Day two of San Diego Comic-Con 2013 saw the cast of “Veronica Mars” gather for a highly anticipated discussion in the enormous Hall H.
The Veronica Mars panel brought together cast members including Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Francis Capra (Weevil), Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Chris Lowell (Stosh “Piz” Piznarski), and Tina Majorino (Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie).
Show creator Rob Thomas joined the cast onstage, and Brandon Hillock, who portrayed Deputy Sacks in the show and returns for the movie but was not on the panel, stood up during the Q&A to say hi to the cast and fans.
When the show ended in 2007 the future of Veronica’s father’s career was up in the air. Thomas later shot five minutes of a possible new direction for the show in which Veronica had entered FBI training academy. It featured a whole new cast and would have been a completely different show, but it was never picked up. Fans contend that it never would have worked anyway. Now, in 2013, though, the show has been Kickstarter’d back to life.
The panel began with a first look at footage from the new “Veronica Mars” movie. “A long time ago, we used to be friends,” the trailer says. “And then it ended. You’ve waited years. You even said you’d pay for it. It’s finally happening.” Fans cheered as the footage began. “I need your help, Veronica,” a voice said. It turns out the title character has given up being a detective, though obviously she gets back to her old tricks quickly. The video also includes behind-the-scenes shots and interviews with the actors, plus shots of Bell and others watching the Kickstarter campaign as it reached and surpassed its funding goal within hours. Fans seemed elated to see the cast in action again, even for such a brief time.
A full-on trailer followed in which Veronica is apparently being interviewed for a job. When asked to describe herself, the character says she’s “compulsive, clearly. Addictive personality. Possible adrenaline junky.” She also attends her high school reunion, where a fight breaks out. Thomas later reveals that they wrapped shooting on Monday, and the film hits theaters in 2014.
“I can tell you that it sort of has … a ‘Godfather 3’ theme to it, which seems odd,” Thomas says. “As we find Veronica in the movie she has not worked as a private detective since the last time you saw her in Season 3, and as part of the movie is her getting pulled back into this life that she thought she had left behind.”
“The story that I wanted to tell [in the movie] is the one that I think fans want to see,” he continues. He said the show contains easter eggs and references for fans, but will for the most part cover new territory.
Bell reveals that she found out the show had been cancelled the day before she shot a scene in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” in which her character in that film finds out that her show has also been cancelled. It made it feel more real to her, she says. When shooting for the new “Veronica Mars” movie began, “We just kind of kept staring at each other going like, ‘Are we really here right now?'” she says. “It was very exciting.”
She also reveals her first line as Veronica Mars when shooting resumed: “Charming drink names. I can’t decide between a ‘beast with two backs’ or a ‘donkey punch.’ Ooh, do you think they’d let me order a virgin de-virginator?”
Other cast members, including Capra and Majorino, recounted the surreal experience of beginning to shoot “Veronica Mars” again after years off the air. “This literally brought me back to life,” Capra says. “You guys brought my family back.” Several actors even wore shirts that read “Team Dick” or “Team Logan” to show off their affinities with certain characters, to fans’ delight.
Veronica and her father have a great dynamic on the show, and Colantoni explained that it wasn’t difficult to find that relationship again. “Kristen and I hang out at hockey games together,” he explains. He even recounted a story of his real life daughter comparing their relationship to his relationship with Veronica on the show.
Lowell, whose character broke up an on-screen couple and is not a fan favorite, joked that he’s received death threats. “I’ve definitely had fans approach me as if I ruined their relationships as well,” he says.
During the fan Q&A, Bell said she feels a “cosmic connection” with her character Veronica. “There’s a very strange connection between Rob’s brain and my brain,” she says, adding that she’s never had problems memorizing the dialogue he writes for her. “Something about [Veronica’s] voice just has always been really easy for me to jump into.”
It’s clear that fans are glad to have them back. “Who taught Jason how to smolder?” one fan asks. “The heavens,” Bell responds.
The “Veronica Mars” film hits theaters in 2014.