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Ray Bradbury’s ‘Dandelion Wine’ Movie Gets Kickstarter Campaign

Producers of Ray Bradbury’s semi-autobiographical “Dandelion Wine” are stepping up efforts to bring the project to the big screen, via a Kickstarter campaign.

The project was unveiled in 2011 with Phoenix Pictures’ Mike Medavoy, Doug McKay and the husband-wife team of Rodion Nahapetov and Natasha Shliapnikoff. Medavoy and McKay are no longer involved.

The Kickstarter campaign launched Thursday with a goal of $350,000 by Jan. 9. It includes a video of Bradbury asking that Nahapetov direct “Dandelion Wine,” which he predicted will win the Oscar for best picture.

“It is my wish because it is a work of love,” Bradbury said.

Shliapnikoff said the duo has turned to Kickstarter in order to tap into Bradbury’s fanbase. “Ray was always very connected with his fans,” she added.

Premiums include $5,000 to be a guest on the set and $7,000 for an appearance in the film as an extra.

Crowdfunding has been a viable tactic for several films recently. The Broken Lizard comedy troupe recently began production on “Super Troopers 2” after raising $4.4 million on Indiegogo — 77% of the $5.7 million raised by fans seeking a “Veronica Mars” movie on Kickstarter. Zach Braff raised $3.1 million to fund “Wish I Was Here” in 2013.

Nahapetov had written the script while Bradbury was still alive. The story, published in 1957, takes place in the 1928 summer in Green Town, Ill. — which closely resembles Bradbury’s home of Waukegan, Ill. The protagonist is 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding, whose short stories are tinged with fantasy.

Nahapetov, a Russian native, made a short film in Russia based on the novel, saying that the novel represented “the childhood I never had.”

The film deal for “Dandelion Wine” was announced shortly before Bradbury’s 91st birthday.

“This is the best birthday gift I could ask for,” Bradbury said at the time. “Today, I have been reborn! ‘Dandelion Wine’ is my most deeply personal work and brings back memories of sheer joy as well as terror. This is the story of me as a young boy and the magic of an unforgettable summer which still holds a mystical power over me.”

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