Earlier today we got an update from writer Rob Thomas on his continued interest in making a Veronica Mars movie. In the write-up of his comments, Katey mentioned that I said I thought the film could work and I’m sticking to that. A movie based on the teen/young-adult character who attends school by day and moonlights as a private detective is certainly a workable concept.

The question of whether or not a film could work is relatively moot though. Almost any great TV show could be adapted to a film and a worth-watching one at that if its done right. We saw a prime example of that in Serenity, the big screen off-shoot of Joss Whedon’s brilliant but shortlived scifi-drama Firefly. Serenity was a great movie. Unfortunately, not many people went to see it. Even with all of the Browncoats petitioning and enthusiasm for the project, the buzz wasn’t enough to generate numbers at the box office. If Serenity couldn’t do it, what are the odds that Veronica Mars could? Not very good and I’m guessing the studios will see it that way. But that’s not really a good argument over whether or not the movie should get made. After all, we’re not the studios or anyone else involved in making money off the potential film. We’re the viewers.

So, let’s look past the potentially disastrous box office numbers and pretend that people would flock in droves (or flock at all) to see Kristen Bell return to her role as the persnickety, blonde super-sleuth many of us came to love and adore long before she was Sarah Marshall to the rest of the world. Let’s say the movie does get made. What could be next for Ms. Mars? Would we see the FBI jump-forward Thomas presented to the CW in an attempt to get a fourth season out of the show? Because frankly, I think many of us were just as “meh” about that as the CW likely was, given that it wasn’t enough to save the show. Or perhaps the film would pick up where the actual show left off, with Veronica still solving crimes while attending college. Bell is in her late-twenties but she’s definitely passable as college-age. But where’s the story?

Season 3 was something of a disaster in many respects. Whether it was The CW’s interference that resulted in the shredding of everything that was once great about the show or perhaps Veronica Mars’ couldn’t handle the growing pains that come with the jump from high school to college as many other teen-drama-series have suffered from. I’m looking at you, Beverly Hills, 90210. (And Boy Meets World, I can see you trying to hide behind Saved By The Bell over there).

Despite the lackluster third and final season of the series, I have enough faith in Thomas’ writing abilities to believe he might be able to come up with something to bring the characters back together for a new great story that might even give us the closure we were denied when the series ended. Maybe a Neptune High School reunion (Go Pirates!) story with a murder-mystery thrown in. Perhaps Keith gets framed for a murder and Veronica’s put to the task of clearing his name and in the process, is forced to face former characters. There are certainly ideas that I’m sure Thomas is exploring and as a fan of the show, I’ll admit that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it in some form or another. I’m just not so sure that I can see it working on the big screen, nor can I picture a lot of non-VM fans having enough interest in the film to see it in theaters, even with the best kinds of marketing behind it.

The grief period for Veronica Mars is over for me, for the most part. I loved the show but I’m content to put it to rest and enjoy it on DVD whenever I get the hankering for Veronica’s witty comebacks and quick-thinking detective work. I’m also content to tell myself imagine that Logan and Veronica drifted back into each other’s lives as we all (well, a lot of us, anyway) hoped they would. So perhaps its better that the show is put to rest. I should also admit that after the mess that was season 3, if a movie were to get made, I’d be afraid the studio interference would do to the story what I think the CW did to the show (twisting it up and messing with the format in an attempt to cater to what they think viewers wanted and in the process, dismantling everything that made the show so great). Call it pessimism. Call it realism. I guess I’m just having a hard time picturing the best case scenario here.

Mars had a lot of things going for it. Thomas’ direction and a stellar cast of actors who somehow managed to balance drama and quick-witted comedy well enough to give me a reason to watch UPN/The CW. I’d be more than content to see a film that encompasses the on and off-screen talent from Veronica Mars, which based on later projects, only seems to have gotten stronger since the series' cancellation, without revisiting the Veronica Mars premise directly.

It would be great to see Thomas putting together something new for the big screen that included some or all of the cast from VM. For right now, the closest thing we have to that is the excellent Party Down on Starz (Season 2 premieres later this month!), which not only features Ryan Hansen and Ken Marino (Dick Casablancas and Vinnie Van Lowe) as series regulars but also included guest appearances by Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars) and Kristen Bell herself. A film that could bring the cast back together in a new story (a comedy, perhaps or a suspense thriller) might work much better than a Veronica Mars movie.

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