The Veronica Mars movie is unique. It was funded by Kickstarter, demanded and paid for by the fans of the UPN drama which ran for three seasons in the early 2000s and made Kristen Bell a star. This isn’t quite a Firefly/Serenity scenario, but in terms of providing closure (and possibly an opening for more films) it serves the same kind of purpose.
The film takes place a decade after the end of the show, right in time for Neptune High’s 10 Year Reunion, something that Veronica has vowed to avoid. She’s moved on, gone to Stanford, gotten her law degree, is weeks from taking the bar in NYC and getting a job with a high-power firm. Then her ex-boyfriend is accused of murder (again…this kind of thing happens in Neptune if you watched the show). Veronica flies cross-country initially to set her ex up with a good lawyer, but as the case grows more complex, she finds herself being drawn back into the life of a private investigator and the draw of a case unsolved.
Mars feels very much like a double-episode of the show, which I mean as a high compliment. I enjoyed the show when it was on UPN and this played just like a season finale two-parter. All of the things that made the show likable: Bell’s characterization, Rob Thomas’ glib and smart scripts, and the fantastic relationship between Veronica and her father, show up in the film with tons of Easter eggs to fans. This whole movie is a love letter to the fans of the show (who did pay for it, after all). Is it a world-changing, ground-breaking film? No. I’m also not sure how well you’d enjoy it if you had never seen an episode of the show and went into it cold. I’d be interested in hearing the opinion of anyone if they did that.
The end left me smiling and hoping there are further installments in the adventures of Veronica Mars (things are certainly set up for more installments). I think the film proves that it’s not just a role for Bell in her youth. This could be her Sherlock, returning to the character throughout her life. It’s a smart, funny mystery that made me hope the fans don’t have to pony up for the next Mars adventure.
I can’t think of any other show that’s been as misunderstood or mistreated by its network than Community. Rather than embrace the fact that they have a show with a rabidly solid fan base, NBC constantly interfered with, tinkered with and stacked the odds against our plucky gang of slackers from Greendale Community College. The show’s quality only dipped with NBC fired Dan Harmon, the show runner after season three, only to relent and hire him back after season four. I think even die-hard Community fans saw this coming with Donald Glover and Chevvy Chase leaving the show this year, but it’s still sad. “Six seasons and a movie” was a dream that will remain unrealized unless we can Kickstarter it onto another network. Continue reading NBC Cancels Community After 5 Seasons; NBC 2014-2015 Schedule Decisions.
In under a year, a Veronica Mars movie (based on the canceled UPN detective drama starring Kristen Bell) has gone from a Kickstarter concept to a feature film with a release date. March 28, 2014, will see the return of Mars and Bell, who co-directed the film with the series creator, Rob Thomas. The film also stars Krysten Ritter Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Francis Capra Ken Marino and Enrico Colantoni. Continue reading Trailer Time: Veronica Mars (2014)
Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and cast met with fans at Comic Con and previewed five minutes of footage from the film adaptation of the canceled TV series. Kristen Bell talked about the surreal heartbreak of learning the show had been canceled. She had been on the set of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, just about to shoot a scene where her fictional character has to react to her fictional show being canceled when she got the call that Mars had been canceled. Rob Thomas is counting on fans to come out in droves for this and has plans for more Mars if they do.
Series creator Rob Thomas offered more details on what fans can expect from the upcoming Veronica Mars movie. The movie, which has literally been funded by fans (who donated over $2.5 million on Kickstarter), is the latest example of a small cult of embittered fans of a canceled show dragging it back. Family Guy came back entirely due to DVD sales. Serenity was made only because Firefly fans are a special brand of crazy (AND NO WE’RE STILL NOT OVER IT, FOX). Veronica Mars was a great show and it’s awesome to see it come back in some form.
The film jumps ahead in time for Mars’ 10th high school reunion in Neptune. Since the series saw her graduating high school in 2006, the film should, theoretically, take place in 2016. Thomas has a bright future for the character planned beyond this film and hints that, after this big screening outing, many more could follow (or that “Mars” could even return in series form). Hell, if Kickstarter has it’s way, it’ll get its own network.
Thomas also said the film will aim for a PG-13 rating and that former series co-star Amanda Seyfried would not be partipating in the movie.
“I want to make the movie accessible for people who haven’t watched Veronica Mars before,” says Thomas. “All you need to know is that Veronica was a teenage private eye and she’s given it up. And there will be a moment early in the movie that will bring her back to Neptune and make her give being a private detective one more shot.”