Violet and I basically lived in Hall H at Comic-Con, and Friday, July 19, was no different. After the panel for The World’s End was the Veronica Mars panel from 11:15am-12:15pm. I had put this on one of my most anticipated panels of Comic-Con 2013, not because I was a fan of the show, but because I am very interested in the Kickstarter aspect of the movie being produced, and wanted to learn more about it. Unfortunately, there was not a ton of information on the Kickstarter campaign as far as how it worked, but there were some interesting tidbits. Also, for Veronica Mars enthusiasts, they were probably ecstatic to have their show revived from the dead for a motion picture, a la Firefly with Serenity. While not being a die-hard fan of Veronica Mars, I want to provide those fans out there that could not attend Comic-Con something they can hopefully appreciate in the absence of being there! Let’s get into it!
Jeff Jensen is the moderator for this panel, and opens his presentation with praise for Veronica Mars. A video is then shown regarding the filming of the movie, and the “crowd source” funding through Kickstarter. There are some plot points regarding the movie brought up as well, with Veronica (Kristen Bell) having a brief scene saying, “I don’t do that anymore”, likely referring to her P.I.-ing. The video continues with cast and crew praising the fans for their dedication to the Kickstarter funding. We learn 91,000 people donated to making nearly 6 million dollars for the film.
The video ends, and the moderator brings out the cast, starting with Francis Capra (Eli “Weevil” Navarro). Next is Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), then Percy Daggs (Wallace Fennell). Following them is Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Tina Majorino (Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie), Chris Lowell (Stosh “Piz” Piznarski), and Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls). The creator is then brought out, Rob Thomas (not the Matchbox Twenty Singer), and finally Kristen Bell.
The moderator begins with discussing with Rob Thomas what the movie will be about. Rob reveals little about it, but says it has a “Godfather III to it”. He reveals Veronica Mars has moved on to being an attorney since the show, but in the movie will return to its P.I. roots.
Jensen moves on to Kristen, to discuss the end of the show. Kristen Bell at first says she doesn’t remember the moment the show was cancelled, but then she remembers, saying that it coincided with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where ironically enough, Kristen Bell’s character reveals that her show in the movie is being cancelled. She says, “a lot of honesty came out” since they were parallels between real life and the movie she was in. The moderator then asks about the reviving of the show via the movie, and Kristen Bell reveals the first line back on the set of the movie: “Charming drink name, I can’t decide between a ‘Beast with Two Backs’ or a ‘Donkey Punch’, oh, do you think they would let me order a virgin de-virginator?”, which elicited applause from the audience.
The moderator movies on to Francis Capra, asking if he thought the movie would actually be revived. He reveals he had hope, but didn’t really think it would happen, but was overjoyed to hear that it was coming back. The moderator moves on to Tina, (after a brief interruption by Kristen Bell to acknowledge Tina’s hotness) asking how it was like returning. She says, “we all secretly hoped this would happen” (the return of the show), and she talks about running into the cast one by one, and how it felt “appropriate” given the movie’s storyline.
Percy then discusses the quickness of the movie preparation and filming. He echoes the other cast members, how it felt like a reunion, and enjoyed the return to the show. The moderator continues down the line, asking about the rest of the cast’s experiences returning for the movie.
The moderator then moves onto discussing the filming of the Kickstarter video with Ryan, which was filmed over a year ago. Funny enough, Kristen reveals that the puppet theater used for the video was handmade. If you haven’t seen the Kickstarter video, I have linked it here:
Audience questions are up next, beginning with a British man asking if Kristen did anything to celebrate her birthday. Kristen says she spent most of the day shooting the movie, but did get a singing of Happy Birthday. The next question is asking about the changes for Veronica Mars being 10 years older. Kristen Bell says that her character is very easy to jump into due to Rob’s brain.
The next person asks what the actors’ favorite scenes are in the show. Jason Dohring discusses his favorite being his kiss with Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars, and being caught by his wife. He didn’t seem to feel to guilty about it though. Ryan Hansen talks about working with Jason, and at the request of Kristen Bell, recites his first line on the show, which is, “Logan” in a gruff voice. Percy discusses his favorite moments, which were working with Jason and when he had his first Snickerdoodle on the show, to which he became addicted. Rico then discusses his, which is when he watched the show with his real daughter, and she would look back and forth between the TV and him.
Jensen then asks when the movie will be wrapped, which was the Monday after Comic-Con. They then discuss the budget for the film, and how they had to make a good movie with the limited budget. He says that since, “the actors know their roles” it was a lot easier to film quickly, which was important to stay in budget, as they were, “racing the clock”. As for what is missing in the film? Rob says, “More time”.
Back to the audience, a lady asks Jason if any of the “Echolls” will be in the movie, which he confirms as not happening. The next audience member reveals his Kickstarter backer number, and asks Rob if he is working with a dream cast. Obviously the answer is going to be yes, it would be awkward to say no to this question. Chemistry is the subject of the next question, asking how the cast works together, and if they improvise at all. Percy discusses his nervousness at his first read for the show, but felt the cast made it easy to work together. Kristen reveals that there was little improvisation, due to the great writing of Rob Thomas. All of the other actors sort of echo this feeling.
The last question asks if the actors could play any other character who would it be. They go down the line in a half joking matter.
The moderator asks when the movie will be released, which will be in early 2014, and some books for Veronica Mars will be released as well. Finishing up, the moderator asks Rob Thomas if there is another movie, would he use Kickstarter again. Rob’s answer is interesting: “For a huge hit, I am not sure Kickstarter is meant to fund a huge hit”, and reveals the normal channels might be a better option. I am wondering if he felt he bit off more than he could chew with this project?
Overall, this panel was very exciting for Veronica Mars fans, and I would think it would be reminiscent of Firefly . I had no idea this show had such a diehard following, and I am happy for them, that they are getting some closure for their show. I wish Kickstarter was discussed a little more, but that is not what the panel was supposed to be about, and there were some nuggets of information in the panel that were worthwhile to hear. To wrap things up, below is a YouTube video of the Comic-Con video we saw, so if you weren’t there, you can see it!