Thursday, 14 March 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #998: The Return Of Veronica Mars

Yesterday saw a rather interesting development in the way movies are made. The long cancelled TV series Veronica Mars got a second chance at life, raising over $2 million for a feature film in 10 hours on Kickstarter.

For those who aren't familiar with the show I'll give you a quick history lesson.

Veronica Mars was the story of a titular high school student who follows in the footsteps of her father, an ex-sheriff turned private investigator, at first to solve the murder of her best friend.

The show was a critically acclaimed combo of teen drama and crime-busting, but it struggled to find a big enough audience on the equally struggling UPN, and its successor CW, and was cancelled after three seasons.

Ever since star Kirsten Bell and creator/producer Rob Thomas have been trying to bring the show back, chiefly as a feature film spin-off. The show developed a strong post-mortem fan-base thanks to DVDs and Warner Brothers agreed to help release a Veronica Mars feature film  if Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell could demonstrate just how dedicated those fans were by raising at least $2 million from them on Kickstarter.

I think it's time we take a look at the PROS & CONS!


1. Fans might actually get what they want. This is pretty self explanatory, the fans want more, and this deal might get them more of what they want.

2. It's educational. Those same fans will be giving money to a massive multinational film and television company and will probably not see a penny of return on their investment. Now they'll know what happens to a lot big investors in the movie business.


1. Death by expectations. If this movie is not beyond perfection the fans could be in for a massive disappointment. It can't be just good, it has to be stupendous, or it will be judged a disaster. Remember, people tend to view their favourite cancelled shows through rose-coloured glasses, and those glasses get pulled off in the theatre.

2. Warner Brothers. The studio has pledged to help distribute the film, but we all know that there are contractual obligations, and contractual obligations. If Warner Brothers doesn't think they're going to get a blockbuster level of return on their investment with this movie, they could dump on DVD, or cable TV, or they could cancel the project completely, and claim the $2 million was spent on developing a project they ultimately declared a write off.

Anyway, I wish the filmmakers good luck, and maybe create a new method for cult level filmmaking.


  1. Dirty McDingus sez,

    It wasn't a kick-starter project but did have the backing of solid DvD sells to impel Universal Studio to produce a movie out of it.
    'Firefly' was a Massive lost opportunity handled horribly on the tv to be canceled in under 13 or episodes after being bumped through several hours and days. But it was made into a movie because of fan efforts and those written mentions of great DvD sales.
    But due to poor advertisement (or worst disinterest) from audiences, it completely bombed.

  2. Firefly was a great show, but it was not a massive lost opportunity. I don't know why the fans can't let that myth go. It was a western, set in outer space. There; two genres mainstream audiences are completely uninterested in.

    Whedon's 'big' show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, had small ratings. It would have died a quick death on Fox and any of the other real networks. It just got a lot of coverage because it was watched by the sort of people who write articles for magazines. Sort of like Girls, now. Only Girls is on HBO and can survive very small ratings.

    Firefly likely never would have gotten Buffy-level ratings, and even if it had, somehow, Fox would have been obliged to cancel it. I'm sure it cost a lot more to produce than Buffy, as well, given the nature of the show.

    Fox didn't handle it very well, but it wouldn't have mattered in the even the short long run. I do think it makes the show's fans (amongst which I count myself) sound childish, though, to continuing act like the show was this major hit waiting to happen.

    Also, rather than just dunning Fox for cancelling great shows, maybe fans should also thank them for giving them a shot in the first place.

  3. Kickstarter just gave me hope of finally seeing a "Small Wonder" movie. Hell Yeah.