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‘Expendables 2’ Director Simon West Turns to Crowdfunding for ‘Salty’

Action specialist Simon West has turned to crowdfunding to finance his action-comedy “Salty” — with backers receiving an actual stake.

The British director made the announcement Wednesday on the U.K. SyndicateRoom crowdfunding platform through a video that touted his background directing “The Expendables 2,” “Con Air,” “The General’s Daughter” and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”

“Salty” is centered on an aging rock star who’s persuaded by his wife to take a holiday in Thailand, where she’s kidnapped by pirates while elephant trekking. West will direct from Mark Haskell Smith’s script, adapted from his novel of the same name.

“I’ve shot films all over the world,” West says in the video. “‘Salty’ is a great project for me because it’s full of humor, heartwarming characters, great action.”

West said he wants to go outside the studio system.

“During my two decades in the movie business I’ve funded films in a variety of ways, but for this one I was determined to break away from the big budget, big studio model,” he added. “With the studios’ deep pockets comes bureaucracy that’s inefficient, expensive and which can stifle creativity.”

Investors have already bought about $800,000 of equity in Salty Films — about 28% of the goal of raising $3 million of the $10 million budget. Unlike in the U.S., investors are allowed to receive returns on their investments from the SyndicateRoom.

West has also disclosed that he’s in talks with band the Who to team on a TV series, “Mods and Rockers,” set in London in the 1960s.

If the deal goes through, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry would handle music on the series and co-produce with West, who will direct and produce with manager and film producer Bill Curbishley.

The news was first reported by Screen.com.

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