Why the Veronica Mars Movie Could Work (and others maybe not)

All of them could feasibly be in the movie
I backed the Veronica Mars movie on Kickstarter.

I won't go on and on about why it's not the end of the world as people seem to be claiming it is (you can read a very nice response to that over here), but I will say that I spent $50 on a DVD, digital copy of the movie, PDF of the shooting script, and a t-shirt.  That's about what I would spend on those items, anyway, and that money is going towards getting a movie made about a character I care about.  It's a win/win, as they say.

VM's success has, of course, opened the flood gates for people to speculate on which other canceled television shows could make their return through Kickstarter.  I think the ones that are brought up most often are Firefly, Terriers, Chuck, and Pushing Daisies.

Firefly has already had one movie made, so the storytelling logistics are clearly not a problem.  Given that Joss Whedon's star is on the rise in Hollywood and that he's currently promoting a movie he made with his own money (Much Ado About Nothing), I can't imagine he'd need to use Kickstarter for a second Firefly movie.  He'd basically just need time.

I watched the first episodes of Terriers and Pushing Daisies and didn't really have the time to watch anymore than that, although Terriers appealed to me more.  I believe it was only on for half a season, so I would think a movie version would be pretty easy to write, given its lack of substantial back story.  I think Pushing Daisies was on for two seasons, though, so that might be trickier.

Beaver's dead and I doubt we'll see Jackie
Chuck would be problematic, because it was on the air for 5 seasons and has a fairly large, established cast.  It would be really difficult to appease fans of the show while simplifying the story to the point where it would work in a movie.  It's probably not impossible, mind you, but it would be hard.  However, it seems like Zachary Levi (aka Chuck) is aware of this, as he thinks a Chuck movie should be distributed online, not through traditional methods.  A move like that would basically make the movie for Chuck fans.  Traditional distribution means theaters need to believe the movie will bring in a wide audience and make them money.  Online distribution doesn't care (more or less).  It's a smart idea from Levi, and proof that he understands his audience (and his show).

But if a show that was on the air for 5 seasons (91 episodes) would be difficult to turn into a traditionally distributed movie, then what about a show that aired 64 episodes aka Veronica Mars?  That's an awful lot of back story.  That's an awful lot of characters.

Here's the beauty of Veronica Mars, though: it can be distilled down to a very simple, pure essence, to the point that only one character actually matters (Veronica, of course) for a movie, and only two characters matter when it comes to making that movie feel like the television show.

That other character is Keith Mars, Veronica's father.

If you think that the most important relationship on Veronica Mars was the one between her and Logan, then you weren't paying attention.

Fans are obviously going to want to see characters from the show, but from a story standpoint -- and as a matter of theme -- only Veronica and Keith are truly necessary.  While Keith might not have been in the season 4 pitch video, I have no doubt that he would have been on the retooled show had it been picked up.  But that's a perfect example that the show can work without the expanding cast, or at least the one we saw for three years.

The show is about Veronica and how she's rebuilt her life after everything that's covered in the pilot.  She stuck by her father even when he was ostracized by the community, so that bond is foremost in any version of the show.  She lost all of her friends, so any new friends she makes are nearly as important.  The pilot isn't about Veronica falling for a boy, it's about her meeting Wallace.  Her relationships with Wallace and Mac are ultimately more important than anything she has with Logan, Duncan, Piz, or even Leo, because they're the relationships that last -- just like the one with her father.

Lamb is dead. Sorry, Piz and Parker, you're probably out of luck
It's actually kind of funny that Logan and Dick are in the Kickstarter video given that the two of them aren't really at the core of what the show is about.  They do bring most of the flavor, though.

Of course pushing the show forward in time to the 10 year high school reunion will allow them to bring back some characters.  It's interesting to note that the show will actually take place in the future -- 2016, to be exact.  Probably not enough to get us flying cars, but still something to consider.

So, yes, I think the Veronica Mars movie has every chance of not only being good, but also appealing to a wide audience, as long as it sticks to its core and doesn't pander to its fans.  Fingers crossed.