Fans don’t just make one cooler in times of extreme heat, they give Rob Thomas money – as evidenced this morning when the creator of TVs “Veronica Mars” (and no, he doesn’t duet with Saltana) asked people to pledge money towards a film version of the ex-CW series.
Within something like 10 hours, the movie – with a $2 million dollar budget – was fully funded. It was a record only a Neptune-based teenage detective could break.. and so fast.
So now that the “Veronica Mars” movie is a reality, what do you need to know? For those interested here’s a rushed FAQ I slapped together just now :
The movie will be low-budget
That’s a given though, right? You probably couldn’t make one of Taylor Swift’s music videos with the money Thomas has to make his “Veronica Mars” movie with; $2 million dollars, quite simply, isn’t a lot of money in terms of moviemaking. The amount likely won’t even pay for one good explosion. One minute of screen-time in “Transformers” probably costs about $2 million – and that’s before Shia LaBeouf’s been paid his fee, also likely in the millions. It’d probably cost more than $2 million to market the film. This won’t be a huge movie, this will be – as Clint put it so eloquently – an “intimate ‘very special movie event’” that most will likely watch in the comfort of their own home. The distribution model, which as far as I can gather involves a wide release online (streaming channels) and a very limited theatrical, is indicative of the film’s budget. And you know? The budget works fine for “Veronica Mars” – it, after all, is more about character and story, not creature effects and explosions.
Granted, the Kickstarter campaign stays open until April – so there’s a chance the movie will walk away with considerably bigger budget than it’s bare minimum need.
Says Thomas, “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 following cast members will be returning…
If the Kickstarter page is anything to go by, Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) will be joined by original series co-stars Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Percy Dags III (Wallace), Chris Lowell (Piz), Tina Majorino (Mac) and Francis Capra (Weevil). Don’t count on now ‘big time film star’ Amanda Seyfried reprising her role as murdered high schooler Lily Kane- unless Thomas can somehow convince her to make a cameo in a flashback scene or within Veronica’s nightmare!?
There’s a better chance of possibly seeing, say, Teddy Dunn reprise Duncan Kane, Tessa Thompson reprise Jackie Cook, Daran Norris coming back as Cliff McCormack, Max Greenfield reprising Leo, Ken Marino reprising Vinnie (actually, that’s almost a given; Marino and Thomas are “tight”).. maybe even Steve Guttenberg as Mayor Woody.
Any famous ‘guest stars’ coming aboard?
That’s generally what happens when there’s more money to play with, but two-and-a-bit million isn’t going to get nobody Steve Martin or Bruce Willis – unless they’re huge fans of the show.
Some of the ‘guests’ that have stopped by Neptune in the past include Harry Hamlin, Richard Grieco, Kevin Smith, Adam Scott, Leighton Meester, Charisma Carpenter, Krysten Ritter, Paris Hilton, Alyson Hannigan, Melissa Leo, Jane Lynch, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera and Armie Hammer. Maybe Thomas still has some of their numbers?
The storyline will be….
Don’t look at me, I haven’t read the script. But Rob Thomas mentions his original idea for the movie on the Kickstarter page, and there’s a fair chance he hasn’t swayed too far from it over the years.
Said Thomas, “There was a moment, a few years ago, when we thought we had a real shot at making it happen. I developed a pitch that revolved around graduation day at Hearst college — Wallace and Mac were graduating at least, Veronica had been sidetracked by freeing Keith from prison. Plus, there was a murder in Neptune that was affecting the beach city’s spring break business in much the same way a great white shark affected the beach community of Amity. “
Thomas adds, “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.”
Will Logan and Veronica end up together?
Rob’s not saying.
Where will it film?
It depends on how much money is ultimately raised, but according to Thomas they’re considering “Baton Rouge, Vancouver, San Diego or Los Angeles”. I’m guessing if it doesn’t make much money than it has, it’ll head to Baton Rouge – they have great tax breaks and it’s cheap to shoot there (and it doubles well for major metros).
Extras will be needed
For a couple of big scenes that will feature hundreds of spectators… or something.
There will be a cafe scene
We know this because one of the pledgers, someone who donates a considerable allotment to the production, will play the waiter/waitress in the scene, which involves Veronica and Logan.
When will it shoot?
The film will shoot – and rather quickly – in June and July.
Says Thomas, “One of our biggest challenges is coordinating schedules. We only have a few weeks to shoot and most of our cast members have additional obligations. We’re going to do our best to coordinate everyone’s availability, and we think we’ve figured out timing that works for most of the cast. We’re going to do our best to include as many of your favorite characters as possible (we know that’s important!) but it’s possible that some actors won’t be available during our shooting window.”
The movie will begin pre-production straight away, shoot in the Summer and go into post in the Fall.
Will it get a cinema release?
Yes, early next year.
In how many cinemas? Not many, I’m guessing.
Warner Bros are going to market this one largely, as far as I can tell, as a digital download; they will, however, put it in some theatres.
“Our goal is to release the movie in early 2014. We intend to release the film theatrically in as many cities and theaters as possible. We’ll also try to prioritize cities where our Kickstarter support is coming from. “
In other words, start bookmarking those VOD sites.
So that’s that! “Veronica Mars : The Movie” is a reality. A long time ago, we use to be… sad…now we’re plain giddy!