Inspired by Veronica Mars and Zach Braff, Spike Lee is appealing directly to his fans to fund his next movie.
The Oscar-nominated director launched a Kickstarter campaign on Monday in search of $1.25 million to finance a mystery project, explaining that the film industry has turned away from the sort of movies that he has made for nearly 30 years.
"With the current climate in The Hollywood Studio System it's not an encouraging look for Independent Filmmakers," he wrote, explaining his reasoning for starting the campaign. "I'm not hating, just stating the facts. Super Heroes, Comic Books, 3D Special EFX, Blowing up the Planet Nine Times and Fly through the Air while Transforming is not my Thang. To me it's not just that these Films are being made but it seems like these are the only films getting made. To The Studios it seems like every Film must be a Home run on a Global scale, a Tent Pole Enterprise, able to spin off Sequel after Sequel after Sequel after Sequel after Sequel after Sequel."
Lee teased that the story was about "Human beings who are addicted to blood. Funny, sexy, and bloody (and it's not "Blacula")."
After 2012's Red Hook Summer, which earned mixed reviews from critics, Lee directed the upcoming remake of the Korean horror film Oldboy; the movie, which stars Josh Brolin, had a creepy marketing presence at this weekend's Comic-Con. His last several films have been less-than-successful; Red Hook Summer earned just $340,000 at the box office, while 2008's Miracle at St. Anna, a World War II-set movie, made just $7 million on a $45 million budget.
Lee is offering a long list of prizes to donors, ranging from a thank you tweet and updates on the production from Lee himself (to $5 donors), all the way up to an evening spent eating dinner and watching the Knicks from Lee's courtside seats at Madison Square Garden (that'll cost you $10,000). A $5,000 donation, meanwhile, earns you an Associate Producer credit on the movie.
Veronica Mars (which was at Comic-Con this weekend) and Braff's movie, which is called Wish I Was Here, both had a plot outlined at the outset of their respective Kickstarter campaigns, but Lee has offered donors no plot or premise to his proposed movie, other than the mysterious "addicted to blood" hint.