It has been seven years since the endlessly endearing show about a scrappy young detective, Veronica Mars, went off the air and launched both multiple careers and a powerful cult following in the process. Now with an older and more seasoned cast, The Veronica Mars movie reboot, unbelievably funded by devoted fan donations on Kickstarter, is technically already a success in that it exists at all.
Nobody really expected the movie to ever actually happen. The show was on for three seasons, first on UPN, then on the CW before it was untimely dropped. In that three-year run, however, the show, now regarded as a short-lived cult classic, somehow cultivated a large enough following to eventually fund the first of its kind film being released to theaters and video on demand tomorrow.
When show creator, Rob Thomas, put the project up on Kickstarter, he never imagined in just 12 hours he would have raised twice what he needed, $2 million, to get the production off the ground. Warner Brothers, upon seeing the unprecedented response online, pitched in their own funds and one year later the movie is finished and on the eve of its highly anticipated release.
Kristen Bell gets to reprise the spunky role that launched her now A list career, and she could not be more humble and thrilled. She was given the opportunity to repay the enormous, movie funding love of fans that has since built her quite a prosperous place in Hollywood. On top of Bells triumphant return, the movie will also feature every other beloved cast member, and some amusingly placed celebrity cameos as well. And seen as the film was primarily paid for by fans eager to see its return, it would seem that the movie version of Veronica Mars is already a success prior to its release.
Will fans get what the devotees, quite literally, paid for? Will the movie, set ten years later, capture the same no frills fun the original series possessed? If Thomas stuck to the original formula of the show, then chances are the answer is yes, yes, yes. The appeal of the series always seemed to be the fact that while it appeared to be another angst-ridden teen drama, it was actually an inventive and intelligent story centered on substance and not silly special effects and superficial plots. Veronica was full of sassafras and poignant one liners beyond her years. She was relatable to both kids her age and adults, and that has substantially paid off now that those same fans, still passionate seven years later, have essentially funded the movie version.
It seems unlikely that anyone who gave money to the project online would miss its debut in the theater. Even if those fans are the only ones who show up to see it over the weekend, the movie has already accomplished what it set out to. Kristen Bell and other actors get to come full circle and pay tribute to the most productive fans on the planet. If all goes well, and it seems destined too, studios will most likely be turning to consumer input more and more in the future to decide their upcoming projects. It seems then, despite potential audience turnout at the theaters, that Veronica Mars the movie is already a trailblazing success.
By Brandon Duringer