When the critically acclaimed television series “Veronica Mars” was canceled in 2007, fans of the teen-noir show were left with heavy hearts and a final closing shot of Veronica walking home in the rain. Ever since, show creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell have hinted that there could be a “Veronica Mars” movie in the future, but fans feared it was only marshmallow dreams and empty promises. However, in early 2013, Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the film with individual donations from the show’s loyal fan-base. Thomas’s agent, Julien Thuan, called the move “a trust fall” into the collective arms of fans.
The First Fan-funded Feature Movie
Fans of the show answered the call to action with overwhelming enthusiasm. Within 10 hours of launching the campaign, the “Veronica Mars Movie Project” raised 2 million dollars, breaking Kickstarter records and propelling the film from pipe dream to reality. By the end of the 30-day campaign, the total tally of donations was 5.7 million. The response amazed the show’s cast and production team. “We’re guinea pigs for a whole new model of filmmaking,” Thomas told Entertainment Weekly. Cast member Jason Dohring echoed Thomas’s sentiment at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, where he told MTV News “When do you ever get a chance to open up a script seven years later and read a fantastic script with the guys you love, with Veronica? And it was done by the fans and for the fans.”
Where Is She Now?
Veronica Mars has come a long way from her college years solving crimes in her hometown of Neptune, Calif. Nine years have passed since fans left her, long enough for Mars to graduate in the top of her class from Columbia Law School and start a new life in New York. Her days as a private investigator are behind her, and Veronica is interviewing with top law firms and living with her college boyfriend, Stosh “Piz” Piznarski, played by Chris Lowell. Reuniting with old classmates at her upcoming high school reunion does not exactly top her list of life plans, but a phone call from old friend and flame Logan Echolls changes that. Logan, played by Jason Dohring, is making headlines again. This time, he stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, the pop star Bonnie DeVille. He tells Veronica that he needs her help.
Fan Favorites Return
The cast of the original television series reunites in full-force for the film. Sneak previews feature snarky father-daughter banter with Veronica’s dad, Keith, played by Enrico Colantoni. Buddies Wallace and Mac, played by Percy Daggs III and Tina Majorino, might just convince Veronica to drop by their high school reunion after all. The Neptune-style reunion is completed with the return of Weevil and Dick Casablancas, played by Francis Capra and Ryan Hansen, and more fan-favorites, including Gia, played by Krysten Ritter , lawyer pal Cliff McCormack, played by Daran Norris, and Madison Sinclair, played by Amanda Noret.
A Select Nationwide Release
“Veronica Mars” opens nationwide in select AMC theaters on March 14, 2014. Though the original distribution plan only called for a limited run on the silver screen in a handful of cities, Warner Brothers later stepped in to give the film wider distribution by partnering with AMC Theaters. Fans can check listings at their local AMC movie theater to see if “Veronica Mars” is scheduled. The film’s world premiere takes place one week earlier at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, on March 8.
The Neptune Universe Lives On
The “Veronica Mars” movie is not the final curtain call on the series. A new novel set in the Neptune universe is set to be released on March 25, 2014. The book, titled “The Thousand Dollar Tan Line,” picks up where the movie leaves off. Kristen Bell has suggested that a second movie is not out of the question. “I know what number we’d have to hit to do it again,” she said, hinting that a box-office success could pave the way for future Mars movies, though Bell declined to share an exact figure.
After years of chasing rumors about a possible feature film, “Veronica Mars” fans are counting down the days for the film’s release. However, some wonder if the movie can live up to expectations fueled by years of anticipation. Show creator Rob Thomas knows that the bar is set high. “We better make a good movie,” he said in interviews prior to filming. “These amazing fans have stepped up. We better deliver.” Actor Jason Dohring hints that the film lives up to the hype, saying it “will have everything [the fans] have wanted and still leave them wanting a little bit more.” Original show writer Diane Ruggiero promises a strong script and weighs in by saying “I feel like [Rob Thomas] gave the best version of who Veronica is and who these other characters are 10 years later. The fans are gonna love this.”