Mandy Patinkin Joins Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’

Former Criminal Minds star Mandy Patinkin has joined Zach Braff’s Kickstarter-funded film Wish I was Here.

The casting announcement was made on the project’s Kickstarter page.

Wish I Was Here is based on an original screenplay from the former Scrubs star and his brother, Adam. Braff will play Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father, and husband who, at 35 years old, is struggling to find his purpose and identity. Patinkin will play Braff’s father. The Tony and Emmy award winner currently stars in Showtime’s Homeland, which has been renewed for a third season that will premiere on September 29. Patinkin is probably best known for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride and as Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds, which he called his “biggest mistake” because of the violent nature of the series.

Kickstarter offers incentives to backers who pledge money for a project. A certain amount may get a backer an autograph or some other collectible, or even a credit in a movie.

Braff launched his Kickstarter campaign for Wish I Was Here following the success of a similar campaign for a Veronica Mars film. “The Veronica Mars Movie Project” campaign drew over 90,000 backers who pledged almost $6 million, nearly triple the original goal of $2 million. What makes the feat even more amazing is the sheer amount of pledges between $400 and $10,000. Thirty people pledged $3,000, another 10 pledged $3,500 and four pledged $5,000. One backer pledged $10,000 for a speaking role in the film as a waiter or waitress.

With nine days left until the end of the campaign, Wish I Was Here has over 38,000 backers who have pledged $2,622,046 (at the time of this writing), well over the $2 million goal. The top backers, who pledged $100 to the project, will get to attend advanced screenings and Q&As in select cities, as well as art prints, tee shirts, and other cool stuff.

Braff said he decided to go the Kickstarter route because of his experience with his 2004 dramedy Garden State.

“I never talked to studios. I didn’t want to make it with studio. Since Garden State, I’ve had so much experience of that being a nightmare. I just thought I had nothing to lose. I thought, ‘I know I have this loyal fan base. I know they want me to make another movie,” Braff told The Hollywood Reporter. “I know they want me to be totally in charge of it. I know that it will take some explaining because there are people who don’t understand how the business works and will be confused.'”

Are you excited for Wish I Was Here?

[Photo credit: Helga Esteb /]