Hollywood knows the power of a cult fanbase when it comes to TV shows like Jericho, Firefly, Arrested Development, Battlestar Galactica, and of course, Veronica Mars, the subject of this spectacular news, so they shouldn’t be surprised when a series creator takes to a crowdfunding website to bring all the cult joy to the big screen.
Earlier today Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, created a Kickstarter project to raise a whopping $2 million with the sole purpose of funding a Veronica Mars movie; and guess what people, he reached that goal–in 10 hours! Hollywood! Never underestimate fans again!
So what does that mean exactly? Well it means that Rob Thomas will now be taking some time out of his busy schedule to write, produce, and direct a Veronica Mars movie–with Kristen Bell! Bell, who is currently working on Showtime’s House of Lies, will be filming the movie during the show’s hiatus this summer. So fans of this UPN-CW cult series will be happy to know that within a year’s time, we will be seeing the young, whip-smart detective on the silver screen, something which millions have been hoping for since 2006.
Veronica Mars will be releasing in early 2014 and star most of the original cast, hopefully. It will also be aided with distributing from Warner Bros., the original show’s network before it became the CW.
Almost since Veronica Mars went off the air, there’s been talk of making a movie. In that span, I’ve taken different tactics in dealing with the question of whether it might happen. To be clear, I’ve always wanted to make a Veronica Mars movie. I love writing these characters and working with these actors. Kristen Bell has always wanted to make the movie. There was a moment, a few years ago, when we thought we had a real shot at making it happen. I developed a pitch that revolved around graduation day at Hearst college — Wallace and Mac were graduating at least, Veronica had been sidetracked by freeing Keith from prison. Plus, there was a murder in Neptune that was affecting the beach city’s spring break business in much the same way a great white shark affected the beach community of Amity. I probably stoked fan fervor in my optimistic comments about the prospects. Warner Bros. wasn’t convinced there was enough interest to warrant a major studio-sized movie about Veronica and the project never got off the ground. After that, I tried to tamp down expectations. I didn’t want to be guilty — at least not twice — of building up hope when the odds seemed so long. Still, without fail, in every interview I do or every place I speak, I get the “will there be a Veronica Mars movie?” question. Even after a couple of years of downplaying the chances, I’d still run across blog postings headlined, “will Rob Thomas shut up about the Veronica Mars movie, already!” I was trying to. I promise. I first found out about Kickstarter a couple of years ago from an Austin musician friend of mine — Robert Harrison, lead singer of Cotton Mather, the band that gave us “Lily Dreams On,” our closing song of season 1. He financed a rerelease of the band’s fantastic Kontiki album. Later, I was marveling about Kickstarter with another buddy of mine who said off-handedly, “You should use Kickstarter to raise the money to make the Veronica Mars movie.” I chuckled. That seemed like a silly idea in the moment. We’d need millions. But for the next few weeks, the notion was never far from my mind. I started doing the proverbial back-of-a-cocktail-napkin math. The average pledge on Kickstarter is $71. Hell, if we could get 30,000 people to give the average donation, we could finance the movie, particularly if the cast and I were willing to work cheap. The most common donation amount on Kickstarter is $25. Surely, 80,000 of our three million viewers would find that price-point viable! 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. No Kickstarter project ever has set a goal this high. It’s up to you, the fans, now. If the project is successful, our plan is to go into production this summer and the movie will be released in early 2014. 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. 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. Thanks to everyone who hasn’t lost faith. Rob
dearest marshmallows… I am currently the happiest blonde in a hamster ball the world has ever seen. We have been waiting so long to make this movie dream a movie reality, and it’s because of YOUR commitment, YOUR persistence, that we finally have a chance. We just have one more step to go. You have banded together like the sassy little honey badgers you are and made this possibility happen. i promise if we hit our goal, we will make the sleuthiest, snarkiest, it’s-all-fun-and-games-‘til-one-of-you-gets-my-foot-up-your-ass movie we possibly can. I promise to give it my all. i promise to work my hardest to give everyone a little bit more Veronica, and i will be oh so honored to do so. I only ask for one thing in return. If I ever die, do me a favor. Go on Oprah and tell the world that I loved kittens. LoVe to you ALL, kristen bell