[UPDATE: The Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter has hit its $2 Million Goal in less than 10 hours!]
It's been some six years since Veronica Mars was canceled because The CW wanted more America's Next Top Model, and in that time, both creator Rob Thomas (no, not the singer-songwriter) and star Kristen Bell have talked - on and off - about the prospects of a movie that might tie up all the loose ends left in the abrupt series "finale." Two years ago, Bell even spoke about possibly funding a movie herself, though nothing ever came of that.
Now, just as diehard fans of the series had finally given up hope that they would ever see their favorite girl detective and her favorite girl detective pals (her father, Keith Mars; her best friend, Wallace Fennell; her criminal buddy, Eli "Weevil" Navarro; her on-again, off-again badboy boyfriend, Logan Echolls; and so on) on the big screen, Rob Thomas has started a Kickstarter to accomplish just that.
That's right, after years of speculation and the occasional conversation from the creator and star, a Veronica Mars movie might finally be happening. In real life. No, seriously, this is not a joke. (April 1st is still weeks away; plus, that would be the meanest April fools joke of all time). The Kickstarter goal is $2 million, which apparently is the highest goal on Kickstarter ever (though a number of Kickstarters have surpassed that amount) - and, in this writer's humble opinion, it's an easy enough number for the (very passionate) fans of the series to reach.
Of course, as one of those fans, I'm probably biased, but these are the same people who sent Mars Bars to The CW and downloaded the series finale on iTunes en masse in hopes of procuring a season 4. The will to get this thing made was always there - now, there's a way to go with it.
So what would the plot of this hypothetical Veronica Mars movie look like? According to Rob Thomas:
Life has taken Veronica away from Neptune. In the years since spoiling Keith's chances to be reelected sheriff, Veronica hasn't taken a case. But something big is about to bring her back home and back to her calling. My goal is to include as many of your favorite characters as possible. It is, after all, time for Veronica’s 10-year high school reunion.
Fun fact: High school reunion movies have a higher rate of being awesome than regular movies (see: Grosse Pointe Blank).
When would this movie start shooting? And when can we expect it to be released? (Not that I'm planning on lining up early or anything...)
If the project is successful, our plan is to go into production this summer and the movie will be released in early 2014.
But wait, doesn't Warner Bros. still own Veronica Mars? Says Thomas:
Of course, Warner Bros. still owns Veronica Mars and we would need their blessing and cooperation to pull this off. Kristen and I met with the Warner Bros. brass, and they agreed to allow us to take this shot. They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board. So this is it. This is our shot. I believe it's the only one we've got. It's nerve-wracking. I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion, but there's also the chance that we completely revolutionize how projects like ours can get made.
Even if the project gets funded, those who haven't contributed should probably consider doing so because:
Keep in mind that the more money we raise, the cooler movie we can make. A two million dollar fundraising total probably means cross words are exchanged at the class reunion. Three million? We can afford a full-on brawl. Ten million? Who knows... For some reason the Neptune High class reunion takes place on a nuclear submarine! A Hobbit shows up! There’s a Bollywood end-credit dance number! I’ve always wanted to direct Bill Murray. We’ll figure out something cool. Hey, if that total goes high enough, I’ll bet the good folks at Warner Bros. will agree a sequel is a good idea.
Making movies is a serious business, and $2 million is a low, low sum. Sure, it sounds like a lot, and you and I could probably live off it (if we invested wisely!) for the rest of our lives, but movies are a different story altogether.
Frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing Bill Murray in a Veronica Mars movie, but I'd be happier just seeing solid production values and quality acting from the yet-to-be-cast supporting actors. One of the bigger issues with season 3 - which was still very good, in my opinion - was the declining quality of the supporting cast, which seemed to be as a result of the lower budget the show received in its twilight days.
As a huge Veronica Mars fan, this is basically the best day ever for me. The show had everything you could want from serial TV - a great story, a great cast, great characters, and great writing. Much like Arrested Development - which will also see a revival on Netflix in May - it was a series that deserved way more respect and love from the American public than it ever got while it was on the air. Perhaps this Kickstarter is the form that respect and love will take, however belated it might be.
Then again, if 30 days from now the project isn't funded and the Veronica Mars movie goes back to being just a recurring fever dream of mine, then Friday, April 12th, 2013 will be the worst day ever for me. It wouldn't be the first Kickstarter movie based on a TV series that recently failed to get funded (see: The Boondocks live-action movie).
Of course, the difference between this project and that one (among other things) is that the Veronica Mars movie would be the finale fans never got - the one they've been waiting over half a decade for.
As I started writing this, the Kickstarter was at $35,000. Currently, it's at $700,000. Either that means I'm a really slow writer - which is definitely a valid point of argument - or it's a very good sign that this movie will be backed sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: The $2 Million Goal has been reached (in record-breaking time, no less). Time to start talking movie ideas!
Are you interested in backing the Veronica Mars movie? Or were you one of the many people who never watched the show? (Or, conversely, did you watch it and yet have no interest in backing or seeing Veronica Mars on the big screen?) Drop us a line in the comments.
And if you are interested in helping fund the movie, make sure to visit the Kickstarter page and choose your reward tier.
If all goes well, the Veronica Mars movie will start shooting this summer with a release date sometime in early 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
Source: Veronica Mars Kickstarter