Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What "The Veronica Mars Movie Project" could mean for your favorite TV show

Earlier today Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell, the creator and star of Veronica Mars, announced that there will be a Veronica Mars movie next year...if the fans helped pay for it. Enter the kickstarter asking for $2 million by April 12. Basically, the deal with Warner Brothers, who owned the right was that if they could get the money to make the movie, WB would pay for distribution and marketing.

As you can see if you go to the campaign, The Veronica Mars Movie Project met its goal, in one day, and still has people making pledges. 

All this has sparked a lot of discussion about what this means for the future of TV movies. Some people have expressed concern that this will become how all future movies are made. Mostly people are just excited about what it means for their favorite cult shows that got canceled. Everyone is throwing around names of shows that could get made into TV movies now, so I thought I'd share my opinion of some of them. 

Firefly: The Movie
One of the most commonly suggested shows to get this treatment, given that the first movie got made on the strength of the series' DVD sales, it isn't that much of a stretch to imagine it would try a kickstarter campaign.  The stars have also expressed interest in coming back and continuing their roles. Unfortunately, it also has a lot of things working against it. The first movie didn't do very well at the box office, so the studio might be wary to make it, even if the fans chip in. Also, given that the show is science fiction and takes place in space, it's going to need a MUCH bigger budget than $2 million, so any realistic amount asked for might just end up being too much to actually get. Also a problem (though a good one), Joss Whedon is pretty busy right now with Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so even if it does happen, it'd be a while. Besides, like with Buffy and Angel the story has already been continued in comic book form.

Gilmore Girls: The Movie
In honor of Rory Gilmore, a Pro/Con list.
Pros: No real dangling plot threads means they can write a real stand alone movie, Can be done on a low budget since there were never really any massive special effects, Also owned by Warner Brothers the success of VM means they might be more willing than other studios to try, Fans clearly want it to happen.
Cons: Do the creators and actors want to make a movie? While they've expressed interest when asked, they haven't gone out of their way to say it's something they want to do, the way Thomas and Bell have.

Chuck: The Movie
While special effects cost would drive up the price to make this a reality, the fans have shown in the past that they are willing to put their money where their mouths are. Chuck fans went to Subway restaurants (a main sponsor of the show) and bought sandwiches, leaving suggestion box notes to "Save Chuck". It worked, the show was renewed and got five seasons in total. Given the open ended nature of the finale, a movie would be a great way to show just how things finally ended up. Also going for it? Earlier today Zachary Levi, who played the titular Chuck, tweeted that the Veronica Mars news "bolstered [his] faith that [he] can bring you a Chuck Movie". 

Leverage: The Movie
One thing that kept repeating in the back of my mind today while waiting to see Veronica Mars reach $2 million was that $2 million is also what John Rodgers has said is the budget for an episode of Leverage, so I imagine a full on movie would cost more, but not a lot more. The show was only just canceled, but Rodgers says TNT has been letting them shop it around to try and find a new home, so why not let the fans, who stole a People's Choice Award to try and get the show renewed, pay for a movie?

Arrested Development: The Movie
Years after the show was canceled, Netflix got the rights to the show, and has now made a season 4, to be released in May. Ron Howard, the creator has said that the episodes will stand on their own, but also as a lead-in to a movie which, as of this writing, hasn't been ordered by any studio. The hope was that if the soon-to-be-released season 4 was successful enough, a movie deal would come through. And that may still happen. But maybe instead, the movie studio will ask them to do a kickstarter. Luckily, an Arrested Development movie could probably be done on a fairly low budget, and the fans have been very clear in their desire to see it happen. 


  1. Leverage is the best!

  2. Well, according to her twitter account, Lauren Graham pitched in for the Veronica Mars kickstarter, and in response to her fans and in reply to her fans questions/begging/pleading re: a Gilmore Girls kickstarter, she replied:

    "Dudes, I hear you, and thanks! But I can't be the #GilmoreGirls @kickstarter. Only Amy can start that kick."

    So, I guess we all just have to hope and pray Amy hasn't given up on that dream! As one of the moderators to a Gilmore Girls blog with over 10,000 followers, I think I'm in a pretty safe position to say, we...the fans...will never give up on that dream! Amy and Dan could make it something truly spectacular! And, if they wrote it...we know the actors could make it shine...and individually, almost every one has said that for Amy...they'd do it.

    ~iscah mckrae