Zach Braff Kicks Up $3.1 Million Smackers

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Kickstarter is not just for the "Veronica Mars" crowd, it appears. While not every celeb — lookin' at you, Melissa Joan Hart — can turn to the internet fundraising machine to make his or her little pet project happen, Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here" campaign has effectively proven that the "Mars" loot scoop was no fluke.

Braff's own Kickstarter campaign, which promises a writer-directorial follow-up to his hip 2004 indie "Garden State," closed on Friday with a whopping $3.1 million from 46,520 backers, which is 150-plus percent of what he'd aimed for when originating the campaign in late April.

Apparently, he'd had financiers lined up for the project already but saw what Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas were able to wrangle up with the "Mars" crowd and thought, hey, why make Money Guy-based sacrifices to the story when the public might be willing to pony up the production dough themselves? (Braff co-wrote the film last summer with his brother Adam and, like any writer, felt pretty protective of his property, so the story goes.)

For the uninitiated, Braff's "Wish" is not a sequel to "Garden State," per se, but does involve some of the same self-discovery-ish themes.

In short, it's the story of a man named Aidan Bloom who, like his "Garden State" counterpart Andrew Largeman, is "a struggling actor" who lacks a firm grip on his purpose and place in the world.

"He and his wife are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great Futuristic Space-Knight he'd always dreamed he'd be as a kid," Braff wrote of the character. Yada yada yada, his father becomes ill and his kids suddenly need to be homeschooled, so bam! In comes his big chance to live out some of those zero grav ideals and turn his family into some hipster version of "The Incredibles" a la this character sketch.

Braff will star as the astronaut wannabe/bummer dude Aidan Bloom, and Mandy Patinkin, Kate Hudson, Jim Parsons, Donald Faison, Josh Gad and Anna Kendrick will also appear in the film ... although we suspect that bit about Jim Parsons portraying a sexy pool boy in the video above was just a joke. Maybe.

As for Braff's reaction to the big score ...