Zachary Levi Wants to Kickstart a 'Chuck' Movie

Posted 2:06 PM March 15th, 2013 by Jeff Giles
Zachary Levi

Earlier this week, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell successfully spearheaded a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $2 million for a Mars movie in less than 24 hours, which you can bet has people thinking about what this might mean for the future of getting stuff funded in Hollywood. One of those people: Zachary Levi, former star of the NBC spy comedy Chuck.

Levi spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his efforts to bring his series to the big screen, recalling that "I went to both [executive producer] Chris Fedak and [Warner Bros. Television president] Peter Roth at the very end of the fifth season and said, ‘Hey what if we made an online movie and just sold it directly to fans? We could keep this going. It could be fun.’"

His pitch was rebuffed, but now that he's seen what a little crowdfunding magic can do, he's gearing up again -- and given that, as he put it, "‘Veronica Mars’, like ‘Chuck’, is a Warner Bros. [production], and because Warner Bros. has now opened that gate, I feel confident in being able to get the same results for a ‘Chuck’ movie," Levi feels like his odds of getting a green light are good.

And really, why not? While it may not have been quite the cult phenom that Veronica Mars was -- and it doesn't have the added benefit of a movie star like Kristen Bell in its cast -- Chuck did well enough to last for five seasons on a major network, and its combination of comedy, spy thriller action, and romance should translate well to the big screen.

"We are entering into the wild west of entertainment where essentially everybody can do what only studios could do for the last 70 years," noted Levi, and although it's always wise to steer clear of hyperbolic statements, he's basically right. At the moment, major corporations are the rights holders (and thus gatekeepers/potential profit centers) for projects like this, but as the fundraising burden shifts to creators (and/or fans), companies like Warner Bros. stand to lose a fair bit of intellectual property. Interesting times...

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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