Veronica Mars (film)

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Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rob Thomas
Produced by Rob Thomas
Dan Etheridge
Danielle Stokdyk
Screenplay by Rob Thomas
Diane Ruggiero
Story by Rob Thomas
Based on Veronica Mars 
by Rob Thomas
Starring Kristen Bell
Jason Dohring
Krysten Ritter
Ryan Hansen
Francis Capra
Percy Daggs III
Chris Lowell
Tina Majorino
Enrico Colantoni
Music by Josh Kramon
Cinematography Ben Kutchins
Edited by Daniel Gabbe
Production
company
Warner Bros. Digital[1]
Spondoolie Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures[1]
Release dates
  • March 14, 2014 (2014-03-14)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million[3][4]
Box office $3.5 million[4]

Veronica Mars is a 2014 American neo-noir mystery comedy-drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Rob Thomas and co-written with Diane Ruggiero. It is a continuing film adaptation based on Thomas' UPN/CW television series of the same name and stars Kristen Bell reprising her role as the title character. Its executive producers are Joel Silver, Bell, and Jenny Hinkey. Warner Bros. Pictures opened the film in the United States theatrically and on video-on-demand on March 14, 2014.[1]

Plot[edit]

Nine years after the events of the show's third season, former teenage sleuth Veronica Mars has left the fictional town of Neptune, California and moved to New York City, where she is in a stable relationship with Stosh "Piz" Piznarski and has a job offer from the prestigious law firm Truman-Mann and Associates. She is contacted by her ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls, now a Lieutenant in the United States Navy, who has been accused of murdering his girlfriend Carrie Bishop, a fellow Neptune High student who became a successful but self-destructive pop star under the stage name "Bonnie DeVille". He is being bombarded for offers of representation from lawyers, and Veronica agrees to return to Neptune and help Logan find one who will best represent him. She is reunited with her father Keith Mars, Neptune's former sheriff-turned-private investigator, who shows her how corruption and classism is rife under Sheriff Dan Lamb.

Despite her claims that her stay will be brief and she will not get involved, Veronica begins to investigate the circumstances of Carrie's death. During her investigation, Veronica is dragged to her ten year high school reunion by friends Wallace Fennell and Cindy "Mac" MacKenzie. There, she learns that former outlaw biker Eli "Weevil" Navarro is now a reformed family man. During the reunion, Veronica realizes Carrie's murder is connected to the death of Carrie's best friend, Susan Knight, who disappeared off a boat at sea nine years earlier. After Veronica's nemesis Madison Sinclair plays a copy of Veronica's college sex tape with Piz, a fight breaks out. The reunion comes to an abrupt end as Veronica sets the sprinklers off, with Veronica punching out Madison after Madison verbally harasses Veronica further. Veronica attends an after party and speaks with Dick Casablancas, Luke Haldeman and his fiancée Gia Goodman, and Stu "Cobb" Cobbler, all of whom were with Susan and Carrie on the boat the night Susan disappeared. Meanwhile, while driving home from the reunion, Weevil stops to help a driver being harassed by bikers, only to be shot by the driver, a nervous Celeste Kane. The sheriff's department plants a gun so that Celeste can claim self-defense, and Keith agrees to prove Weevil's innocence.

Veronica concludes that those on Susan's boat nine years ago covered up the circumstances of her death, and that someone killed Carrie because she threatened to confess. Compromising videos of Carrie are posted online and Veronica traces them back to Vinnie Van Lowe, who has been planting spyware on celebrities and selling the footage. Veronica uses Vinnie's footage to prove Gia lured Logan out to Carrie's home the night of her murder, suggesting she and Luke killed Carrie and framed Logan. Lamb blatantly ignores her evidence and refuses to follow up, but unbeknownst to him Veronica records the conversation. Having stayed in Neptune longer than planned, Veronica calls Piz in New York to explain that she cannot return yet, and Piz breaks off their relationship. Truman-Mann rescinds their job offer, which results in an argument between Keith and Veronica about what she's doing with her life.

Keith has a clandestine meeting with Deputy Sacks about Weevil's case, but they are attacked by an unknown driver in a truck who slams into Sacks' car, killing him and leaving Keith in critical condition. Veronica and Logan sleep together, reaffirming their relationship, and the next day she sends bugged flowers to Gia's apartment and calls her, playing recordings of Carrie's voice to scare Gia into confessing to being the mastermind behind Carrie's death. Gia panics and calls Cobb, her partner-in-crime. Veronica goes to Gia's apartment to confront her, where Gia reveals that Cobb is the mastermind: Susan overdosed, and he took photos of a panicked Carrie, Gia, and Luke dumping Susan's body and has been blackmailing them ever since. Veronica's bug broadcasts everything via a radio frequency which Veronica believed to be unused, but which is actually that of a local radio station. Cobb hears their conversation over the radio from his apartment in the building opposite, then shoots and kills Gia through the window before coming after Veronica. She calls the police and lures Cobb down to the basement before beating him unconscious with a golf club.

Logan returns to active duty in the Navy, but promises to come back to Veronica. Cobb's photo and the secret recording of Lamb refusing to investigate Veronica's claims leak online, forcing Lamb to arrest Cobb, with calls to oust Lamb from office. Both Keith and Weevil recover from their injuries, but Weevil returns to the criminal lifestyle he left behind. Veronica takes over her father's private investigator business with Mac as her assistant, resolved to help fight Neptune's corruption.

Cast[edit]

Cameo appearances

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Following the series' cancellation, Rob Thomas wrote a feature film script continuing the storyline, but Warner Bros. opted not to fund the project at the time. On March 13, 2013, Thomas and star Kristen Bell launched a fundraising campaign to produce the film through Kickstarter, offering various incentives to those who donated $10 or more. Bell, Thomas, Enrico Colantoni, Ryan Hansen, and Jason Dohring appeared in a video promoting the campaign,[19] and it attained the $2 million goal in less than ten hours.[20] In its first day on Kickstarter, the project broke the record as the fastest project to reach first $1 million, then $2 million; it also achieved the highest minimal pledging goal achieved and was the largest successful film project on Kickstarter.[21][22] On its final campaign day, the project broke the record for the most backers on a single Kickstarter project, previously held by the Double Fine Adventure.[23] Afterwards, the film earned a greenlight from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.[24]

The Kickstarter campaign ended on April 13, with 91,585 donors raising $5,702,153.[3]

On April 5, Thomas had completed the first draft of the script.[25] In early April, Dohring (Logan Echolls) officially signed on for the film.[26] In May, Thomas confirmed Colantoni would reprise his role as Keith Mars in the film.[27] In June, it was announced that Percy Daggs III, Chris Lowell, and Francis Capra would return as Wallace Fennel, Stosh "Piz" Piznarski, and Eli "Weevil" Navarro, respectively.[28][29] The same month, Sam Huntington (Luke Halderman), Amanda Noret (Madison Sinclair), Daran Norris (Cliff McCormack), and Tina Majorino (Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie) joined the cast.[30] On July 14, 2013, it was announced that Leighton Meester would not be reprising her role of Carrie Bishop. Rob Thomas stated "Sadly, Leighton was doing a different movie during the same time frame on the wrong coast. In the end, she was unavailable." She was replaced by music artist Andrea Estella, of whom Thomas is a fan.[12]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on June 17, 2013 in Los Angeles and lasted 28 days.[6][31] Initial filming involved 120 scenes, which Thomas described as "an aggressive schedule."[32] The Santa Monica Pier, the Vincent Thomas Bridge, The Edison at the Higgins Building, were among the 28 locations used for the filming. Scenes were also shot at the Arts District of Los Angeles and at Long Beach, California.[31] Following a test screening in October 2013, Warner Bros. agreed to pay for an additional day of shooting in order to clarify a plot point. As a result, two scenes were shot during the following December.[33]

Music[edit]

The musical score for Veronica Mars was composed by Josh Kramon, who previously wrote the original background music to the television series. A soundtrack album containing Kramon's score was released on March 14, 2014.[34]

Soundtrack[edit]

A compilation album of music featured in the film was released digitally by WaterTower Music on March 4, 2014.[35] The album features the television series' original title song "We Used to Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols, as well as a new acoustic version by Alejandro Escovedo and other songs by Emperor X, Twin Sister, ZZ Ward, Sufjan Stevens, Max Schneider, Mackintosh Braun, Typhoon, Lou Rawls, and Gregory Alan Isakov.[36]

No. Title Artist Length
1. "We Used to Be Friends"   Alejandro Escovedo 3:30
2. "Go Captain and Pinlighter"   Emperor X 4:13
3. "Holding My Breath"   Twin Sister 4:12
4. "All Around and Away We Go"   Twin Sister 4:36
5. "Criminal"   ZZ Ward featuring Freddie Gibbs 3:51
6. "Chicago"   Sufjan Stevens 6:05
7. "Stick Up"   Max Schneider 2:55
8. "Never Give In"   Mackintosh Braun 3:25
9. "Prosthetic Love"   Typhoon 4:03
10. "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine"   Lou Rawls 4:25
11. "Second Chances"   Gregory Alan Isakov 3:50
12. "We Used to Be Friends"   The Dandy Warhols 3:19
13. "Mug Shot" (bonus track itunes only) Max Schneider 2:54
Total length:
51:18[37]

Distribution[edit]

When Veronica Mars was almost finished, Warner Bros. Pictures came aboard and agreed to give the film a wider theatrical release in the United States.[1] The film was released on March 14, 2014,[38] with a majority of its showings held by AMC Theatres.[39] In Australia there was a handful of "fan screenings" held at select Hoyts cinemas in each state. On this same day, the film also became available to rent and buy through video on demand and online platforms.[40] Veronica Mars was the first film distributed theatrically and for home viewing at the same time in the United States by one of Hollywood's six major studios.[41] The film was released in DVD and Blu-ray formats on May 6, 2014.[42]

The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest film festival on March 8, 2014,[43] and a panel was held at PaleyFest on March 13, 2014.[44]

Marketing[edit]

The first footage premiered during the San Diego Comic-Con on July 19, 2013.[13] Following the completion of filming, additional footage was shown at the Austin Film Festival.[45] An official trailer was released on January 2, 2014.[46]

The revival of the series has also sparked continuations through different mediums. On July 15, 2013, it was announced that Veronica Mars creator/director Thomas and Alloy Entertainment signed a two-book deal with Vintage Books.[47] Picking up where the film ends, the first book in the deal will be published on March 25, 2014.[48] In addition to the book series, The CW announced plans for a web series centered on Ryan Hansen as a version of himself trying to make a Dick Casablancas spin-off of Veronica Mars.[49]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Preliminary box office tracking reports were initially up in the air due to the unprecedented financial nature of Veronica Mars.[50][51] The film earned $260,000 from its Thursday night showings (in 95 theaters),[52] and reached a $1 million 1.25-day total after expanding to 291 theaters on Friday.[53] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $1,988,351 in 291 theaters in the United States, ranking #11 at the box office.[54] Analysts at the time noted that the unusual financial history and distribution of the film made it difficult to interpret these numbers or to compare them to those of other films.[55]

The film grossed $3,322,127 in domestic box office and $163,000 in foreign box office (Austria, Germany and United Kingdom) for a worldwide total of $3,485,127.[4]

Critical response[edit]

Veronica Mars has received positive reviews from critics, with many praising Bell's performance as the title character. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 78% approval rating. based on 118 reviews, with an average score of 6.6/10. The site's consensus states: "It might be a more entertaining watch for diehard fans of the show, but Veronica Mars offers enough sharp writing and solid performances to entertain viewers in the mood for a character-driven thriller."[56] On Metacritic the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[57]

Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, citing it as "a solid cinematic turn for the Nancy Drew of the new millennium, [while] sure to delight crowdfunding backers and other fans of the source series."[58]

Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2014 Veronica Mars mtvU Fandom Awards Fandom of the Year Won
Kristen Bell MTV Movie Award for Favorite Character Nominated
Veronica Mars Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie - Drama Nominated
Kristen Bell Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Drama Nominated
Jason Dohring Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Drama Nominated

Home media performance[edit]

Veronica Mars made $2.2 million from Blu-ray and DVD sales in its first two weeks of release.[59]

Sequel[edit]

On March 13, 2014, Variety reported that actress Kristen Bell is interested in reprising her role as Veronica Mars in a sequel; however, one has not yet been officially announced. Thomas revealed that he and Warner Bros. had a "magic number" in mind for the first film to earn in order to make a sequel possible.[60] In an interview with Michael Ausiello published on July 29, 2014, Rob Thomas stated: "I'm optimistic. The [first] movie made money which was key to maybe seeing a second one, so yeah, I'd love to do it."[61]

Novels[edit]

A series of novels, written by series creator Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham, continue the story after the events of the Veronica Mars film and also feature Logan, Mac, Wallace, and Dick. The first novel, Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, was released by Random House on March 25, 2014, as a Vintage Books trade paperback (ISBN 978-0-8041-7070-3), an eBook (ISBN 978-0-8041-7071-0), and an unabridged audiobook read by Kristen Bell (ISBN 978-0-8041-9351-1).[62][63][64] The second novel, Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell, also published by Vintage Books, will be released on January 20, 2015.[65] Thomas has said in interviews that the novels are canon, and would not be negated by a future film.[66]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]