‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Kickstarter Campaign More Than DOUBLES Goal of $2 Million


Now, I’ve never actually seen a single episode of Veronica Mars but this news is very cool because once again, it’s indicative of the new direction that the Internet is forcing the television industry in.

If you haven’t heard by now, on March 12th, series creator Rob Thomas started this ambitious fundraising project to raise $2 million to produce a Veronica Mars feature film.

Almost since Veronica Mars went off the air, there’s been talk of making a movie. In that span, I’ve taken different tactics in dealing with the question of whether it might happen. To be clear, I’ve always wanted to make a Veronica Mars movie. I love writing these characters and working with these actors. Kristen Bell has always wanted to make the movie.

There was a moment, a few years ago, when we thought we had a real shot at making it happen. I developed a pitch that revolved around graduation day at Hearst college — Wallace and Mac were graduating at least, Veronica had been sidetracked by freeing Keith from prison. Plus, there was a murder in Neptune that was affecting the beach city’s spring break business in much the same way a great white shark affected the beach community of Amity. I probably stoked fan fervor in my optimistic comments about the prospects. Warner Bros. wasn’t convinced there was enough interest to warrant a major studio-sized movie about Veronica and the project never got off the ground.

After that, I tried to tamp down expectations. I didn’t want to be guilty — at least not twice — of building up hope when the odds seemed so long. Still, without fail, in every interview I do or every place I speak, I get the “will there be a Veronica Mars movie?” question. Even after a couple of years of downplaying the chances, I’d still run across blog postings headlined, “will Rob Thomas shut up about the Veronica Mars movie, already!” I was trying to. I promise.

I first found out about Kickstarter a couple of years ago from an Austin musician friend of mine — Robert Harrison, lead singer of Cotton Mather, the band that gave us “Lily Dreams On,” our closing song of season 1. He financed a rerelease of the band’s fantastic Kontiki album. Later, I was marveling about Kickstarter with another buddy of mine who said off-handedly, “You should use Kickstarter to raise the money to make the Veronica Mars movie.” I chuckled. That seemed like a silly idea in the moment. We’d need millions. But for the next few weeks, the notion was never far from my mind. I started doing the proverbial back-of-a-cocktail-napkin math. The average pledge on Kickstarter is $71. Hell, if we could get 30,000 people to give the average donation, we could finance the movie, particularly if the cast and I were willing to work cheap. The most common donation amount on Kickstarter is $25. Surely, 80,000 of our three million viewers would find that price-point viable!

Of course, Warner Bros. still owns Veronica Mars and we would need their blessing and cooperation to pull this off. Kristen and I met with the Warner Bros. brass, and they agreed to allow us to take this shot. They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board. So this is it. This is our shot. I believe it’s the only one we’ve got. It’s nerve-wracking. I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion, but there’s also the chance that we completely revolutionize how projects like ours can get made. No Kickstarter project ever has set a goal this high. It’s up to you, the fans, now. If the project is successful, our plan is to go into production this summer and the movie will be released in early 2014.

Life has taken Veronica away from Neptune. In the years since spoiling Keith’s chances to be reelected sheriff, Veronica hasn’t taken a case. But something big is about to bring her back home and back to her calling. My goal is to include as many of your favorite characters as possible. It is, after all, time for Veronica’s 10-year high school reunion. Keep in mind that the more money we raise, the cooler movie we can make. A two million dollar fundraising total probably means cross words are exchanged at the class reunion. Three million? We can afford a full-on brawl. Ten 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. We’ll figure out something cool. Hey, if that total goes high enough, I’ll bet the good folks at Warner Bros. will agree a sequel is a good idea.

Thanks to everyone who hasn’t lost faith.


And with that the project hit its goal of $2 million… on the first day.  Since then, that total has more than doubled and currently stands at about $4.4 million.

We here at the ‘Tastic plan to kick-in $50 just so we can get all that cool swag which includes a T-Shirt, DVD and digital download of the film and give it away to a lucky subscriber.  We’ll give you more details on that soon.

To donate to this ambitious project and to be a part of film and television history click the link below!

The Veronica Mars Movie Project

REVIEW: House of Lies (Showtime – Sunday, 10:00 p.m.)

Charming, fast talking Marty Kaan and his crack team of MBA-toting management consultants are playing America’s 1 percent for everything they’ve got. They put the con in consulting as they charm smug, unsuspecting corporate fat cats into closing huge deals, and spending a fortune for their services. Twisting the facts, spinning the numbers, and spouting just enough business school jargon to dazzle the clients, there’s no end to what this crew won’t do to and for each other, while laughing all the way to the bank. Starring Academy Award® Nominee Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, nothing is sacred in HOUSE OF LIES, a hilarious, irreverent send-up of corporate America today. – Showtime

22 out of 100

It’s hard to explain exactly how we knew this show was going to be as bad as it was before it even started, but let’s just say that we had an idea based on the general snarkiness that oozed from the trailers that Showtime was pumping down our throats at the end of each episode of Dexter and Homeland.  And even though we knew it would be distasteful based on what we had seen, being distasteful in and of itself isn’t automatic disqualifer as far as television is concerned, especially for comedies.

We enjoy a lot of shows that would be considered distasteful.  F/X’s  Archer is probably one of the most distasteful shows on television and it also happens to be the most brilliant comedy on television.  As far as dramas are concerned, Starz’ Boss couldn’t be any more distasteful but we absolutely love it and of course there’s all of those reality shows that we sheepishly admit that even we enjoy (yes, Celebrity Wife Swap, we’re looking at you). This is what we like to call guilty pleasure programming; we know it’s terrible for us but it’s just soooooooo good. It’s kinda like eating an entire Whitman’s Sampler box in one sitting.

Therein lies the problem with House of Lies.  It’s not a guilty pleasure and we had a funny feeling that it wasn’t going to be because like all of the characters on the show, it just looked too slick for its own good.

Here’s the opening two minutes of the pilot:

An overhead shot of a naked Don Cheadle (Kaan) passed out on a naked Dawn Olivieri (Monica Talbot).  Kaan wakes up in a panic and immediately attempts to revive his “overnight guest” and nothing’s working which seems a little odd for the audience to say the least.  Then the voice-overs and the cutaways begin and Marty explains that naked woman who he is so desperately trying to revive is his prescription medication addicted ex-wife and he dresses her while she’s unconscious and props her in a chair with a laptop because… why?  Get ready for this: he wants his 10 year-old cross-dressing son to think she was doing work.  Charming, isn’t it?

Nope, it’s not and neither is Cheadle’s portrayal of Kaan, or any of the characters on this show or the show itself.  House of Lies is just another in a long line of shows with reprehensible characters behaving reprehensibly under the guise of being charming and clever.  There is nothing charming or clever about this show.

Again, we have no problem with nudity or other adult-audience oriented behavior on premium cable, but it becomes an issue when it’s used gratuitously as a crutch in an effort to hide the fact that the writing on a show is lacking and that’s exactly what’s going on here. House of Lies is using cheap gimmicks to try to hide the fact that it’s not just not a very good show.

HOUSE OF LIES, a hilarious, irreverent send-up of corporate America today.”

No, what House of Lies is is a big fat snooze-fest.  This show is supposed to be a comedy but not only did we not laugh once, it was the longest 35 minutes of TV watching we’ve ever endured.  It was so slow that it honestly felt like over an hour had passed at the 22-minute mark.

Seriously, this is a big fact stinker and we expected a lot more from Cheadle and Kristen Bell.