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Veronica Mars is getting a movie! That's not news, I know. But it's still exciting, and today in Hall H at Comic-Con, the cast and director (series creator) Rob Thomas will convene to answer questions and show us some exclusive footage. We also expect to hear details about the production, which is already underway, following the successful Kickstarter campaign that gave the cancelled series new life.
Veronica Mars was a TV series that starred Kristen Bell as a teen private eye, who was following in her private detective father's footsteps, occasionally solving mysteries at school, but often dabbling in darker and more dangerous investigations, including trying to find out who killed her best friend Lily. We know that the film will take place years after the series wrapped up (by which point, Veronica was just finishing up her first year of college), and Veronica will be coming back to Neptune for her high school reunion. What will we learn at today's panel? We'll find out! In the meantime, here's the official description, including the list of attendees set to appear…
Friday July 19, 2013 11:15am - 12:00pm - Hall H
11:23 - Jeff Jenson is the moderator of the panel. He's up on the stage talking about Veronica Mars, the series and how it was cancelled in 2007. Early next year, we'll get the answers we've been waiting for since the show wrapped up. And then we go to the video. Starts with "A long time ago. We used to be friends. And then it ended. Guys from teh show suited up and getting rained on. Logan calls Veronica. He needs her help. She says "I don't really do that anymore." Cut to Rob Thomas and cast talking about the show. Snippets from the series. Behind the scenes look at the making of the movie. Kristen Bell says VM fans are awesome. they show Rob Thomas launching the Kickstarter page and their reactions to the and donating money, and then hitting the $2 million mark. Current footage shows Vinnie Van Lowe asking Veronica out. Reunion clips. Logan and Dick doing a flip on the beach. And then we get our first look! Veronica in some job interview. She has a degree in psychology. Cut to the reunion. Dick being Dick, he has a flask with him. Weevil has a wife! Veronica riding in Logan's car, smiling. A fight at the reunion! Piz says Neptune High sits on a hell mouth. Veronica punches Madison! And it was raining inside, so I'm thinking the sprinklers go off sometimes.
11:30 a.m. - The panel is coming out onto the stage. Chris Lowell comes out onto stage wearing a "Team Logan" shirt. Jason Dohring's wearing a "Team Piz" shirt. Crowd goes nuts or Kristen Bell when she comes out. Thomas says Veronica has not worked as a Private Detective since the last time we saw her in Season 3. Part of the movie is her getting pulled back into this life that she thought she left behind. Thomas says "I think the story that I wanted to tell is the one that I think fans want to see. I wanted to get the old gang back together."
11:33 - Bell says she found out the day before she shot the scene in Sara Marshall when Sara Marshall found out her series was being cancelled, so it was really emotional for her to shoot that scene in the movie because of VM's cancellation. Bell says she and Jason felt like they were in the Twilight Zone when they returned to shooting. Bell's first line in the movie involves "Charming drink names" including a beast with two backs and a virgin deverginator. Francis Capra talks about the fans keeping hope alive and he never expected this. Bell acknowledges how hot Tina looks with her mohawk. She does look pretty cute. Sides of her head shaved and a blonde poof of hear on top of her head.
11:37 - Majorino says the whole movie is about them reuniting and seeing where they are. She sees a parallel between the actors and the characters in the way they reunite. Francis says he felt like he fell off the face of the planet (after the show). He thought people didn't know who he was anymore. He says the fans brought him back from the dead. "You guys brought my family back." Awww! Percy said he started doing push-ups when Rob called and asked him what he was doing for the summer. Enrico says it was easy slipping back into the father-daughter chemistry with Kristen. They hang out at hockey games together. He says he has a paternal thing with her and now that she's a momma, they have more to talk about.
11:40 - Ryan is talking about doing the video for the Kickstarter page, which was shot a year ago at Kristen Bell's friend's house. They put it together really quickly. She asked Dax (her husband) to build her a puppet theater. They put the rest together with stuff from her garage.
11:42 - Chris Lowell jokes about the death threats he gets. He says he's actually had some funky fan interactions over his character breaking up Logan and Veronica. Jason Dohring says the cast is awesome and they all get along. He says the fan support from Day 1 was amazing. This is emotional for them too.
11:46 - Fan question time. Kristen says the cast and crew sang happy birthday to her earlier this week. Bell says she's never had any trouble with Rob Thomas' dialog. Something about Veronica's voice has always been really easy for her to jump into. It wasn't hard at all for her to jump into the role again.
11:49 - Rob Thomas talking about rewatching Veronica and Logan's first kiss over and over with tears in his eyes. He says it was embarrassing having his wife walk in on him like that. But he feels like they earned that moment. Ryan reveals that he's wearing a Team Dick t-shirt! Dick's first line is "Logan."
11:51 - Percy says his favorite episode was Lord of the Pis. And he fell in love with snickerdoodles on the show. Enrico's favorite moment from the show was watching it with his daughter and seeing her making the connection between herself and Kristen. Except he points out that his own daughter will never, ever have a father like Keith Mars. That got some laughs.
11:53 - Rob Thomas says they made an incredibly ambitious, sprawling, low-budget movie rather than going with minimal sets and locations. They wanted to include the characters we grew fond of. They had to keep moving though each scene. Thomas says if they had more money for the production, he'd use it for more time. Jason says no other Echolls will be in the movie. Thomas reminds us that most of the Echolls are dead and Trina won't be in the movie. No Alyson Hannigan. But Dohring says there are some surprises.
11:56 - A fan asks Rob Thomas if he feels Veronica Mars is a dream cast, like Firefly. Kristen Bell jokes about Rob answering that by saying he might have made some changes. "Just one of you. You know who you are..." Thomas talks about his days teaching high school in Texas, seeing movies and watching TV and wondering why does so much bad stuff gets made. Now he has a better experience of what a minor miracle it is when you get it right and the magic happens. So it sounds like he really appreciates how well the cast and the show came together. "This, I was always proud of. This may be on my tombstone. I'm so proud of this show."
11:58 - Percy Daggs is talking about his chemistry with Bell, which he thinks is what got him the job. He says Bell talked to him before his screen test and got him calm. Bell credits Rob as a really good writer, and also "a word nazi." "My deliveries are just because, when he writes it on the page, I can hear how he wants it." She says 99% of the time, she has an instinct about how he wants Veronica's lines spoken. Francis says he realized somewhat early on to go to Rob to find out what he needs to do and follow his direction.
12:01 - Rob Thomas says he wanted to write the movie in a way that, for fans of the series, there are plenty of easter eggs and things we'll appreciate a bit more, but he didn't want to put a lot of the old mythology (Lily Kane, Duncan, Season 2 mystery) because he wanted the movie to be the start of something. He wanted to go big if that needs to happen. So it's basically just set up that Veronica was a P.I. when she was a kid, and they're not going to complicate that with a lot of mythology, which should make it clearer for people who haven't watched the series.
12:03 Piz says if he could play any other character in the series, it would be Logan. Ha! Tina says she'd play Dick. Ryan says he'd play Dick. Percy says he'd play Weevil. Francis says he'd play Percy. Enrico says he'd play Vinnie Van Lowe. Kristen says she'd play Dick. Rob Thomas says Principal Clemens. Rob Thomas says the movie will come out early 2014. The first couple of months in 2014 is the plan. They hope. He just signed a book deal for a couple of new Veronica Mars books, the first of which will come out pretty close after the movie. It picks up where the movie left off. And as for the movies, he wants Mars to be a Bond franchise. He hopes they make a ton of money on the movie and they can go forward through the normal channels. He doesn't think Kickstarter is meant to fund huge hits. Next time maybe the studio will just give them the money. And that's it for the panel!