Veronica Mars, the teen-noir show that first made Kristen Bell a thing and basically defined "Best Show You're Not Watching," stopped being a television program when the CW put it down in 2007. But much like the Keyser Söze that Veronica surely must have referenced at some point, it's lived on as a rumor ever since. Both Bell and creator/EP Rob Thomas have teased fans for years with talk of getting the band back together to continue the Mars-iverse in a movie. Back when there was speculative talk of a Season 4, the plan was to flash-forward to Veronica as a fledgling FBI agent, so there was a story idea. But it remained a pipe dream.
However. Today, Thomas and Bell have announced a Kickstarter campaign for fans of the show, one with a simple mandate: If they can get $2 million pledged by April 12, they'll shoot the movie this summer. They've ponied up rewards for fans who donate, all the way up to a speaking role in the movie (if you have a spare 10 grand burning a hole in your pocket). They made a funny little video and everything, along with series costars Enrico Colatoni, Jason Dohring, and Ryan Hansen.
I suppose we can blame Star Trek for the idea that a failed TV show can find second life as a movie. In the era of "save our shows" campaigns, we've seen big-screen revivals of Firefly (in the guise of Serenity), and I'm not sure if you've heard, but Arrested Development is coming back with new episodes on Netflix.
So is this the new business model for turning fan enthusiasm into dollars? The direct-democracy way to get the entertainment you want? Or is it Hollywood getting you suckers to pony up production costs so it can get even fatter off the profits?
One thing's certain: Ryan Hansen is promising both back rubs and front rubs in exchange for donations, so you know this campaign means business.
Joe Reid (@joereid) is a writer living in Hell's Kitchen, New York.