks. She is the second star to join the cast this week along with Mandy Patinkin, best known for playing Saul Berenson on “Homeland.” These two performers’ involvement with the film has helped curtail some of the backlash from critics concerning Braff’s seemingly misleading and contradictory methods of securing funds for the project.
From an undeniably successful Kickstarter campaign that began on on April 23, Braff has already raised more than $2.6 million from 38,000-plus backers for “Wish I Was Here.” However, following updates released on Wednesday, it has been reported that the movie-investment company Worldview Entertainment has stepped up to provide “gap financing” for the film’s estimated $5 million to $5.5 million budget. This has been seen a major blow to Braff’s fans who say it violates the spirit of crowd-funding as set forth by Braff himself, who claimed he did not want industry types getting in the way of the director’s final cut.
Braff responded to the Worldview Entertainment issue directly on his Kickstarter update page, claiming that the project is only funded by three sources: Kickstarter backers, his own money, and pre-selling foreign theatrical distribution. Braff argued, “Nothing about the making of this movie has changed. This movie is happening because backers funded it. This film would not be happening without my backers.”
When Rob Thomas’ Kickstarter effort for The Veronica Mars Movie Project became the fastest campaign to reach its goal of $ 2 million in Kickstarter history, it threw open the doors to new possibilities for big name filmmakers. But with this recent “gap financing” criticism, it is evident that the film industry is still figuring out how best to make use of crowdfunding.