Ever since Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell made waves a couple of weeks ago with their highly successful Kickstarter page in aid of a Veronica Mars movie, speculation has been rife as to which cancelled TV shows might see a similar treatment in the future.
Joss Whedon has stated that he's simply got too much on his plate to consider a Serenity sequel, but Bryan Fuller - who created such now-cancelled TV shows as Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls - has expressed a desire to follow in Thomas and Bell's footsteps with a film continuation of his series, Pushing Daisies.
Fuller hasn't yet created a Kickstarter page for the Pushing Daisies movie, but he is starting to think about what the target goal for such a fundraising project might be. In an interview with FSR, the show creator was asked to estimate the sort of budget that would be required in order to get the film made. He claims that the somewhat fantastical nature of the show demands a higher budget than Veronica Mars, thereby making it more difficult to get funding. So far, the Veronica Mars Kickstarter has already surpassed its $2 million goal and is currently hovering just under $4 million - but Fuller acknowledges that he wouldn't be able to launch his movie on fan money alone.
"I definitely want to have the conversations with the studio. It would need a bigger budget thanVeronica Mars, because that’s a style of noir that is the gravy for the storytelling. You have the wonderful dialog, fantastic cast, and moody cinema that gives you noir.
With Pushing Daisies, we had to build a world. We have to build the pie hole, visual effects, have zombie makeup, and there’s a lot more production elements involved. We made the one-hour pilot for $6 million. Every [other] episode was about $3m to make for the series. To do a movie, I believe we would need between $10-15 million to do it, and that’s harder to ask for than what Veronica Mars is asking for.
They can make a fantastic movie that exists in their world which is true to the spirit of their television show, as well as bringing in film quality storytelling with $5 million. So that’s the big distinction between them [and us]."
Fuller's most recent major writing project was the TV series Hannibal, which is loosely based on Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels and stars Mads Mikkelsen as the title character in his early years as an FBI criminal profiler. Fuller admits that his time spent absorbed in the gruesome subject matter triggered a desire to return to his earlier, more light-hearted worlds.
"I have so many questions. I would love to revisit both Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, because they were very positive creative experiences for me. I had actually started writing a Pushing Daisies film, and I had the first act of it. I thought it was my pallet cleanser after writing, for the better part of the year now, about really, really dark material."
Another bonus that the Veronica Mars Kickstarter has in its favor is that both the show's creator and its star are fully involved and encouraging people to pitch in; its probably not unfair to say that Kristen Bell's name carries more weight than Rob Thomas when it comes to attracting donations. With Pushing Daisies, however, we've yet to hear any confirmation from Lee Pace, Anna Friel, or the other cast members that they'd be interested in returning for a movie, and even executive producer Barry Sonnenfeld seems to be cautious about making any commitment:
"I emailed Barry Sonnenfeld first, asking, “Would you direct it?” He said, “Well, let’s go to the studio first.” [Laughs] Yeah, let’s do this one step at a time. I mean, with Veronica Mars they laid out their plan, had all their ducks in a row, and knew what they were doing by the time they hit Kickstarter. I have a lot of catchup to do to see what is possible for Pushing Daisies, what the studio involvement would be, and what the studio’s appetite would be. I have a lot to learn from Rob Thomas on how they pulled it off, and to see if I can do the same with Pushing Daisies."
When the topic of Kickstarters for TV-based movies was brought up previously on Screen Rant, commenters were divided on the issue. While some fans are eager to throw down $25 or more if it means seeing their favorite TV show on the big screen, others have objected to the idea of the general public being relied upon to subsidize production costs. Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell are offering recompense for donations in the form of everything from themed T-shirts to choosing a name for one of the characters in the movie, but the returns do not include any mention of the profit share that is generally customary for investors in the entertainment industry. Bear in mind that several backers have pledged over $8000 to the project.
Would you be willing to donate money to a Pushing Daisies movie, or do you think that Fuller should be looking for funding elsewhere? Tell us how you feel about the Kickstarter trend in the comments.