Crowdfunding seems to be the trend du jour amongst celebs looking to get funding for less marketable projects, but, unless that project is the Veronica Mars movie which took six years to get off the ground, the question of whether or not it's ethical to ask fans to pay for a movie to be created, then to pay again later when it's in theaters, should be discussed. 

This is not the case with James Franco's new crowdfunding effort, though. Before you groan, just give it a listen: According to Variety, the actor has indeed taken to Indiegogo to raise $500,000 so he can produce a film trilogy called the Palo Alto Stories, which are based off of his short story collection.

The only difference between Franco's campaign and that of others like Zach Braff's, or Zosia Mamet's failed attempt: Franco promises that all profits from the film will go to the charity Art of Elysium, which "encourages working actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions." Furthermore, the three films will be directed by young filmmakers who attended one of Franco's many alma maters, NYU.

You can head on over here to check out Franco's page. The campaign closes on July 17th. 

RELATED: A Guide to James Franco's Weirdest Side Projects

[via Variety]