2006: Executive producer, Rob Thomas answers questions about the upcoming season of "Veronica Mars" as Kristen Bell looks on during the CW's Television Critics Assn. press conference in 2006. (Lucas Jackson /Associated Press)Link
2004: "Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell. (Warner Bros)Link
2005: Joss Whedon makes his acting debut as Douglas, a rental car agent, in this behind-the-scenes look at the filming of 'Veronica Mars." (Greg Schwartz/CBS)Link
2006: Kylie (right, guest star Kristin Cavallari), turns to Veronica (Kristen Bell) for help when a blackmailer cracks into a private online bulletin board and threatens to publicly out everyone associated with the site unless they pay $5,000 apiece. (Warner Bros.)Link
2006: Veronica Mars during graduation (Scott Humbert /Warner Bros.)Link
2004: Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars.Link
The cast of “Veronica Mars” is still shooting the show’s big-screen comeback, but writer Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and the rest of the Neptune High crew assembled before fans at Comic-Con’s Hall H to debut new footage, reminisce, and thank the fans who gave $5.7 million via Kickstarter to see their favorite girl detective back in action.
The film version wraps Monday, and Thomas, who wrote and directed, says he hopes its just the first of many (though he’s hoping the studio will just give him the money for the next one.)
“I want to be a Bond franchise,” Thomas said.
Though footage from the new movie was screened, there’s still no hint as to what the plot or mystery will be. We do know that Veronica hasn’t worked as a private investigator since the end of the series, and now she’s a lawyer in New York City. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before she’s pulled back into the world of her small town of Neptune, Calif.
“I can tell you it has a ‘Godfather III’ theme to it,” Thomas said. “Which is weird. Why wouldn’t I pick ‘Godfather II’? It’s a better movie.”
Though the revival of the show is headed for the big screen, the footage screened looked just like the TV series. Jamie Lee Curtis makes an appearance as an attorney interviewing Veronica for a job. And there’s a high school class reunion, where Dick (Ryan Hansen) is still behaving exactly how you’d want him to.
“I know what the pleasure zones are for ‘Veronica Mars’ viewers, and I wrote to those,” Thomas said.
Bell did reveal her first line back as Veronica, which she delivered on stage: “Charming drink names. I can’t decide between a Beast With Two Backs and a Donkey Punch. Do you think they’d let me order a virgin De-Virginator?”
Cast members Enrico Colatoni, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell and Tina Majorino joined Thomas and Bell on stage. And all expressed again and again how thrilling and emotional it was for them to reunite with their “Veronica Mars” cast mates. Capra, especially, seemed moved by the film revival.
“I felt like I’d fallen off the face of the planet,” Capra said. “You guys brought my family back.”
But not all the actors returned to “Veronica Mars” without reservation. Lowell, whose character, Piz, broke up Veronica’s relationship with Logan on the series, wore a “Team Logan” T-shirt on stage. (Dohring, who plays Logan, wore a “Team Piz” shirt.)
“I wore this shirt so I wouldn’t be shot when I stepped on stage,” Lowell said. “When I heard about the movie, I thought, ‘The death threats have almost stopped. Why now?’” Lowell did acknowledge that his status as the series cad has brought about some “funky” interactions with fans.
Even though the film was the most successful movie project to date on Kickstarter, it’s still a low-budget effort as far as Hollywood projects go. Thomas addressed the budget, telling fans, “There were a couple of different ways we could have done this. We’re shooting in the low 20s in terms of shooting days. The smart way to do this would have been an Agatha Christie-style story set in a house, no new characters. Very contained. Instead, we made an ambitious, sprawling, low-budget movie. The tough part is that you have to be moving fast all the time. But because the actors know their roles, they have three or four chances at a line reading. That’s it. Every day we’re racing the clock.”
The movie is expected in theaters in the first two months of 2014. Thomas also explained how he’s sold two “Veronica Mars” novels, which will pick up after the movie, following a 28-year-old Veronica on her adventures.
One fan who made it to the microphone revealed himself as a Kickstarter backer and congratulated the assembled cast. “Best $500 I ever spent,” he said.
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