Three years ago, I wrote a piece about why Warners needed to make a Veronica Mars movie. They didn’t. But now you can.
Rob Thomas, the cult show’s creator, has launched a $2m Kickstarter project to bring the plucky young private eye played by Kristen Bell to the big screen. In the twenty minutes since it went live, it’s earned $40,000. Not bad.
Obviously this could be huge for Veronica Mars fans, but it’s also a potentially big moment for the Kickstarted generation of filmmakers and for culture in general. Granted, this particular project has a high profile, but that’s the point. With Netflix resurrecting Arrested Development, the tide turned away from the originating channel, and with this, it could go beyond television altogether through a direct fan appeal. If this proves successful, scorned patrons from Firefly to Jericho could stop mailing angry letters to studios and start electronically sending their very real, very monetary support to bring back a show they love in whatever form the creator sees fit to deliver.
If Thomas and company are able to make this happen, and to make it a box office success, won’t Warners (and everyone else) feel dumb. It’ll prove that the audience was there all along, and that for properties like this, maybe we don’t really need the middle man to deliver.
Update: In my haste to get this posted, I failed to note that Warners will be the one distributing the film. Which makes sense as they, of course, own the copyright on it. That makes my last statement there a bit wonky. We don’t know the extent of the distribution deal, but there’s one scenario where Warners leaves money on the table and another where they make out like a bandit without risking a dime. It’s a brave new world.