Sorry, Whedon Fans; Kickstarter Can Only Do So Much

When the word spread of how Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas raised two million dollars for their long-delayed plans to make a Veronica Mars movie, fans of Firefly, Buffy and Angel hoped it would also mean the revival of those shows, too.

After the jump, we’ll look at why that is unlikely, while other shows could be revived

Whoever came up with the idea of a website where people can help fund new records, films or products must be feeling pretty good right about now.  Kickstarter has been getting more press than usual since Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas used it to raise cash for a Veronica Mars movie..and it worked a lot better than they expected.

VMars

They had hoped to raise two million and they’re at three point four million as of  5 PM Pacific on March 15th. This is even before they get foreign fans in this. Canadian fans are contributing now. This is because the CW decided watching rich teens with adult problems is more cool than a Noir Nancy Drew whose thinks she ruined her ex-sheriff dad’s life in the final episode and never got the chance to redeem herself. This movie is supposed to give her that chance, and apparently a lot of people want to see that. Anyone else who’d like to chip in can click this link.

When you think about it, the big studios do make a lot of movies that go directly to DVD, Netflix or whatever. That’s why someone was allowed to do a prequel of The Dukes of Hazard before they became the hell-raising family that CBS gladly aired. Why not make a movie that provides a proper ending to beloved TV shows? Dead Like Me managed to do that, but the result wasn’t as good as people hoped. The fact that Mandy Patinkin wasn’t in it may be one reason. Farscape, on the other hand, did get its final act thanks to fan support. It didn’t need Kickstarter. (Editor’s comment – fans got KFC, Hallmark and Dr Pepper to put up the money to Henson to make the finale mini-series by proving how much of their products the Scapers were buying. SciFi Channel wasn’t involved in any way with the production – Marsia).

The success of the Veronica Mars project only suggests the CW should have given her the chance to make it up to her dad, and solve one last crime that stains her home town of Neptune. She may be “exiled” by the elite in Neptune after saving the day, but as long as she has a future in law enforcement…and some of the elite in Neptune eventually come to her and desperately ask for her help with another town scandal…it would be worth it. The demand is there.

There’s a long list of shows people want to see again, and some viewers figure Kickstarter will make it happen. Just as soon as Veronica Mars hit its goal, the dreams of a new Firefly movie, or maybe new adventures of Buffy and Angel, started to fly. Even I had those dreams, or maybe hoped there would be a new movie about another Slayer.

Very quickly, Joss Whedon let everyone know that is unlikely. For one thing, he’ll be busy with Marvel Studios for some time, especially with Avengers 2.

There’s also the rights that Fox owns on those shows. Kristen and Rob had to get Warner Brothers’ permission to even put the Veronica Mars movie idea on Kickstarter. It also takes a lot of special effects to bring back vampires, demons and the Alliance-verse.

This is what he told Buzzfeed about whether Kickstarter could revive shows that people miss:

For me, [Kickstarter] doesn’t just open the floodgates. God knows, things are cheaper now than when we made even Serenity. Good effects can be done in a different manner. Nor is that universe all about spectacle either. But it is a tad more expensive — and a little all-consuming! And of course, there’s the other fear: What if it’s not that good? I can do something that’s not that good — that’s fine. But if I do that and it’s not that good, I’m going to feel really stupid.

Because I’m too busy to deal with it, I did have a moment of just, Oh my god! I’m in trouble now. I’ve always said, “Yes, I’d love to do another one,” and it’s still true. But I sort of got slapped in the face with it. Or probably will.

That’s the fear: what if Veronica’s big comeback is a dud? Somehow, fans are sure Rob and Kristen will have a good story ready, especially since it could happen during a high school reunion. The fact is, a lot of people want Veronica to come back, and emerge somewhat on top. That’s why this project worked.

Now, what about other shows that people would like to revive? Pushing Daisies, about a baker who has a magic touch, with Kristen Chenoweth and her magic touch, is a show some would like to see again. It may be tough to revive through Kickstarter because of special effects costs, but creator Bryan Fuller said in Twitter he wants to try.

There was word Zachary Levi wants to bring back Chuck, so that we’ll know Sarah got her memory back for certain. That’s plausible, and wouldn’t take too much special effects. Shawn Ryan, famous for The Shield, hopes he can revive Terriers, about a couple of private eyes. Imagine adding Veronica in the mix as a “prequel” to her movie.

How about Wonderfalls, so that we get that second season where Jaye is mistaken as a shaman and winds up in the looney bin because wax lions and stuffed animals give her cryptic clues about something or other? I’d also like to see more of The Middleman, because goofy superheroes beats teen serials on ABC Family. Or, whatever happened to the Gilmore Girls? ABC Family should consider answering that question, and an episode of Bunheads doesn’t count. Otherwise, it’s Kickstarter time. A few people even asked Lauren Graham about that on Twitter.

At least Kickstarter will make this happen:

RifftraxTwilight

Want a reason? Just look at Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 | RiffTrax. That’s enough of a reason. Here’s the link to that project
It had hoped to bribe Lionsgate with 55 thousand dollars from the people, figuring that’s enough to get the rights to Twilight, and give it the proper respect. It’s up to 225 thousand, because the need to heckle this embarrassing teen vampire romance is much stronger that the need to see the comeback of a teen detective. Both are long overdue, but if Mike Nelson and his pals do succeed, the Transformers and GI Joe won’t be too far behind.

It’s all thanks to the internet, and the creation of Kickstarter, which is also good for producing independent comics, CDs, projects and even inventions.

I’m still waiting for DVDs of the projects I supported:  Lust for Life and Eliza Dushku’s documentary on Albania. I’m sure both are coming. I did get Eliza’s autographed recipe in exchange for my support. That keeps my faith, and that’s why I expect to see movie revenge and a big comeback soon enough.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008