On Wednesday (March 13), "Veronica Mars" fans made history, raising more than $2 million in a record-setting Kickstarter campaign that will bring a long-awaited movie to life.
Though the show was only around for three seasons, first on UPN and then on the CW, it developed a cult following — how else do you explain such an active Facebook page for a show that last aired six years ago? These long-suffering fans got their reward (and flipped the bird to the producer who said there was no audience for a film) when they helped the Kickstarter campaign sail past the $1 million mark in just four hours — the fastest haul in the crowd-funding site's history.
Star Kristen Bell live-tweeted the fund-raising campaign, her glee over raising the first million dollars leaping off the screen. "GUYS!! #VERONICAMARSMOVIE just beat @kickstarter record! 1 million in 4 hours!!! you guys are amazing!!!!!" The very pregnant Bell also joked that the excitement of it all could make her baby show up earlier than expected. "All this excitement is prolly gonna send me into early labor. #iamsoexcited #veronicamarsmovie."
Kickstarter is well-known for helping indie filmmakers get their pet projects made, but the ambitious "Veronica Mars" campaign is the first of its kind. Show creator Rob Thomas wrote that Warner Bros. promised to get behind the movie if he could prove there was enough fan interest. Well, more than 30,000 backers and $2 million on the first day of a 30-day campaign is bound to do the trick.
"This is our shot," Thomas wrote on the Kickstarter page. "I believe it's the only one we've got. It's nerve-racking. 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."
It's safe to say things are leaning more toward the revolutionary side. Steven Dengler, an entrepreneur from Toronto, even coughed up $10,000 to snag a speaking role in the film. "Super pumped about my speaking role in the upcoming Veronica Mars movie!" he tweeted. "Back it now on Kickstarter!"
The Kickstarter campaign ends April 12. Although the initial goal is met, the slackers who didn't jump in on day one are still encouraged to donate. On the low end, a $10 donation earns a PDF version of the script. On the higher end, $750 is worth tickets to the L.A. movie premiere. In a video posted with the Kickstarter, Rob and the show's stars said the coolness quotient of the movie is directly related to the amount of money raised. With a bigger budget, who knows? Veronica Mars could actually go to, well, Mars!
And now that fans have done their part, the "Veronica Mars" gang will do theirs. The film will go into production this summer, and the plan is for a release date in early 2014.
With 30 days left, how much money do you think the "Veronica Mars" movie will make? Share your predictions in the comments below!