Mystery Science Theater Launches Multimillion Dollar Kickstarter Campaign For Revival

We’d love to have MST 3000 back.

Soon, we may be able to add Mystery Science Theater 3000 to the seemingly endless list of planned revivals, but this one we’d actually welcome! (In fact, we included Mystery Science Theater on our list of reboots we’d actually like to see just a short time ago; coincidence?)

Anyway, Joel Hodgson, who created and starred in the original MST3K, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise a cool $2 million for three new episodes. It appears that the campaign launched today, and Hodgson is already nearly a quarter of the way to his goal, having raised just under $500,000. The fans have spoken! With their wallets! But we have some questions.

In the Kickstarter video, Hodgson himself agreed that the show is “inexpensive,” yet, he needs $2 million for his “preliminary goal” of three episodes. From his message on the Kickstarter page:

As soon as we reach our minimum goal of $2,000,000, we’ll be able to make three new feature length episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. But then, for each additional $1.1 million we raise, we can make three more…up to a full season of 12 episodes!

Okay. Also: Shortly after Hodgson gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly about the campaign, the multiplatform media production company Shout! Factory announced they’d acquired MSK2000 for “an undisclosed sum.” Shout! is mentioned in the Kickstarter announcement just once, referring to the company’s help in getting “all of the rights cleared up.” So maybe Shout! just bought the rights and doesn’t have any further development budget. It’s a…mystery!

In any event, if Hodgson’s campaign keeps going at the rate it is now, he’ll be giving Zach Braff (who raised $2 million for his movie Wish I Was Here in three days) a run for his money. 

In case you were wondering, Michael J. Nelson, head writer and host of Mystery Science Theater 3000, will not be involved in planned reboot,saying on Twitter to disappointed fans that it wasn’t “up to me.” He later wrote a follow-up Facebook post: “I loved my time at MST, but I was in essence a hired gun. The brand does not belong to me, and I make and have made (almost) zero dollars off it since it stopped production in 1999.” Is this a sign of Mystery Science Drama? Or just show business as usual?

Photos by Everett Collection