Entertainment & Arts

Veronica Mars fans make film dream a reality

Kristen Bell
Image caption Kristen Bell played a young sleuth in Veronica Mars

Fans of cancelled US TV show Veronica Mars have raised $2m (£1.3m) to help bring the series about a young private investigator to the big screen.

More than 30,000 people donated money within 24 hours of a "crowd-sourcing" campaign being launched.

"The more money we raise, the cooler movie we can make," series creator Rob Thomas wrote in his appeal to fans.

The cult show, starring Kristen Bell as a young sleuth, ended its three-season run in 2007.

The movie project is the fastest to reach $1m (£670,000) on the Kickstarter site, reaching the figure in four hours and 24 minutes.

According to a spokesman for the website, the project is the most successful so far to have obtained funding through via crowd-sourcing - the practice of raising ideas, services or money via the internet.

Others to have benefited from similar campaigns include animated films The Goon, which raised $442,000 (£296,000), and Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa, for which $406,000 (£272,000) was pledged by fans.

Thomas said he had struck a deal with Warner Bros to make a movie, provided he could raise $2m by 12 April through the online campaign.

He said the studio had given the project its blessing, having previously declined to fund it after the original TV show was cancelled.

'Honey badgers'

"Their reaction was, if you can show there's enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we're on board," he wrote on the film's donation page.

Bell and other cast members will begin production in the summer ahead of a likely limited release in 2014.

"You have banded together like the sassy little honey badgers you are and made this possibility happen," said Bell in her own online message, promising fans the "sleuthiest, snarkiest" movie possible.

Image caption The makers of Kickstarter-funded short Inocente celebrate their Oscar victory with its subject (centre)

First broadcast in 2004, Veronica Mars told of a high-school student who moves on to college while moonlighting as a private investigator.

The show averaged between 2.2m and 2.5m viewers when it aired on the UPN channel, now defunct, and the CW network.

Backers of the film will receive a variety of rewards for pledging cash, including a copy of the script, to be sent on the day the film is released, and naming rights to a character.

A contributor who donated $10,000 (£6,695) snapped up the opportunity to appear in the film.

Crowd-sourcing has become a way for film-makers, video-game developers and other "creatives" to get funding for projects that can be hard to obtain.

At last month's Academy Awards, documentary short Inocente, which received $52,000 (£25,000) from 300 contributors, became the first Kickstarter-funded film to win an Oscar.

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