March 13, 2013

If A Veronica Mars Movie Isn’t Made, Everything Beautiful Will Die

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Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars

There are few shows that inspire the kind of crazed, John Hinckley-like devotion as Veronica Mars does. When the show faced cancellation in 2007, I was one of those VM fans who lobbied the network to keep it on television — at a rate that was borderline obsessive.

At the time, I worked at the Cincinnati Museum Center back home and we just so happened to be hosting the auditions for America’s Next Top Model. I was assigned to work in the parking booth the day of tryouts, and I subjected every single person who came through my booth to a speech on why we needed to save the show. I told them to relay my spiel to the CW network executives inside the building.

I was listening to Morrissey at the time and couldn’t quite make it out, but I could have sworn one of those executives cursed me on the way out. It was all worth it, for the love of Veronica.

I knew other fans who mailed in letters or dollar bills with quotes from the show (e.g. “This is my over-the-moon face”), and a friend of mine joked that he would take the network hostage until his demands were met and Veronica was safe. Unfortunately, it was cancelled.

However, that community lingered on in message boards obsessing about loose ends in the narrative, proving that Veronica Mars is the favorite entertainment option of conspiracy theorists everywhere. But nothing got diehards mobilized like the idea of a Veronica Mars movie, one that would provide needed closure to the final season and give us the conclusion that Veronica deserved. After a third season that spun its wheels as it teetered between seriality and stand-alone episodes and a shift in tone geared toward the CW teeny bop market (see: ANTM watchers), Veronica Mars went out with a whimper. A movie would bring the bang.

For years, this has been a fleeting pipe dream at best, as creator Rob Thomas (not the Matchbox Twenty guy) went off to Party Down and Hollywood snatched up Kristen Bell. There’s also been the issue of funding, as the series itself was too expensive to keep on the air, despite the fact that it was president Dawn Ostroff’s personal favorite CW program. The reality is that the movie would have a difficult time getting backers for a film build for a niche audience. Other than the 2 million plus regular Veronica viewers, who was going to buy a ticket? What that logic leaves out is the immense following the show has gained on DVD and the cult that grew out of the program’s very cancellation.

Although television taketh Veronica away, the internet has giveth it back. Thomas and Bell are taking matters into their own hands with a Kickstarter campaign designed to raise fund for the film, while also mobilizing an audience for the film from its devoted cult following. In a message to the show’s fans, Rob Thomas explained:

“Of course, Warner Bros. still owns Veronica Mars and we would need their blessing and cooperation to pull this off. Kristen and I met with the Warner Bros. brass, and they agreed to allow us to take this shot. They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board. So this is it. This is our shot. I believe it’s the only one we’ve got.”

According to Bell and Thomas, a successful campaign would push the movie into summer production, with an eye on 2014 release. On top of the obvious funding issue, producers have cited hurdles in actors’ schedules and distribution as potential obstacles, but Thomas states they’ve got it on lock. All they need is to reach their stated fundraising goal: $2 million. The best part? They are more than halfway there in less than 24 hours, and they have over a month left to raise the money, which they are asking for in increments from $10 to $10,000. If you give the latter, you get to name a character in the movie. (Any “Nico Lang” character submissions would be more than welcomed, so long as said character is a mafia prostitute, a Nazi dentist or a sexy scientist played by Denise Richards. A girl can dream, right?)

Yes, reader, I want you to give money to this campaign, the ten dollars you were just going to spend on a porn subscription anyway. (I know what happens on the internet. I watch Law and Order: SVU.) But more than that, I want you to share the show with friends, relatives, lovers and strangers and spread the gospel of Neptune to others. I want you to broaden our little community and give Veronica the coming home party she deserves. When the Veronica Mars movie hits theatres (or DVD) in 2014, it’s up to us to bring the audience. If we can suffer through the Piz storyline, we can do anything. TC mark

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