Two days ago, Veronica Mars‘ dedicated fans resurrected the show from its grave through Kickstarter, a platform independent filmmakers, musicians, and artists use to begin their careers and ignite their dreams. Year after year there were rumors being unearthed of a Veronica Mars feature film being crafted, but let’s face it; Veronica Mars didn’t have the clout or social cache to be adapted into a feature film. Or at least Warner Bros. didn’t seem to think so. Finally, the defunct show’s star (Kristen Bell) and creator (Rob Thomas) initiated a Kickstarter campaign, which asked for fans to give money to reach a $2 million budget established by Warner Bros., a dream became a reality. With well over $3 million dollars accounted for, Warner Bros. green-lit the film, with the intention to distribute and market it for 2014. Happy days have indeed arrived, but despite the goodwill, Warner Bros ultimately backhanded the fans.
Listen, I have an unshakable respect for Veronica Mars fans. Their dedication over the years to keep their show on the air is impressive, as well as their continued dedication to getting a film made. Being that I was once a tortured Arrested Development fan, I understand their plight. If Mitchell Hurwitz and Ron Howard came to my door asking for money to create an Arrested Development film, I may have given them a few dollars, if not my entire life savings. In spite of my admiration for their Veronica Mars campaign, my unstable mind thinks Warner Bros. duped fans into paying for a film they will already pay for anyways. You know, in the form of a movie ticket. What’s even more depressing is that Warner Bros. established the $2 million contingency. So let me get this straight. After making billions of dollars worldwide with the Harry Potter and Dark Knight franchises, Warner Bros. can’t find $2 million to fund a Veronica Mars film? Perhaps, I’m looking at Warner Bros. cash flow from a naïve perspective, but a juggernaut studio of their stature probably could find that kind of money under a couch cushion or tumbling about in their dryer. They make shittier, less profitable films for twenty times that amount, so surely it’s not that big of a gamble.
I guess it’s fitting that the fans pay for something they want so bad, but not only are they funding the film, but they have to pay for a movie ticket and its subsequent DVD/Blu-ray release? Warner Bros. exploited a fan base they knew was ferocious, and not only found a way to get around making a film they didn’t care to make, but now are going to profit from it. Moreover, it’s sad that a springboard like Kickstarter became a tool for a corporate venture. In many ways, the independent spirit became a corporate machination. I can’t imagine this angle will be damning to too many people, but it saddens me a bit. Honestly, my disappointment just doesn’t sit with Warner Bros. taking advantage of zealous fans, but also Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas. The two have been talking about a film version of Veronica Mars for years, which just demonstrates their love for the show and its characters, but you’d think their place in Hollywood and range of contacts could’ve found another way to fund what’s essentially an independent production from a budget standpoint. Their Kickstarter campaign was likely initiated because of Warner Bros. posturing, but was this really their last resort?
In any event, now that the fans have donated an incredible amount of money, you better believe they’re expecting a fucking great film, one that validates their six-year wait and financial contribution. I truly hope the film exceeds fan’s expectations because if it doesn’t, then their Herculean efforts will die in vain. I’m glad you’ll have another opportunity to hang with your favorite character and see a distant dream become a tangible reality, but ultimately a film studio exploited your determination for profit. Admittedly, I’m likely treating this too simplistically, and I’m lacking the real details. But something about this event feels like a disservice. Warner Bros. will likely claim they didn’t believe there was an ounce of interest for a Veronica Mars film, thus this was the only way to get the film made. Don’t let them fool you. They knew exactly what kind of fans they were dealing with because, in the end, they made you pay for their movie. #Conspiracy #ButThenAgainIDontKnowAllTheDetails