“Veronica Mars” fans call themselves marshmallows and like the idea that their feisty, snarky heroine might have a soft underbelly beneath all that moxie.
But March 12 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, series creator (and director and co-writer of the new movie) Rob Thomas said it also took guts for studio Warner Bros. to allow him to make a movie based on the beloved, low-rated CW show that ended in 2007.
“The easiest answer for a big corporation like Warner Bros. to give when you ask for something out of the box is no and Warner Bros. said yes,” Thomas told the audience before the screening.
On the red carpet, Thomas elaborated about the bold decision to release the partially Kickstarter-backed movie online the same day it hits theaters.
“When we went live on Kickstarter, we promised our 90,000 backers that they would get digital downloads right when the movie came out and, of course, theater chains don’t like you giving it out digitally at the same time as the movie,” Thomas said. “We couldn’t do it the normal way. It was sort of born by necessity, so technically Warner Bros. is renting out all those AMC theaters and we just decided to be the guinea pig on this sort of video available on the day of release and we’ll see how it does.”
Partially because of all these backers, Thomas and his crew did feel a little beholden to fans of the show — particularly when it comes to the on-again/off again romance between Kristen Bell’s title character and Jason Dohring’s Logan Echolls. Chris Lowell, whose character Stosh “Piz” Piznarski dated Veronica on the show and is with her at the beginning of the film, is aware of the position this puts him in.
“Deal with it, world,” Lowell joked. “Honestly, when I read the first page I was, like, oh, there’s a really huge typo or a really rude prank happening because it should be Logan here and instead it’s Piz. And then when Rob told me that’s how I want it to be, I was overjoyed and then started wearing bulletproof vests and putting more locks on my doors. [But] I don’t root for [Logan] to end up with Veronica. I root for him to end up with Piz. Forget Veronica. Piz and Logan together? We’d be unstoppable. Jason and I decided we want to be the next season’s ‘True Detective.’”
Despite her crammed schedule with projects like Showtime’s “House of Lies” and “Frozen,” Bell said she had no trouble slipping back into the world of tasers and fast talking.
“I’ve wanted to make a movie since the day the show was cancelled and I felt in my bones that somehow it would come around again,” she said. “This has been the most effortless character that I’ve ever played … I was scheming with Rob to make a movie for the past seven years and when we finally found a way to make it happen, we asked everybody and it was an overwhelming yes … I was talking about the sequel before this one was even finished.”
Judging by the crowd of happy faces at the after party at nearby Sadie Kitchen — where the crowd by the bar was packed, not because of drink orders, but because all were clamoring to talk with Thomas — Bell might be able to get the backers to make that happen.