Three aspiring teenage film-makers have scored a coup after British writer and actor Stephen Fry signed on to act in their debut project.

Adrian Bliss, Benjamin Robbins and Toby Stubbs are producing Dardentor, an adventure comedy, and have raised the funding through an online campaign.

The three teenagers, who are sitting their A-level exams, have created a website, which invites the public to sponsor them online in return for a credit at the end of the film. They have raised $163,000 (£100,000) through the online campaign and they have a target of $1.63m (£1m). One businessman has pledged $16,300 (£10,000), according to 18 year old Bliss.

The film is based on a forgotten book by Jules Verne. It tells the story of two childhood friends who get into trouble with some London gangsters. They decide to try and buy their way out of trouble by rescuing billionaire Clovis Dardentor, who has said he will give his entire fortune to any man who saves his life. Fry will play Mr Eustache, a role based on that character.

Interest in the project has been driven via blogs Facebook and Myspace. The teenagers have included an ad page on their site in order to generate additional funding. Fry, who has bought two advertising spaces and a credit from the site, said: “I’m proud to be a part of it. Brilliant idea, charmingly implemented.”