Set to shoot in Los Angeles this summer, Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here has fast become one of the most talked-about projects being developed in the past month.
Braff launched his independent film on Kickstarter, and as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for the film to reach its $2m. goal. The multi-hyphenate has already proven himself an incredibly talented director with his directorial debut, Garden State. And I think that’s one of the main reasons why people have been so willing to pledge their money to support a long-awaited sophomore feature.
The casting has been coming along nicely in the past week or so, with Anna Kendrick, Josh Gad, and Mandy Patinkin all coming on board.
And now Braff has announced that he has found his leading lady in Kate Hudson.
Braff also confirms, as we previously expected from his announcement video, that Jim Parsons and Donald Faison (known to many as Turk in Scrubs) will be a part of the cast.
The character of Sarah (my wife) needs to be pretty, funny, believable as a mother of two children ages 5 and 12 and an actress who’s skilled at both comedy and drama.
I fell in love with Kate Hudson when I first saw her in Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous”. (She was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Penny Lane.)
Years later, we have become good friends. There’s an added benefit in already being close with the actor playing opposite you; a familiarity that’s real and isn’t forced. As we shoot in August, I loved the idea of jumping into this movie-marriage with someone with whom I’ve already shared lots of laughs.
Braff will of course be taking the lead himself as Aidan Bloom.
“WISH I WAS HERE” tells the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, husband and dad who at 35 is still trying to find his true place in life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially, and Aidan passes his time fantasizing about being the futuristic Space Knight he always dreamed he’d be as a little kid.
When his ailing father can no longer afford to pay for private school for his two kids, and with the only available public school on its last legs, Aidan reluctantly agrees to attempt to home-school them. The result is chaos, until Aidan decides to scrap the traditional academic curriculum and come up with his own. Through teaching them about life his way, he gradually discovers the parts of himself he couldn’t find.
The actor-writer-director penned the script with his brother, Adam, last summer, and I can’t wait to see Braff get behind the camera once more.
Hudson’s casting sounds like a brilliant choice to me, and I can definitely see her and Braff having a great on-screen chemistry. The actress has most recently starred in the acclaimed adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist opposite Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, and Kiefer Sutherland, and will soon be seen this summer in Greg Mottola’s HBO film, Clear History, led by Larry David.
The project is still live on Kickstarter until May 24th, and has over 40,000 backers and counting.
Braff is expecting to begin production in August, and has spoken of eyeing a Sundance premiere in January next year, before heading into theatres in the autumn/fall of 2014. I can’t wait. You just know this is going to be something special.