Hal Hartley wants to finish a trilogy. And so he has turned to Kickstarter for his latest project “Ned Rifle,” a third and final chapter to conclude the stories told in “Henry Fool” (1997) and “Fay Grim” (2006). Original cast members Parker Posey, James Urbaniak and Liam Aiken are onboard to star.
This is Hartley’s second go-round with Kickstarter, which has been highly successful for celebrity filmmakers with a vision. In 2011, he launched a campaign for “Meanwhile” and exceeded his goal of $40,000. But with a goal of $384,000, stakes are higher for “Ned Rifle.”
An indie darling since his debut feature “The Unbelievable Truth” competed for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1989, Hartley and his idiosyncratic dramedies–such as the wonderful “Trust” (1991) starring late muse Adrienne Shelly–have long been absent from the screen.
“Well, I’m not the most popular filmmaker in the world,” Hartley writes on his Kickstarter page. “But I’m not difficult and obscure either. I like a good laugh, action, adventure, romance. And NED RIFLE has all this. But it’s not mainstream entertainment.”
Here’s the synopsis for “Ned Rifle,” penned by Hartley himself, who says he has “written a hit”:
In this swiftly paced conclusion, Henry and Fay’s son, Ned, played by Liam Aiken, turns 18 and leaves a witness protection program. His mom has spent the last four years in military custody for alleged terrorist activities (see Fay Grim, 2007) and is transferred to a federal penitentiary to serve a life sentence. Ned, who has absorbed the Christianity of the well adjusted and devout family he has been living with, nevertheless sets out to find and kill his dad, Henry Fool, for the mess the man has made of Fay’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the brilliant, sexy, and troubled Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even the great man’s arrival in the lives of the Grim family.
Head here to check out Hartley’s Kickstarter. You can stream “Henry Fool” on Amazon Prime, “Fay Grim” on Netflix and the early Hartley effort “Flirt” free on SnagFilms. Check out Hartley’s “Ned Rifle” pitch video below.