Once upon a time, in a town called Neptune, there was a girl named Veronica. Like her father, Veronica devoted her life to truth and, for years, did her very best to do the right thing, opposing greed, corruption and violence. Although her pursuits brought her more than her fair share of enemies, Veronica also found like-minded compatriots. To some, she was a friend. To others, family. To a few, a lover.
But that was a long time ago.
ComingSoon.net recently had the opportunity to crash Neptune High’s 10-year reunion on the downtown Los Angeles set of Veronica Mars, a project that proved early last year the power of fandom thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that raised $5.7 million.
“[Veronica template=’galleryview’]–> has just graduated from Columbia Law School,” series creator and feature film helmer Rob Thomas tells us about where the story picks up, nine years after the events of the series finale. “As we first meet her, she is interviewing for lawyer jobs. It?s like Tom Cruise at the beginning of ‘The Firm.’ She?s at that phase where she has not yet taken the bar, but is interviewing at some top places.”
Filming at LA’s downtown industrial revolution-themed bar The Edison, the day’s scene involves many returning members of Neptune High’s Class of 2006, who quickly turn the entire affair into an all-out brawl (complete with active fire sprinklers) after a cruel prank is played at Veronica’s expense. Fans should also pay careful attention to the names being read during the reunion’s “In Memoriam” segment. We won’t spoil who (especially as it may play out later in the film), but it sounds like some past guest star characters met with tragic endings post-graduation.
“We do talk about the results of the election,” Thomas continues, tackling the series finale cliffhanger head on. “We do learn, in the first scene of the movie, that Keith was indicted. That he lost the election. That he probably can?t be a cop again because of what Veronica had done and that she hasn?t worked a case since then? There is very much a ‘just when I think I’m out they pull me back in’ nature to the storyline of the movie. She is on the verge of sort of starting her full-fledged adult life and she gets this call to go back to Neptune and you know, be a detective again.”
Back in Neptune, Veronica immediately runs into some old friends, including Francis Capra’s Weevil, who is now happily married with a new kid.
“So far, so far good,” Capra smiles. “He has definitely gotten some closure in the love department. I think he?s gotten to a place where he can love again and he?s gotten the greatest blessing, which is a job. He?s doing good. I’m proud of him.?
Naturally, Weevil is delighted to see Veronica coming home.
“I think Weevil remembers her from school as a savior,” Capra continues. “As an integral part of his maturation process. Or finding out who he was. She’s pretty much the only person outside of the streets who accepted him and, most of all, she represents an element that I feel like was missing his entire life, which was family. She’s a lot of things at once. She’s quite an individual.”
Capra’s process for returning to Weevil involved a Mead composition book that served as a fictional journal focusing on imagined life events for his Mr. Navarro.
“I start writing as soon as the thoughts come into my head,” he explains, “and I think I have 12 pages left. I don’t how many pages were there, but it’s just filled with jibber jabber. I just spent some days writing a day in Weevil’s life. It’s very fun for me. It’s therapeutic. The funny part about it is, I don’t really know if anything of that stuff really happened until I talk to the man upstairs. Rob is God, in this world, so unless I conferred with him, I don?t know if it actually happened, but it’s absolutely integral to my process as an actor to know what he’s been doing for the ten years. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone because I don’t want to share it unless Rob confirms it. Because as much as this is my process, this is Rob’s character. Until it’s real for him, it’s not real for me. It’s just a tool.”
Still eternally at Veronica’s back are Percy Daggs III’s Wallace and Tina Majorino’s Mac.
“Wallace has had a couple relationships,” Daggs says, “but he’s not in love or married. He’s a basketball coach and a teacher now.”
“I feel like Mac has taken her skills as a trouble-making hacker and applied that in the business world,” says Majorino. “…Everybody’s kind of at a different place in their life, but they?ve kept in touch and obviously are there to support each other throughout their journeys, but Mac’s in the same boat. I kind of, my own personal question for her was based on all the stuff she went through in the show, in terms of relationships, I wonder if she’s even been in one since we last saw her, but she’s single and making good money and rocking a new haircut. She’s good.”
And then, of course, there’s Ryan Hansen’s Dick Casablancas.
“He’s the lovable douche that he?s always been!” Hansen laughs. “Not more, not less. Same douche-y Dick… I have no idea what he’s been doing. Just partying and living off of his dad’s money. Does he still have money? Yeah! Some trust funds that are still around there. Pretending like he’s the mayor of Neptune.”
On a very different side of the relationship spectrum is Jason Dohring’s Logan Echolls.
“They haven’t talked in nine years,” Dohring explains. “It’s a bit rough and I think that, despite his reaching out to her, she hasn’t been very receptive, necessarily, after the way things ended in season three. It’s all done as far as she’s concerned. After season three, she said, ‘That’s it.’…I mean he’s looked for more discipline in his life, which is cool because I don’t think he could sustain the track he was on for very long. He winds up in a good place when it starts and he goes to a bad place, obviously. Then he meets up with Veronica for a case. They work together to see if they can get his life straightened out.”
“It’s something that she kind of put in her rear view mirror,” Thomas adds. “Something that she didn?t feel like was healthy for her and I think she carries around a bit of guilt for what she ended up doing to her dad. She says in the beginning, you know, she’s asked why she hasn’t done it anymore and she says it destroyed friendships and ended relationships and because of what she did, her dad won’t be able to be a cop again, so yeah, I think she has been fueled by that for the intervening years.”
“He might carry himself differently now than a teenage guy who was kind of a scrappy, fighty guy,” Dohring continues.”I think there’s a little more confidence. A little more maturity. With that in mind, you still have to be that character that’s still vulnerable. You’ve got to join the two. He’s still the guy, but you can’t be fake about it. He’s had these experiences the last ten years.”
Although Logan is in a new relationship, it’s pretty clear that he still carries a torch for Veronica.
“That’s what the backers paid to see!” Dohring smiles. “I’d hate to see what they do if that’s not the case. Then again, Rob doesn’t really write anything cut and dry. It’s not like it’s all well and good in the end, but I think people will be happy. He also didn’t want to make a movie that’s just beautiful and ties everything up nicely.”
For fans, the potential lack of a happy ending is likely a very good sign. Based on the tremendous success of the production so far, Thomas hopes for more big screen of Veronica Mars adventures in the future.
“We’re all the same,” says Majorino of the die hard fans, who have affectionately dubbed themselves Marshmallows. “We’re all connected. I’ve been that person that’s felt invisible or felt helpless or felt sad… We’ll probably never meet most of the [backers template=’galleryview’]–> but, if for one day, one person, put a spotlight on them and said, ‘I see you,’ that?s amazing. I feel like the fans are really showing us that these characters mean something to them, so I am so stoked, beyond belief to be able to have the opportunity to play [Mac template=’galleryview’]–> again.?
“That?s what I was trying to say,” Daggs laughs, “Write those same words by my name!”
Veronica Mars hits theaters in a limited release March 14.