A "Veronica Mars" movie is coming -- if we can fund it

Show creator Rob Thomas has launched a Kickstarter to raise $2 million in 30 days

Published March 13, 2013 4:44PM (EDT)

               (Warner Bros.)
(Warner Bros.)

If successful, "Veronica Mars" could become the first movie to ever be financed through crowd-funded platform Kickstarter.

The short-lived drama on UPN gained a loyal following for its sharp dialogue, mystery-series format and handling of intense subjects (in one season, Kristen Bell's character investigates her own rape), and whispers of a movie have been around since the show ended in 2007.

After several failed attempts to pitch the idea to movie execs, show creator Rob Thomas and producer Joel Silver are now appealing to the fans that made the show a cult classic. And lead actress Kristen Bell is ready to commit, too. Due to Bell's scheduling conflicts with her Showtime series, "House of Lies," however, there's a catch: The movie needs to reach $2 million in funding within 30 days (donations will not be collected until the amount goes through).

And, unlike singer Amanda Palmer's now-infamous attempt to fund an entire album and tour without paying workers, the Internet is rallying behind this colossal effort, whose finances "will go into a Veronica Mars Movie Project production account which has been set up by Warner Bros. on our behalf."

The synopsis, from the movie's Kickstarter page:

Life has taken Veronica away from Neptune. In the years since spoiling Keith's chances to be reelected sheriff, Veronica hasn't taken a case. But something big is about to bring her back home and back to her calling. My goal is to include as many of your favorite characters as possible. It is, after all, time for Veronica’s 10-year high school reunion. Keep in mind that the more money we raise, the cooler movie we can make. A two million dollar fundraising total probably means cross words are exchanged at the class reunion. Three million? We can afford a full-on brawl. Ten million? Who knows... For some reason the Neptune High class reunion takes place on a nuclear submarine! A Hobbit shows up! There’s a Bollywood end-credit dance number! I’ve always wanted to direct Bill Murray. We’ll figure out something cool. Hey, if that total goes high enough, I’ll bet the good folks at Warner Bros. will agree a sequel is a good idea.

The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum is all for it:

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as are these critics:

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Salon Blue Glow judge and Time columnist James Poniewozik explains the implications of a Kickstarter project of this magnitude being funded:

"The bigger deal, though, is what a successful Mars mission could mean for supposedly lost causes, niche stories, and tough-to-finance projects in the future. Getting a movie (or a TV show) made successfully isn’t just about pleasing a home audience; it’s about crafting a pitch that convinces a smaller audience of studio executives or investors that the show is worth their money. You may really want a certain movie to be made, but you are only going to buy so many tickets (or, later, DVDs). In other words, in movies as in TV, there’s an assumption that you have to satisfy a broad audience to succeed.

The potential for projects like Kickstarter is that they provide a way to monetize depth, not just breadth, of interest—which is something that has helped creative diversity in the larger entertainment world."

If successful, Thomas hopes to release the movie in early 2014.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Film Kickstarter Kristen Bell Movies Television Veronica Mars