In the old days, when a fan-favorite television series was cancelled by its network prematurely, those loyal viewers had little choice but to eternally bemoan the loss of their beloved show, with little to no chance that their protests would lead to any noticeable action.
In the age of new media, that has all changed. Fan outcry led to a big-screen adaptation of Joss Whedon’s beloved Firefly, and last year saw the Netflix debut of a long-awaited season 4 of Arrested Development. However, the unprecedented response to writer/director Rob Thomas’s Kickstarter campaign to take Veronica Mars to the big screen may be the most impressive demonstration of fan goodwill thus far. Now, as it turns out, Mars devotees are getting a little bit more than they expected.
According to Deadline, The CW announced at a recent Television Critics Association presentation that it is developing a Veronica Mars inspired web series for CW Seed, the digital platform where the network is currently airing seven original series. The show will be the next project for Mars creator Thomas, in addition to new CW drama iZombie.
No further details about the spinoff were initially revealed, aside from the fact that the show would likely feature appearances from existing Veronica Mars cast members. However, Thomas later took to Twitter to reveal the true nature of the project himself. Here’s what he had to say:
“The CW web series: a comedy featuring @HiRyanHansen attempting to put together a Dick Casablancas spin-off of #VeronicaMars. No date yet.”
Thomas later clarified that actor Ryan Hansen would be playing a version of himself on the web series, as he tries to develop a show centered on his Veronica Mars character, fun-loving rich guy Dick Casablancas. The sudden focus on the character may seem odd to some fans, but – if the web series is truly a planned precursor to a Dick Casablancas show – the move could ultimately prove to be a smart one.
While characters like Veronica (Kristen Bell), Logan (Jason Dohring) and Keith (Enrico Colantoni) are clearly fan favorites, Hansen’s Dick is one of the more underrated and multi-layered characters among the core Veronica Mars cast (and therefore has the most potential for further development). Without delving into too many spoilers, Dick’s family life essentially devolves over the course of the series, and though he usually comes across as a hedonistic, superficial party man, Hansen managed to imbue the character with hints at something more, a sad and damaged man-child beneath the frat-boy exterior.
This is not to say that a full series based on the character is a guaranteed home run, but the decision to explore the idea a bit deeper in something like a web series could lead to what fans have dreamed of: a new television series set in the Veronica Mars world and from its very creator, no less. Besides, with her work on House of Lies and films like the Oscar-nominated animated hit Frozen, Bell is far more likely to commit to sequel films than a full series at this point. So a spinoff may be the next best thing.
Do you think a spinoff series focused on Dick Casablancas has potential, or is Thomas’s experiment with the character doomed from the start? Let us know in the comments section below
Veronica Mars (the movie) hits theaters on March 14, 2014.