Fans of Rob Thomas' cult TV series -- the story of a sassy teenage private investigator -- were devastated when the show was abruptly canceled after its third season, with the characters' futures left hanging in the balance. After six years of rumors and dashed hopes, Thomas wrangled Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, and other cast members for help launching a Kickstarter campaign to revive the series in movie form.
According to Mashable, the "Veronica Mars" movie project raised $1 million in just four hours -- beating out the role-playing game "Torment," which hit $1 million in seven hours just last week. One backer even dropped $10,000 for a promised speaking role in the film.
The campaign only needs $2 million and has 30 more days to reach its goal, now all but certain.
Kickstarter's Twitter feed captured the record-breaking moment on Vine:
Thomas, not the Matchbox 20 singer, celebrated on Twitter, joking that he'd kill off Veronica's leading man if the supporters didn't shell out an extra one million dollars.
Bell, who appears with other "Mars" cast members in a promotional video for the campaign, wrote that the mere hope of reprising her character made her "the happiest blonde in a hamster ball the world has ever seen."
You have banded together like the sassy little honey badgers you are and made this possibility happen. i promise if we hit our goal, we will make the sleuthiest, snarkiest, it’s-all-fun-and-games-‘til-one-of-you-gets-my-foot-up-your-ass movie we possibly can.
Thomas said Warner Bros., the company that owns the rights to "Veronica Mars," granted him permission to start the campaign.
"They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board," Thomas said.
So this is it. This is our shot. I believe it's the only one we've got. It's nerve-wracking. I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion, but there's also the chance that we completely revolutionize how projects like ours can get made.
Not everyone is excited about the prospect of a "Veronica Mars" movie. "Couldn't this thing be cheap and lame? No one wants to see Veronica Mars get all Sex and the City'd," The Atlantic Wire's Connor Simpson wondered.
For others, the "Mars" Kickstarter campaign gives hope to projects with small-but-devoted audiences.
"The bigger deal, though, is what a successful Mars mission could mean for supposedly lost causes, niche stories, and tough-to-finance projects in the future," Time's James Poniewozik wrote.
Getting a movie (or a TV show) made successfully isn’t just about pleasing a home audience; it’s about crafting a pitch that convinces a smaller audience of studio executives or investors that the show is worth their money.