In one of the biggest Kickstarter success stories so far, Veronica Mars showrunner Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell rallied the troops of their fanbase in a campaign to raise a few million dollars that would be used to make a follow-up movie. The Kickstarter campaign generated just over $5.7 million and the film is now set for release in 2014.
The trailer for Thomas’ crowd-funded Veronica Mars movie debuted at Comic-Con earlier this summer, and now the writer and producer is all set to move on to his next big TV project. As those who’ve watched the new Veronica Mars clips will know, the film picks up with Bell’s character working as a “bigshot New York lawyer,” and Thomas’ interest in the subject matter has apparently inspired him to explore similar ground.
Deadline reports that Thomas has teamed up with writer Graham Norris to create a show about a modern-day legal practice, which will be based on Victor Hugo’s beautiful yet tragic novel about (one of) the French revolution(s), Les Misérables. The show has been picked up by Fox with script commitment plus penalty, meaning that we should at the very least get to see the pilot episode.
Les Misérables has been adapted countless times on the stage, on television and on film, so it can’t hurt to try an alternative interpretation of the source material. The most recent version was Tom Hooper’s recent big-screen delivery of the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, which received average reviews but performed impressively at the box office. It’s probably not a stretch to say that Fox’s decision was partially spurred by this demonstration of the story’s sustained popularity.
It’s safe to say, however, that Thomas’ new drama probably won’t feature a lot of singing or dancing. The Jean Valjean analog is a genius lawyer who spends his days helping the innocent by running a legal exoneration program, whilst at the same time trying to escape the consequences of an unjust conviction in his own past. The role of Javert is filled by a fierce U.S. attorney obsessed with resurrecting “the ghosts of the past.”
For fans of Thomas’ writing, this new project is definitely worth keeping an eye on, if only to see how well the characters and themes of Les Misérables translate into a modern setting. Perhaps Bell, who guest-starred on Thomas’ show Party Down before her lead role in Veronica Mars, might even put in an appearance as one of the main female characters. Tell us if you’re intrigued by the idea, or if you think Thomas’ pitch is a recipe for disaster, in the comments.