“Veronica Mars” was one of those TV shows I meant to catch up with but never did; it sounded kind of charming, but didn’t quite get on my radar before it was cancelled back in 2007. Now the show about a teenage girl detective is back in the news again: After star Kristen Bell and creator Rob Thomas launched one of the first celebrity Kickstarter campaigns two years ago, the “Veronica Mars” movie is a real thing — and is opening this Friday. (Here in the Seattle area, it’ll be at the Alderwood, Kent Station, Oak Tree, Pacific Place, Southcenter and Woodinville AMC theaters.) Here’s a New York Times story about the making of the film: astonishingly, more than 91,000 donors raised about $5.7 million. None of those people will share in any profits the film might make, but many were rewarded with cameo roles in the film, autographed posters and other gifts. Warner Bros., which owned the rights to “Veronica Mars,” initially was reluctant to fund the movie — thus paving the way for Kickstarter — but is now releasing it, with a cautious start of only about 270 theaters nationwide. It’s a release that’s being closely watched: this could well become a new model for bringing films to theaters. (“Veronica Mars” was the first, but a number of other movies are being kicked off, so to speak, with Kickstarter campaigns; most prominently Zac Braff’s “Wish I Was Here,” which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and Spike Lee’s latest untitled film.)
Don’t look, though, for a local review of the film; Warner Bros, for whatever reason, is declining to screen “Veronica Mars” in advance for press here. We’ll run a wire review as soon as it’s available.