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Veronica Mars: Sassy Teen Detective

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  • Joss speaks: http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/jo...er-and-firefly

    Initially, however, Whedon declined to talk about what the implications of Veronica Mars' success would mean for Firefly. But then, he says, "I realized if I don't, it's the only thing I'm ever going to be asked ever by anyone."
    So here's what he had to say:

    Adam B. Vary: So what was your reaction when you heard this was happening with Veronica Mars and it was so successful?
    Joss Whedon: It was unfettered joy. A) I thought it was an awesome and ballsy move. B) I love V. Mars and want more of it. And C) It feels like a real game-changer. Like, not since Louis C.K. [selling his comedy special directly online].

    ABV: There has been some bellyaching about the idea of going to fans to ask them to donate money to a project that they won't be true investors in.
    JW: Mmmhmm.

    ABV: Any thoughts on that?
    JW: You know, I get that. I understand that it feels not as pure, and that the presence of a studio makes it disingenuous somehow. But people clearly understood what was happening and just wanted to see more of the thing they love. To give them that opportunity doesn't feel wrong. If it was a truly wrong move, I don't think it would have worked. I feel like people would have said, "Hey, that's not fair! That doesn't count!" It costs a lot to see a movie anyway. And it's usually not one you like. That kind of passion, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. I might not be thinking it through. I'm not exactly business Joe.

    ABV: So, what does this mean for Firefly?
    JW: That's what everybody wants to know about. Uh, yeah. My fourth feeling when I read about [the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign] was a kind of dread. Because I realized the only thing that would be on everybody's mind right now. I've said repeatedly that I would love to make another movie with these guys, and that remains the case. It also remains the case that I'm booked up by Marvel for the next three years, and that I haven't even been able to get Dr. Horrible 2 off the ground because of that. So I don't even entertain the notion of entertaining the notion of doing this, and won't. Couple years from now, when Nathan [Fillion]'s no longer [on] Castle and I'm no longer the Tom Hagen of the Marvel Universe and making a giant movie, we might look and see where the market is then. But right now, it's a complete non-Kickstarter for me.

    ABV: I think you would need at least 10 times the budget of what the Veronica Mars folks are asking for for their movie to make a Firefly movie make sense.
    JW: Yes. We come to Veronica Mars to hear her talk and hear her father talk. But Firefly/Serenity, it's kind of a different animal — and then there's also the question of what kind of animal it is. Because some people are talking about Firefly episodes. Some people are talking about [a new] Serenity. I think anything we could get off the ground would be appreciated by the fans. But what form it would take is I think under some debate.
    For me, [Kickstarter] doesn't just open the floodgates. God knows, things are cheaper now than when we made even Serenity. Good effects can be done in a different manner. Nor is that universe all about spectacle either. But it is a tad more expensive — and a little all-consuming! And of course, there's the other fear: What if it's not that good? I can do something that's not that good — that's fine. But if I do that and it's not that good, I'm going to feel really stupid.
    Because I'm too busy to deal with it, I did have a moment of just, "Oh my god! I'm in trouble now." I've always said, "Yes, I'd love to do another one," and it's still true. But I sort of got slapped in the face with it. Or probably will.

    ABV: Well at least you have a good excuse to kick the can down the road a bit, since you're, how did you put it, the Tom Hagen of Marvel Universe? That's a great metaphor.
    JW: (Laughs) That's how I see it. At some point, [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin Feige is going to turn to me and say, "You're out, Joss."

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    • Maybe it's me, but I feel like the Firefly crowd are some greedy sonsofbitches, dude. They got their movie! And it didn't even make back the budget and that's including international business. And Joss killed off Wash! Who's he gonna kill next time, Kaylee? Fuck that noise. Write fanfic and leave it alone, already.

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      • I'm with you on Firefly, tbh. I adored that show, and if they could bring back the whole cast and do a new set of eps on Netflix all Arrested Developement style, that would be very cool. But . . . yeah. I don't need another movie. Not saying I wouldn't kick in a few bucks if the project actually went up, but I wouldn't campaign for it. The story was told and I enjoyed it and it was good.

        VMars is different because the story WASN'T told. It was open ended and un-closured and that is what has sucked all these years.

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        • I love Firefly to death, but I completely agree. I mean, I would go see another Firefly movie and be happy about it, but I would probably not even bother donating. I'm glad that Joss spoke about this because I think some Firefly fans are forgetting how much more expensive it would be to make another Serenity than it is to do a VMars movie.

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          • Such greedy sombitches! I said that in a chat today. You got your movie firefly fans and it bombed. Shut it.

            Kinda can't believe they topped $3M!
            Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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            • ITA! See but not donate. Just focus on Avengers, Joss. Shhh. Yesss. Focus on Avengers.

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              • In depth interview with Rob at Hitflix: http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-wat...movie-campaign

                But even at my most wildly optimistic, I did not think we'd make 2 million in day one. There was no world for that. In my mind, I was thinking, 'Oh, if if we could do 5 million, that would be great,' but I thought even with that total, a good first week would would be a million and a half or 2 million. I was certainly hoping for more than our Kickstarter goal, and optimistic about it. But it still blew my mind, watching that total go up and up yesterday. There was nothing like it. I was on an endorphin high. My attention span was not longer than 4 seconds. Every tweet that was coming at me, every email, every phone call, watching that total go up, it's the most mesmerized I've ever been by a computer screen. And there was a documentary film crew, making a film about the making of this movie and the campaign, in my face for 8 hours yesterday. So on top of that, I was also hyper-self-aware. It was one of the freakier days of my life.
                Rob Thomas: Here's one example: There's going to be a big high school reunion set piece in the middle of the movie. In my perfect version, there is a brawl that takes place there. A brawl is an expensive thing to shoot. That's days of shooting. I shot a fight sequence in season 3 of the show, where Veronica was in a dorm room with the rapist. That sequence was 27 shots. One page took us an entire day of shooting. If the funding were to stop now, I promise you that that high school reunion will be "Terse words are exchanged." It will be an argument between Veronica and others. And that's fine. In some ways, that's the bread and butter of "Veronica Mars." We can make that work. But it would be more fun, it would feel more like a movie than a TV show, if we could have something bigger and cooler than that.

                And what was the budget for an episode of the show?

                Rob Thomas: It was $1.8 million.

                So now that you're at about $2.7 million as we discuss this, what's your dream goal for the campaign?

                Rob Thomas: It's one of those questions where I think, 'Only an asshole would answer that question.' But I'll be an asshole anyway! In my mind, I think that at $5 million, I start feeling like that's the tipping point. And I'm not even basing that on what I think the budget of the movie could or should be, but on what my expectations and hopes were for the amount of money we could raise on Kickstarter. We put a bigger dent in that than I could have hoped for in the last two days. We'll certainly spend that money. We'll find cool stuff to do if we go over it.

                The nice thing is that we never wanted to be perceived as a charity. We always imagined that we're putting up a Kickstarter page, and we're selling real product at real prices to fans. It's not like a pledge drive where you pledge 100 dollars and get a 4 dollar tote bag, where it's done out of the goodness of your heart, and for charity. We wanted to created packages where people look at what they're getting and think, 'Wow, I got a script and a digital download and a t-shirt for $35. I would pay that!' So all those people worrying that we're aksing for this money to make our movie, we're selling you a product. Think of us as a store, not a charity. And I think it's very above-board, what we're doing here. It's one of my hopes for why I think it can keep going, is that if you look on that website, you think, 'Hey, t-shirt and a movie and a DVD and a script for $50, I'm in.' Hey, I would sign up for the "Deadwood" version of this.
                If it's the high school reunion, does that mean no Piz and no Parker?

                Rob Thomas: No, actually, in the outline — and (the script's) not written — they both appear. That's no guarantee that they will. We don't have those actors in contracts, but I hope for both of them to be in there. In the outline, they both appear.

                So do you basically have plans for every significant character, if in theory you can get them? Or does it become unwieldy at a certain point?

                Rob Thomas: Or if they didn't die. Ryan Devlin, who played our rapist in season 3, is one of my favorite actors, but I don't think I could explain away how he got out of prison. Though Ryan did send me an entire pitch from his dad on how he got out on good behavior.

                Frankly, I want to see Corny in the show, I want to see Madison Sinclair in the show. There was a real internal debate, for me, about what kind of movie I wanted to make. Just by way of example, I really enjoyed "Side Effects," and that sort of noir thriller that I could see Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars in something like that. I liked the plotting of that movie. I had some desire, as a filmmaker, to take Veronica in a slightly new direction and do something adventurous with her. Or, there's the "give the people what they want" version. And I think partly because it's crowd-sourced, I'm going with the "give the people what they want" version. It's going to be Veronica being Veronica, and the characters you know and love. Certainly, I think I can make a fun, great movie out of that, and I'm excited about that, but it was a creative debate I had with myself, and I finally made the decision that I'm happy with it, to go with, "Let's not piss people off who all donated. Let's give them the stuff that I think that they want in the movie."

                And I take it that in this version of things, Veronica never went into the FBI?

                Rob Thomas: That's correct.

                So you just view that as something you pitched the CW to keep the show on the air?

                Rob Thomas: Right. That exists in an alternative universe.
                Rob Thomas: I did get an email from Bryan Fuller earlier today saying, 'Hey, can you jump on the phone with me at some point? I know you're busy, but I would love to talk to you about how this thing works.' And I know it was specifically for "Pushing Daisies." I heard that, and of course I saw your retweet of the Shawn Ryan thing.
                Bryan! As much as I adore Pushing Daisies, I want Wonderfalls instead!!!!

                My dad has zero idea about who Veronica Mars is, or who any of these people are, but he sent me a congratulatory email when it hit $2mill because he saw me post on Facebook about it. He also said 'that skit was really funny', which I thought was really funny. Could you really enjoy 'that skit' if you have no clue who the fuck anybody is?


                They will probably hit $5million in a few days, even though it has slowed down. If they could fix the intn'l distribution problems, they'd hit $5mil in 48 hrs.

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                • They should reach 5 million after a week, right? At that point, if they were savvy, they could rally the fans or whoever else to put pressure on Warner Brothers to match whatever the fans end up contributing by the end of the 30 days. It would be 10 million max and that's a drop in the bucket for WB, but it would give RT and crew way more to play with. I should tweet at KBell about it.

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                  • I think the media coverage alone might prompt that? How many people who are not plugged into social media VMars fangirling are finding out via CNN/Today? It's pretty neat.
                    Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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                    • BTW, after watching the CNN and Today Show bits, I have to say, I don't remember Rob Thomas being so attractive. Also, I enjoyed the Cop Rock reference from the CNN guy.

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                      • Totals right now:

                        53,464 backers
                        $3,526,519 pledged of $2,000,000 goal

                        27 days to go.

                        I'm guessing the dollars will trickle in now until we get close to $5M and then people who haven't will donate (or some of those who have will donate again) to hit that mark.

                        ALL of the Over $400 dollar packages are gone except for a few in the $5,000 package, so they will probably add some more of those later on for those who were late to the show.

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                        • Letting the Canadians in on it helped some, but they have to resolve the other international stuff to really bump it up.

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                          • A little more info on the plot of the movie here: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Veron...ery-36418.html

                            Not sure if anyone is planning to stay unspoiled for this, so I'm tagging it just in case-

                            EW says the plot will be set a decade after the show's third season and will have Veronica returning to Neptune, California after Logan (Jason Dohring) seeks her help in investigating the murder of his pop-star girlfriend. He's apparently the prime suspect, which doesn't sound all that unfamiliar when we look back at Season 1 of the series.

                            We also know from what Thomas has said on the Kickstarter page that there may be a 10 year high school reunion at Neptune High, which would certainly provide an excuse to bring some of Veronica's old friends back into the picture. Go pirates!

                            EW's article mentions that Veronica got her bachelor's at Stanford and went on to Columbia Law School, which I guess means she left Hearst. Also, it sounds like she decided to stick with the legal system, professionally, though in a different field, assuming she's using her law degree. If that's the case, that legal expertise may prove to be especially useful to Logan, considering his predicament. Of course, there's the possibility that this plot could change once it comes time to start shooting, which will hopefully begin in June, but from what's been reported, it sounds like an interesting place to bring the characters back together.
                            Also mentioned in the article is Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell's hope to bring some footage of the film to Comic Con this year. If they do manage to get the film started in June, they might have something finished to show Veronica Mars fans at SDCC in July. It would be pretty fantastic if they can make that happen.
                            Last edited by gloopdygleep; 03-16-2013, 05:43 PM. Reason: REASONS

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                            • Seriously, that all sounds great.

                              (Although, I still liked the symbolism inherent in the idea of Veronica investigating Madison Sinclair's murder.)

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                              • mr.o agreed to marathon Vmars with me. yay! This wkend we worked our way up through An Echoll's Family Christmas. It's been YEARS since I have seen any eps. My S3 DVDs are still shrinkwrapped, which means I haven't seen any of S3 since they first aired. That is unacceptable.

                                This pic from KBell, however, is adorable: http://www.whosay.com/kristenbell/photos/307562

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