Hey, Veronica Mars fans, looks like you're getting a movie.
The teen-noir starring Kristen Bell kicked off in 2004 but was canceled in 2007. Ever since, Bell and creator Rob Thomas promised disappointed fans that they'd try to shoot a movie. Warner Brothers executives (who own rights to the Mars series) told Thomas and Bell they'd support the film if there was enough crowd support, so the two turned to Kickstarter and raised a cool $1.4 million in five hours.
"This is our shot," writes Thomas on the Veronica Mars Kickstarter page. "I believe it's the only one we've got. It's nerve-wracking. I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion, but there's also the chance that we completely revolutionize how projects like ours can get made. No Kickstarter project ever has set a goal this high. It's up to you, the fans, now. If the project is successful, our plan is to go into production this summer and the movie will be released in early 2014."
If and when the campaign raises enough to shoot the movie, it will be a game changer in the Kickstarter and film world -- no campaign has ever asked for so much (or raised so much so quickly) and campaigns by celebrities typically fail because crowdfunders think they should already have the money or be using traditional channels to fund their projects.
But Mars is posed to set a precedent in gauging user interest. If filmmakers can prove an audience to big-name studios, they'll likely be able to push their projects onto the silver screen, and if crowdfunders can pledge enough, they can land speaking parts in their favorite movies (at least, in the case of Veronica Mars, if you have $10,000 laying around).
"You have banded together like the sassy little honey badgers you are and made this possibility happen," writes Bell on the Kickstarter page. "I promise if we hit our goal, we will make the sleuthiest, snarkiest, it's-all-fun-and-games-'til-one-of-you-gets-my-foot-up-your-ass movie we possibly can."
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According to Thomas, the film will pick up with costars Enrico Colatoni, Jason Dohring, and Ryan Hansen.
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 campaign will continue to raise money beyond its goal. For more info, check out the Veronica Mars Kickstarter page.