It seems only the good die young. Just look at Firefly. Barely an infant when it was struck down in its prime. Some make it a little longer, only to have their lives cut short with no explanation, leaving questions unanswered and fates hanging in the balance.
For 3 years Veronica Mars built up a passionate cult following on the newly renamed CW (formerly UPN until it merged with the WB). Then oh so trendy/sexy vampire dramas took its place in the weekly schedule. Who needed a smartly written and well-acted series full of completely formed and interesting characters when you could cash in on a trend instead? Of course, money rules the day in any business, not just those in Hollywood, but it doesn’t change the fact that we were left with a very sudden and unsatisfying ending to little Ronnie Mars life on the small screen… unsatisfying for fans and for the cast and crew, which is why they’ve been fighting as hard as any fan to make this happen.
Yes, not surprisingly, fans have begged and pleaded endlessly with the Powers That Be to bring back Veronica and the gang to the small screen or the big screen. We’d even take the internet screen. It didn’t matter. We wanted Kristen Bell’s snarky sleuthy teen detective back on the case any way we could get her.
After years of being asked if there will be a Veronica Mars movie at every convention appearance, red carpet premiere, or randomly on the street, creator Rob Thomas can finally say “Maybe. But you have to pay up front.” Warner Bros owns the property, but has given Thomas the permission to launch a fund raising effort to get the film made. Well, the Kickstarter campaign launched this morning and is on track to reach its 2 million dollar goal by tomorrow, possibly even tonight, well before its intended 30 day deadline.
Fans that contribute get lots of swag, including exclusive t-shirts, posters, and in some pricier instances, voice mail messages and videos recorded by the cast (written by you), tickets to the premiere screening and after party, and even a speaking role in the film (sorry, already claimed).
The cast even pitched in to create a hilarious video to pitch the project.
However, I wonder if this will start a rather disturbing precedence. It’s been said before that Hollywood seems to listen to the Comic-Con crowd. But very often, when we get that film or tv series we always wanted back on the screens, it seems that only the fans consume it, with the rest of the world scratching their heads, wondering what the big deal is, but not really caring in the end (see again: Firefly/Serenity). Are we going to have to end up buying Bill Murray a really expensive yacht with Kickstarter money just to get him to finally sign off on the Ghostbusters 3 script and star in it?
Honestly, I don’t care. If this is what it takes to get a Veronica Mars movie made, then so be it. I just don’t want to see Joss Whedon on Kickstarter asking for Serenity 2 money, since we all know any studio would probably pay big money to have him direct their next super sci-fi epic, even if it was created by him and beloved by millions of fans. But, yeah, I’d probably pony up for that too.
UPDATE: It’s a go! Less than an hour ago, Rob Thomas Tweeted their (our) success at getting Veronica Mars greenlit! Huzzah and kudos to the team and to all who chipped in! But keep the funds coming. We all want sexy car chases with brief but more naked nudity and burnier explosions! Also, Backup don’t come cheap (I think he’s the only holdout).
Image from the Rob Thomas Kickstarter video.