Director Rob Thomas Talks Picking Up after Season Three, the Pressure of Adapting the Beloved Series to Film, and More on the Set of VERONICA MARS

     February 20, 2014


Despite Veronica Mars’ amazing three season run on television, it probably got more press just this past year than it ever did while on air.  With a Kickstarter that raised over $5 million for a film adaptation, Veronica Mars fans certainly proved they were dying for another look into the world of Veronica, and series creator Rob Thomas was more than happy to oblige.  While he did move on to another cult favorite TV series, Party Down, and is currently working on the iZombie pilot for the CW, Veronica Mars still is of the utmost importance to Thomas.

Collider was able to grab a quick interview with Thomas during our set visit last year, and he was able to preview where the movie picks up in regards to the end of third season, how Veronica feels about jumping back into the P.I. world, and how he handles the pressure of bringing Veronica to the big screen.  Hit the jump for more.

kristen-bell-veronica-mars-movieQuestion:  The third season ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.  Being ten years past those events, I’m curious about what you touch upon with what happened at the end of the last season.

ROB THOMAS:  We do talk about the results of the election.  We do learn in the first scene of the movie that Keith was indicted, he lost the election.  He probably can’t be a cop again because of what Veronica had done.  And she hasn’t worked a case since then, so it actually greatly affected her life.  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 starting her full fledged adult life, and then she gets this call to go back to Neptune and be a detective again.

What is she up to?

THOMAS:  She has just graduated from Columbia Law School, and as we first meet her, she’s interviewing for a lawyer job.  It’s like Tom Cruise at the beginning of The Firm — he’s not yet taken the Bar, but interviewing at top places. 

Has it changed her approach to being a detective?

THOMAS:  She’s certainly rusty.  It’s something that she tried to put in her rear view mirror.  Something that she didn’t feel was healthy for her, and I think she carries around a bit of guilt for what she ended up doing to her dad.  She’s asked why she hasn’t done it anymore, and she said 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 intermediate years.

How has it been for you being back here?

veronica-mars-movie-kristen-bellTHOMAS:  Fantastic!  It’s such a comfort zone and so much fun.  It’s such an aggressive schedule on this movie, and I feel like if we didn’t know each other and if these actors didn’t know the roles, then we wouldn’t be able to get as much in.  There are a lot of indie films that shoot in 22, 23 days like ours, but typically those involved a lot of three and four page dialogue scenes.  Our is a 22, 23 day schedule with 120 scenes and brawl scenes and action scenes and some pretty complicated filmmaking.  If all these characters were sort of learning their parts, and we were having to get 10, 11, 12 takes of a performance, we would never make it.  But I think for the most part, everyone knows the character, so we’ve been able to go very, very fast.

So how do you do under pressure if it’s a high pressure day?  Do you thrive on pressure? How does that affect you?

THOMAS:  Boy, we’re gonna see at about eight o’clock tonight.  Tonight is going to be tricky.  Like I said earlier, I am very comfortable directing performance and story and actors, and the thing we’re going to end with tonight are a couple elements outside of my comfort zone.  We’re getting hit with the big brawl, and we’re gonna end with a sprinkler gag — real sort of technical, filmmaking moments.  And what?  I don’t know!  New to me.  We’ll see.

Veronica Mars will premiere at the SXSW Film Festival and opens in theaters on March 14th.

  • Click here for 16 things to know about the film gleaned from our set visit.
  • Click here for new high-resolution images from the film.


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