Way back in 2006, when Arrested Development was canceled for the second time, we thought Kickstarter could save it. At the time Kickstarter didn't exist — we were trying to get it off the ground, and it would be three years before we would — but as fans of the show we thought Kickstarter could help. So what if a TV network wanted to kill the show? Fans could band together and fund it themselves.
So we tried to make it happen. Perry got an introduction to David Cross (Tobias Fünke on the show) through a friend and told him about Kickstarter: the fans fund the show directly and Arrested Development keeps going. David liked the idea (enough that through this he became Kickstarter’s first investor), but he told Perry that Arrested Development couldn’t happen that way. There were too many hurdles and the entertainment industry was just too complex for it to work.
At the time David was right. But seven years later things are changing. Arrested Development is back thanks to Netflix. And yesterday saw the relaunch of Veronica Mars in stunning fashion.
Veronica Mars is a cult TV show created by Rob Thomas (Party Down) starring Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) as a young detective. It was canceled in 2007 after three seasons on UPN and its successor, the CW, prompting fans to bombard the network with candy. The Save Veronica Mars campaign raised more than $2,500, enough to buy 2,040 Mars bars, 4,848 Snickers Almond bars and 510 pounds of marshmallows – a nod to a marshmallow reference on the show — to protest the show's cancellation.
Rob soon dampened the fans’ hopes, saying, "It's over for good as a TV series." But Veronica Mars wouldn’t go away. It lived on on the Internet — in forums, in fan fiction, on YouTube, and especially on Twitter, where the marshmallows have been urging Kristen and Co. to reunite.
The actors kept the dream alive as well. Kristen put it this way: “I have never fallen so deeply in love with a character. We all became so close, and the cancellation of the show left a huge hole in my heart. I would have put on Veronica Mars: The Circus to bring it back.”
Over the years there have been hints about a reunion. Last week, Kristen and two other “Mars” stars were spotted together at a hockey game, cranking up the rumor mill. Was this actually going to happen?
Why yes, it just might. On Wednesday, Rob turned to the fans, mounting a Kickstarter campaign to bring Veronica Mars back to life, this time as a movie. The reaction so far has been overwhelming. “Veronica Mars” trended worldwide on Twitter, and the project quickly broke Kickstarter records, hitting its $2 million goal in less than 11 hours.
Matt Clipp, the first backer to comment on the project, said: "This movie has been a dream of mine ever since the series ended back in 2007. The best thing is that every time I click refresh on this page, the numbers keep rising. LET'S GET THIS THING MADE, VERONICA MARS FANS!!" Rodrigo Spotorno was more succinct: “You had me at ‘marshmallows.’"
Joi Weaver's response might be our favorite: "My best friends and I, when we lived together right after college, used to pile on our couch and watch the latest episode of Veronica Mars season 1 together. We laughed, screamed, and even cried. To me, the show meant friendship, courage, and girl power. I'll happily contribute just to say ‘thank you’ for those memories."
We’re with you, Joi. Yesterday was an amazing day for Rob, Kristen, Matt, Rodrigo, Joi, and the thousands of other fans who wanted this to happen. They finally got to have their say, and boy did they ever. Congratulations to everyone involved! We're excited to see what happens next.