Special to CNN
(CNN) — “Veronica Mars” was canceled after only three seasons in 2007, leaving fans hungry for some kind of closure. While creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell have teased the idea of a “Veronica Mars” movie in the years since, that possibility seemed to die when the studio passed on the project.
But fans — or “Marshmallows” as they’re known — wouldn’t let executives keep their beloved characters from them a second time and saved the project by donating more than $5.7 million to a Kickstarter campaign for the film earlier this year, reaching far more than the $2 million Warner Bros. required to make the movie. (Time Warner is the parent company of both Warner Bros. and CNN).
“Veronica Mars” the movie is now in production and will be released in theaters in 2014. Thomas, Bell and the rest of the cast came to Comic-Con to share never-before-seen footage from the film with fans and backers.
In the movie, Veronica returns to her hometown of Neptune, California, for a high school reunion, bringing all the old characters back together. The footage reveals that Veronica is now a lawyer in New York City, outlaw character Weevil (played by Francis Capra) is settled down and married, and Jamie Lee Curtis has a role in the movie.
Bell spoke with CNN at the Samsung Galaxy Experience at Comic-Con, where she admitted how much the role of Veronica Mars means to her personally, what to expect on “House of Lies” season two and that time she and fiancé Dax Shepard were too busy to get married.
CNN: How surprised are you by the fact that you are actually making a “Veronica Mars” movie?
Kristen Bell: At the time (of the Kickstarter campaign), I thought, “Of course this is happening. This is what’s supposed to happen.” The farther I get from the date of that occurrence, I start to realize how absolutely farfetched this idea was to throw out into the universe. I start to realize the size of our balls — what we attempted and thankfully succeeded at having happen. When we were talking about our Kickstarter launch I had no doubt in my mind that we would make our goal because it has been discussed in every interview I’ve done since the show was canceled. I was led to believe there was still a good amount of interest, but certainly never in a million years thought we would surpass the goal as much as we did. It was a ballsy response from the fans too, by the way.
CNN: It was interesting to see all those Kickstarter backers in the room with you. Is it true when you said some of the creative decisions on the film reflect what you think the fans will want?
Bell: Without question. Rob (Thomas) is one of the best TV writers that’s ever existed. He plays to everyone’s strengths and that includes his audience and himself. He doesn’t write selfishly. He knows what people want to see and he gives them that. He’s like a really, really, really good father.
CNN: Is this film finally going to give you a sense of closure on “Veronica Mars”?
Bell: No. This could be my whole life. And by the way, what a lucky life it would be if it were. There’s no formula for it, because it just has never been done before. Except — and I’m just throwing it out there — “Star Trek” did it. They did a TV show and then nine movies. Who knows? Why can’t we make a couple films? Or continue to produce content of “Veronica Mars”? It gets tricky because television contracts legally only allow you to do one episode of a different show. They purchase you. I am now the face of “House of Lies.” So the only way I would be able to reprise Veronica Mars (on TV) is in movie form.
CNN: What about if it were on Netflix?
Bell: There are some loopholes that we are already investigating.
CNN: When do you start shooting the next season of “House of Lies”?
Bell: We don’t shoot until October. It premieres in January. We left season two on a real cliffhanger between Don (Cheadle) and my character. I know that they’re currently breaking story lines and everyone’s pitching ideas; I don’t really have much contribution other than being excited about it. The characters are definitely going to start off with a lot of tension because there were confessions of love at the end of the last episode, which just makes for a really interesting first episode of season three.
CNN: When you started working on “House of Lies” did you find that developing a new TV character was difficult after investing so much in “Veronica Mars” and that character?
Bell: Yes and it was very challenging as an actress to create someone I would wear so often. A movie is a little bit different. Veronica is pretty similar to who I am — I’m not as frustrated as she is, I don’t think. I don’t have as many zingers as she does. I certainly throw them out there, they just don’t land as often as when she says them. It did feel uncomfortable the first few episodes I played Jeannie because I was in a television situation again and I wasn’t Veronica. I don’t think at the time I identified it as “I’m not Veronica,” it just felt new and unexplored. Now I’m very comfortable with it simply because of the length of time I’ve played her. No job I’ve ever had has been as big of a deal to my real life as Kristen (as “Veronica Mars”).
CNN: Has the success of the “Veronica Mars” movie opened the door for any canceled show to make a comeback?
Bell: I certainly hope so. The way I see it is that Kickstarter is the best example of “power to the people.” If the people want it, the people can make it. That’s the beauty behind a public funding forum. I hope it opens up a lot of doors for fan bases that don’t feel heard with the content they would like to see, but I don’t think it will put the studio system out of business. I don’t think it’s the end result for everybody, but I really like the fact that the fans are my boss.
CNN: Is there a TV show or movie you would support on Kickstarter if one needed it?
Bell: “The Newsroom.” I will be the first donor.
CNN: You and Dax Shepard recently announced on Twitter that you are finally getting married. Can you explain why you wanted to hold out until marriage equality was secured in California?
Bell: I did not feel comfortable taking a right that was denied to some of my best friends. I would want someone to stand up for me if I was denied a right in this country that prides itself on having equal rights for everyone. I believe that gay citizens of this country deserve to share not only the label of marriage but also the rights behind it. There are over 1,100 rights denied to a couple when you can’t legally get married. I find that to be mind-boggling. Dax and I both very much wanted to wait because if we did do something for our wedding half the people we would be inviting couldn’t celebrate the same right. But when we had a baby it became clear as to why we’re fighting for this right, because we don’t have some rights in regard to the baby that married couples do. I choose to be on the right side of history and I know in my heart that (equality) is what’s right.
CNN: When will you actually get married?
Bell: I don’t know. We almost did it on the day (of the Supreme Court decision) out of principle but we were both busy. We don’t really want a wedding, though. It’s too much stress, but we do really want to sign those papers. If anything just for the baby’s sake.
CNN: What’s the cutest thing your daughter Lincoln has done?
Bell: Existing! She’s my best friend. She’s 3½ months. Laying there is extremely cute to me. It’s ecstasy for me.