Photo Credit: Ron P. Jaffe/Warner Bros
On Wednesday, fans of a ratings-challenged teen show -- which was canceled by The CW in 2007 -- raised over $2 million to make it into a movie. Sound unlikely? Yep. But then again, the show is Veronica Mars.
Veronica Mars was one of those cult-classic TV shows that attracts a certain kind of zealous devotee. Like Buffy creator Joss Whedon. And indie filmmaker Kevin Smith. And a fanbase of viewers so attached to the show, they sent The CW 10,000 Mars Bars to protest its cancellation.
But cancel VM the network did, and creator Rob Thomas has been trying to get a Mars movie made ever si. Through Kickstarter, a fundraising site, Thomas and the show's star, Kristen Bell, asked fans to pledge money for the film. If they raised $2 million within 30 days, Warner Brothers would agree to pay for its promotion, marketing and distribution. The site included this clip of the actors pitching the idea, and fans responded by breaking a Kickstarter record: They raised the requested sum within 12 hours.
“I knew Veronica Mars fans were cool, but I had no idea they could rally with such power," Bell told Entertainment Weekly. "They are unstoppable -- just like Veronica. I will have a permanent blush on my face, feeling so lucky to be associated with this entire thing.”
So what is it about Veronica Mars? Bell plays a wisecracking high school student who solves mysteries, while also dealing with the usual crop of adolescent woes (mean girls, boy problems, etc.). Sounds campy, and it is. But it's also deadly serious. Veronica's best friend is murdered, and she herself is drugged and date-raped at a party. The mysteries she solves aren't Nancy Drew-style dust-ups. People die, and the bad guys aren't just popular jerks. They're malevolent.
Writing about the show's first season in Entertainment Weekly, Whedon explained that Veronica Mars "works as mystery, comedy, and romantic drama, often simultaneously. But what elevates it is that in a TV-scape creepily obsessed with crime-solving, VM actually asks why. It knows we need our dose of solution as a panacea against the uncontrollable chaos of life's real mysteries. And it shows, feelingly, that having the answers is never enough."
If you missed the show's three-season run, the WB.com is streaming all the episodes of Mars for anyone hoping to catch up. Thomas has already written the script for the movie, and he hopes to begin production in June. He tells Entertainment Weekly that the story will begin 10 years since viewers last saw Veronica. She has earned a Columbia Law School degree and returns to her hometown Neptune, Calif., to -- you got it -- solve another murder. This one involves her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring), whose pop-star girlfriend has been killed. Guess who's the prime suspect? Good thing Logan's got Veronica on his side!
Thomas also says he's ready to give the show a third life, too ... and a fourth one. "I hope this is the start of a franchise," he tells the magazine. "I hope we're Batman!" Well, he sure has the fan base for it.