Veronica Mars is back in her feature film debut! Here’s why the recent trailer looks awesome.
The Veronica Mars movie – infamously funded by a Kickstarter campaign last winter – is eagerly awaited by the contributing fans (known as Marshmallows), many of whom have been campaigning for a film continuation of the television series ever since it was cancelled back in 2007. Based upon a string of mysteries plaguing the town of Neptune, California, Veronica Mars followed the adventures of a teenage private detective who tackled the cases that nobody else seemed to think were solvable… all whilst attending high school.
On paper, that seems like a rather dubious premise for a program that lasted for three seasons and has gained such a massive cult following. It’s therefore unsurprising that many who are unfamiliar with the quality of the original show have their doubts about the upcoming film. This was a rather unconventional way to raise money for a high-profile movie. Still, after several glimpses and sneak peeks that have been released over the past few months, an official theatrical trailer was released last week, and it promises great things.
8. An Actual Plot
The trailer is fairly straightforward. A young woman is a lawyer in New York. She was a teenage private detective and has a father who is proud of her. She has a boyfriend who is evidently both loving and adorable.. but she also has a past. An ex-boyfriend is accused of murder and calls for her help from the other side of the country, at a time which happens to coincide with her dreaded high school reunion.
There’s drama, action, danger, and some serious smoldering coming from the eyes of the possibly homicidal ex-boyfriend. In a work that could have gone light on plot and still achieved some amount of success, it seems that this film with actually feature an intriguing mystery.
7. Not Just For Fans
While it is obviously impossible to judge the content of an entire film by a two-minute preview, this manages to avoid the self-indulgence that often dominates sequel trailers. After all, a successful franchise comes with a built-in audience – why not fill the next installments with nothing beyond in-jokes and callbacks?
Luckily, this trailer indicates that Veronica Mars will be avoiding the easy path of catering only to long-time fans. Although dominated by enough recognisable characters from the show to make Marshmallows smile, the preview makes it clear that the movie will have a plot worth following by fans and newcomers alike.
6. Faithful To Source Material
As a television show, Veronica Mars had something of a tumultuous production history. After frequent threats of cancellation over the first two remarkable seasons, the move to the CW network after UPN went under in 2006 saw a change in both format and quality. Veronica was glammed up. Relationships and romances received more focus. The jokes were less dark and more obvious. Characters were softened. The show was still good, but the third season is widely acknowledged as the weakest, and the 2007 cancellation was not a huge shock.
From what we see from the movie trailer, the film will be far more similar to the universally acclaimed first season than the third. In Season 1, we watch as Veronica investigates the murder of her best friend, Lilly Kane. Despite the fact that everybody in Neptune believes that her killer had already been caught, Veronica spends 22 episodes trying to find the real culprit. The film evidently follows Veronica on a similar path as she tries to exonerate ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls from an accusation of murder. (Not that this will be his first accusation of murder or anything.)
Of course, most preexisting fans of the show are well aware that romance will inevitably play a role in the film. After all, Logan/Veronica – or LoVe, as proponents of the relationship have charmingly dubbed them – versus Piz/Veronica was quite the divisive argument during the third and final season.
Was Veronica meant for the healthy constancy of a relationship with Piz, or was she destined to forever spar with the self-destructive Logan? Was normalcy enough to outweigh history and chemistry? Both Jason Dohring’s dreamy bad boy Logan and Chris Lowell’s wholesomely well-rounded Piz are fairly prominently featured in the trailer, promising some surely delicious relationship drama for ‘shippers.
4. Kristen Bell As Veronica Mars
Fortunately, Veronica Mars was never a show about romance. Had it been, no doubt it would not had been cancelled by the CW. It was no typical teen drama, and Veronica was no typical teen protagonist. Rather, she was a complex character who existed outside of her boyfriends, intelligent and damaged and hilarious. The most important man in her life was always her father.
She did her homework and went to class, on-screen. She wore clothes that were not designer, and she re-wore them in subsequent episodes. She was a real character, and those familiar qualities allowed any viewers who had ever attended high school to accept her, even if she was a petite teenager who happened to double as a capable private detective who solved mysteries on her own. By all hints so far, the film intends to maintain the show’s characterization, creating in Veronica a proactive heroine rather than a reactive damsel.
3. Compelling Secondary Characters
There is no fan of Veronica Mars who could had gotten through the trailer without at least cracking a smile. Whether it was remembering why Wallace Fennel was the best friend that Veronica could have asked for or wondering how Dick Casablancas manages to be funny, there was something exciting about seeing those characters on the screen again. It was at least slightly amusing to see that Keith still doesn’t like Logan.
Of course, the familiarity of characters would probably be of least interest to newbie, although kudos must be given to actress Amanda Noret for her part in the trailer. You may not know who the snooty blonde is, but it sure is satisfying to see Veronica punch her in the face.
We also see some depth to the characters beyond what might usually be apparent in a preview. The loving and adorable boyfriend is not a total pushover. The accused murderer is more than just an ex-boyfriend. Keith Mars is the best dad that a teenage private detective could have asked for. Tina Majorino has an awesome haircut, and Jerry O’Connell… needs one. We see flashes of individual personalities in this trailer, and – in a film called Veronica Mars - we see that character depth will not be limited to the one in the title.
2. The Cast
To make this movie, it took more than just years of petitioning by fans, more than Kickstarter contributions, and more than studio cooperation. Without the continued support of the cast, it would have been impossible to produce the film on the budget available. In fact, main cast members were so devoted to the show that they staged a skit to try to raise awareness – and funds – for the Kickstarter campaign.
Featuring Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), and Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), the video is funny and touching and… well, altogether motivating to check out the Kickstarter page. They deliberately slip in and out of character throughout the skit, leaving little doubt that the characters that appear in this 2014 film will indeed be the same characters from back in 2007.
Also, for outsiders to the franchise, there were some famous faces featured in the preview, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Jerry O’Connell, Max Greenfield (who offered to work for free and pay his own airfare to participate in the movie), Krysten Ritter, and (of course) the astonishingly postpartum Kristen Bell as Veronica.
1. The Production Team
Series creator Rob Thomas celebrated his triumph at securing funding for Veronica Marsby taking the helm as director. He also co-wrote the script with series writer Diane Ruggiero, who penned classic episodes such as “An Echolls Family Christmas” and “A Trip to the Dentist.” With Kristen Bell as a co-producer, Veronica Marsis sure to be handled lovingly.
It is not, however, going to be handled as a one-off. Thomas has spoken of his hopes that a successful theatrical run for this film will open the door for future sequels. Already in the works is a series of mystery novels centered on Veronica, the first of which is due to be released just weeks after the movie. This is an overall optimistic endeavor, and it is unlikely that any pre-releases of footage would contain snippets of all of the film’s highlights. The trailer is exciting; the film is certain to be even more so.