The biggest news around the Interwebz yesterday was…well, probably the election of a new Pope, but a close second was the Kickstarter campaign to fund a Veronica Mars movie. It’s a game-changing proposition. Creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell posted pitches for fans to raise $2 million for production costs, with Warner Bros. agreeing to pick up the tab for marketing, promotion, and distribution. This challenge was the largest in Kickstarter history, and reached its goal in just 12 hours. (You know I kicked in!)
Naturally this news brought Chuck fans to attention, wondering what it could mean for a future Chuck movie. Chucksters, it could mean good things! The fact that the fundraising goal was met in 12 short hours, and the amount pledged continues to climb as people like me who couldn’t pledge on Day 1 are able to get to it later, guaranteed tons of media attention even outside the “cult” universe of VM fans still lamenting the end of the show. (If you love Sarah Walker, you must watch Veronica Mars.) This sends a clear message to Warner Bros. that yes, there is a fan base out there willing to support the movie in a very real way. Just as Chuck fans targeted the bottom line – advertisers – during our renewal campaigns, VM fans are putting their money to work, and that gets noticed. And could change the way movies are made.
Another plus for us is that both shows are from the same studio. If Warner Bros. is willing to back Rob Thomas in this pioneering endeavor, then the path should be easier if, say, Chris Fedak where to pitch a similar idea.
Zachary Levi is excited about the trailblazers:
2nd, to you Chucksters, believe that this news only bolsters my faith that I can help bring you a #ChuckMovie. Be patient. Stay tuned.
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) March 13, 2013
Zac has been outspoken in his belief that the TV ratings system is broken and that the future for TV and movies is going to look very different. Thanks to the resounding success of this Kickstarter campaign, we’re on the right track.
Now, lest I be accused of Pollyanna’ing all over the place again, here are a couple of doses of reality:
- The Veronica Mars movie won’t come out until 2014, and Warner Bros. will most likely wait until then to greenlight any similar projects. Epic fundraising is one thing; getting butts into the movie theater and turning a profit is another. (Remember, Warner Bros. is laying out cash for promotion and distribution.)
- Timing is everything: as the cast and crew pursue other projects, finding a window of time when everyone is available to shoot a movie is a challenge. (Rob Thomas gives some examples of the risks & challenges his movie faces at the bottom of his Kickstarter page.)
- In short, don’t look for a Chuck movie to start filming soon. I’d be surprised if it happened before next summer. But do look for developments on that front as all eyes in the industry watch the progress of the Veronica Mars movie.
Stay strong, Chucksters! And if you really want to help a Chuck movie become a reality – and instigate a change in how TV/movies are made – donate to the Veronica Mars movie. This could be huge.