The actor, who gained fame as curmudgeonly Stanley on The Office, took to Kickstarter in 2020 with the hopes of getting an Uncle Stan spinoff off the ground.
Fans who ponied up their hard-earned cash for a possible spinoff of The Office are going to get some of that cash returned, but the proposed starring vehicle for Leslie David Baker — Stanley to you and me — might just be dead. Or maybe not!
The beloved curmudgeon from the smash hit sitcom, which remains incredibly popular on streaming platforms ten years after its conclusion, was set to star in Uncle Stanley, a new series developed by Baker and partner Sardar Khan.
The pair launched a Kickstarter in 2020 for the proposed sequel series that would see Stanley Hudson retired from his sales position at Dunder Mifflin and enjoying retirement in Florida. The hook, then, was that he’d get a call from his nephew Lucky, asking for his help at his failing motorcycle/flower shop in LA.
In a fresh update, and the first in quite some time from Baker and Khan explained that while the project hits its $300,000 goal by raising $336,450.53, they are only able to refund $110,629.81. But there’s a good reason for that!
Apparently, despite hitting their goal, “a large portion of backers’ pledges were lowered, or completely dropped and never collected once the campaign was completed,” as they explained on Instagram. Thus, the lower amount, which is the amount they will be refunding.
In an update posted to both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the pair said they have remained “in constant communication” with their backers and are fulfilling backer rewards even as they are refunding all proceeds received.
Anyone who has already received their reward can also expect a refund. While they did not offer Indiegogo figures, they promised that all backers on that platform will also receive refunds.
One thing the update does not state is that the project is dead. In fact, the IG post on Baker’s page seems to indicate they are still hoping to move forward with it. The reasons for the delays include the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, which set them back. Once things started to get back on track, the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have halted things again.
“We have been working behind the scenes to get everything on track and rewards fulfilled,” reads this update. “We are just as excited as all of you to get this project out and truly appreciate all of your patience and support.”
The update does not explain how they plan to move forward after refunding all of the crowdsourced money received so far, or if they will reach out at a later date to their fanbase again.
Some fans have been skeptical of the proposed project from the jump, as noted by /Film, pointing out that Baker and Khan don’t even own the character of Stanley Hudson, as “The Office” in its entirety is wholly owned by NBC. The launch of “Stanley’s Nickels” in 2021 only caused more skepticism.
While Baker and Khan have explained why refunds will not reach the entire total, this numbers discrepancy could well continue that narrative of doubt that any of this was legitimate. That said, based on their explanation, anyone who did donate should be getting full refunds of whatever amount they actually provided to the project.