The Unprecedented Pressures of Making a ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie


In a month, on March 14, the Veronica Mars movie will finally be released. It’s a day that many people thought would never come. The show was canceled in 2007, and with every year that passed, it became harder to believe that we would ever see these characters again. Then came the historic Kickstarter: the fastest project to hit $1 million, and then $2 million; the highest set goal ever achieved; the largest film project. By the end of the campaign, only one month later, it had raised $5,702,153 and broke the Kickstarter record for most backers on a single campaign.

It was certainly a successful — and impressive — campaign. Detractors aside, it was exciting news for two camps: the Veronica Mars fans, myself included, who had spent years obsessively picking apart any bit of news related to an upcoming movie; and television creators who now saw Kickstarter as a potential means to wrap up stories that had been cut short when their own programs had been prematurely canceled (provided they had a strong enough fanbase, of course).

Entertainment Weekly‘s new cover story is all about the Veronica Mars movie. The magazine visited the set and talked to the cast and crew of the film about the legacy of the show, the Kickstarter campaign, and the need to create a movie that will satisfy Veronica Mars fans. I have to imagine that it’s always tough to write a good continuation of a television program years after it has ended, especially if that program inspires the sort of rabid dedication that Veronica Mars has. Take Arrested Development: while the fourth season on Netflix was definitely a funny and successful season of television, it was scrutinized more than the rest of the series’ run. The fans had spent years waiting for new episodes (or a movie, or anything involving the Bluth family) and thinking about what exactly they wanted from those episodes. They had years to build up their expectations, and for some of these fans, it was inevitable that they would be disappointed.

With Veronica Mars, there is an added pressure: not only have the fans been waiting almost a decade for this, but they have also essentially paid to make the Veronica Mars movie happen. This is the first time a television show has been successfully Kickstarted into a movie and, as creator Rob Thomas puts it, “We’re guinea pigs for a whole new model of filmmaking.” This movie doesn’t just belong to Warner Bros. — it also belongs to the 91,585 backers who pledged.

However, the Veronica Mars crew seem confident that they won’t disappoint. Throughout the article, it’s clear that they all love the show just as much as the fans do — and they have no intention of disappointing themselves. The movie will have inside jokes and play a little fan service (the EW cover itself is a cute picture of Veronica and Logan, even though Veronica’s dating Piz in the film). Veronica Mars is a show that really know its fanbase and that understands what we would want out of a movie. Of course, it can’t please everyone (I remain the one lone member of Team Piz), but it surely won’t disappoint.