The Veronica Mars movie is a triumph.
A lot of films have been made from TV series, but very few have come together quite like Veronica Mars, a grassroots project funded by fans through a Kickstarter campaign. Writer-director Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell led the charge, which saw more than 90,000 backers come on board with nearly $6 million. It's the largest Kickstarter project to date.
Kristen Bell in the Veronica Mars movie
The TV series ran from 2004 to 2007 and earned positive reviews, decent ratings plus numerous awards for its 64 episodes following a crime-solving teen in the seaside town of Neptune, California. Originally written as a young-adult novel with a male protagonist, Thomas changed the gender because he thought the noir mystery would be more interesting with a female at the centre.
Indeed, the show's ratings grew slowly over its three-year run, which made its cancellation in 2007 utterly inexplicable to the fans and the cast and crew.
Thomas first started work on a film version in 2008, planning to bring closure to some of the series' loose plot threads. He considered continuing Veronica's sleuthing both at university and as a rookie agent at the FBI. But as the years passed, the idea shifted and the studio lost interest in funding the production. So Thomas and Bell turned to the fans for financing. Calling themselves "Marshmallows", these fans have turned out to be some of the most loyal in TV-show memory, campaigning for the series to return (they sent more than 10,000 Mars bars to the network) and ultimately funding the movie.