Most Read: Entertainment

Trove link goes here

Live Discussions

12:00 PM The Fix Live   LIVE NOW
12:00 PM Carolyn Hax Live (Friday, Sept. 19)   LIVE NOW

Weekly schedule, past shows

TV Column
Posted at 06:45 PM ET, 03/13/2013

‘Veronica Mars’ fans set new Kickstarter record, raise more than $2 million for sequel flick [UPDATED]

Shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday, Rob Thomas, creator of the short-lived UPN/CW detective drama “Veronica Mars” tweeted that if fans would pledge $2 million by 11 p.m. Friday, April 12, Warner Bros. had agreed to put into production a “Veronica Mars” movie that would get a limited theatrical release in early 2014, and would foot the bills for marketing, promotion and distribution.

A Kickstarter campaign was born.

“The record time to $1M on Kickstarter is 7 hours. Can we top that? Can we make it there in 5? $80K to go!” Thomas tweeted excitedly as they approached the $1 million mark.

The campaign hit $1 million at 3:06 p.m. ET — just four hours after it was launched, setting a new Kickstarter record. It hit $2 million at 8:55 p.m. ET.

“We are so close...it has me so jittery! So Im doing the only reasonable thing to calm my nerves. #imonthetredmillwatchinghoarders,” tweeted star Kristen Bell Wednesday afternoon as the ticker inched up toward $2 million.

Kickstarter was founded in 2009 to raise money for “creative” projects via Web crowd funding. Among the works reportedly funded are documentary shorts “Sun Come Up” and “Incident in New Baghdad” — both nominated for an Academy Award.

Thomas’s fundraiser roared out of the gate Wednesday morning; by 1:45 p.m. more than $720,000 had been pledged by about 9,300 people. That’s an average of about $77 per person. Pledges were pouring in at the rate of about $4,000 per minute.

“Veronica Mars” premiered on the now defunct UPN network in the fall of 2004; 2.5 million people tuned in to the first season, starring Bell as a high schooler in the town of Neptune, Calif., who moonlights as a detective, under the mentorship of her private-eye dad.

When UPN and WB networks went toes up, and CW network rose from their ashes, the new network took “VM” to its primetime lineup, but the show only lasted one more season, making it three in all.

Apparently, fans — who, sadly, do not refer to themselves as Veronica Martians, but as “marshmallows” — have been obsessing ever since.

“Best $50 I’ve ever spent. ‘Veronica Mars’ is hands down my favorite TV show of all time!! I know every single line,” gushed pledger Tami Bereznay in the comments section of the fundraising campaign.

“I’m an unemployed, broke, recent college graduate, but I’m still willing to donate for this!” enthused fiscally challenged Autumn Hayes, who did not say how much she’d tossed in to the kitty. “If I can do it, anybody can,” she added.

Many of the comments were made by “VM” fanatics outside the U.S., complaining the campaign had been set up to ship pledge rewards only inside the U.S. which was “crippling the campaign.” Many of those folks said they’d made only a $10 pledge, which entitled them to receive a pdf of the shooting script on the day of the movie’s release, and regular updates and behind-the-scenes scoops throughout the fundraising and movie making process.

“Rob Thomas, you magnificent bastard, include international shipping and take more of my damn money,” scolded Clinton Hallahan.

“The more money we raise, the cooler movie we can make,” Thomas promised fans on the Kickstarter campaign page at the start of the fundraiser.

“A $2 million fundraising total probably means cross words are exchanged at the class reunion. $3 million? We can afford a full-on brawl. $10 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...if that total goes high enough, I’ll bet the good folks at Warner Bros. will agree a sequel is a good idea.”

Speaking of the good folks at Warner Bros., you can imagine how silly they were feeling Wednesday afternoon for having set the greenlight threshold at a mere $2 mil.

You know who else was probably feeling pretty silly? Mitch Hurwitz, who has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get an “Arrested Development” flick off the ground for, like, forever.

Ditto Shawn Ryan, who about six months ago said in interviews he was mulling a Kickstarter campaign to make a movie version of his failed “Terriers” series for FX, while tweeting that he would “need Fox approval (no gimme). Who’d be in?”

(Wednesday afternoon, Ryan tweeted “Very interested to see how ‘Veronica Mars’ kickstarter goes. Could be a model for a ‘Terriers’ wrap up film.”)

And NBC suits huddled Wednesday as the “Veronica Mars” campaign discuss whether they could get viewers to finance next season of all of their Thursday comedies.

Okay, we made up that last part.

Anyway, less than half an hour after Thomas first tweeted the news of the campaign, someone had already pledged $10,000, which entitled them to a speaking role in the flick, playing a waiter or a waitress who would say the single line, “Your check, sir.” With the caveat, Thomas explained, that if the marshmallow “goes all hammy and ruins the scene” they’ll be cut.

Another rabid fan pledged $6,500, which entitled them to name a character whose name would be spoken by an actor at least once in the movie — so long as the name can be cleared by Warner Bros. legal suits.

Poor Bell is on the hook to record 44 15-second personalized voicemail messages, because that’s how many people contributed $500 to the movie fund. She’ll also have to make 50 20-second personalized video greetings — the number of people who ponied up $600.

Many comments on the Kickstarter site came from fans living outside the U.S., complaining the campaign had been set up to ship pledge rewards only inside the country, which they felt was “crippling” the drive. Many of them noted they’d only pledged $10, which entitled them to receive a pdf of the shooting script on the day of the movie’s release, and regular updates and behind-the-scenes scoops throughout the fundraising and movie making process.

“Rob Thomas, you magnificent bastard, include international shipping and take more of my damn money,” scolded Clinton Hallahan.

(Wednesday afternoon, Thomas tweeted they were trying to work out the whole international thing.)

And, late in the afternoon, as the $2 million threshold drew near, he announced a “stretch goal”: “$3 Million or Logan Echolls doesn’t survive the movie!” Echolls being Mar’s bad-boy love interest.

Minutes later he amended that challenge and promised Logan would live, after he was accosted by marshmallows at his local Starbucks. “Instead [Mars’s dog] Backup won’t survive unless we get $3M.”

(Moments after the $1 million threshold was crossed at 3:06 p.m., setting that new Kickstarter record, Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina was unveiled in Rome — the first Jesuit pope, and first from Latin America.

“Wow. A new pope and a Veronica Mars movie all in one day!” marveled “VM” fan Jess Zimmerman.)


Kristen Bell and Percy Daggs in a scene from “Veronica Mars“ on UPN. (UPN)

By  |  06:45 PM ET, 03/13/2013

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company