What Does Veronica Mars Want? That's a Key Question of the Revival

The Kristen Bell series returns with new episodes in July and things will be different

By Chris Harnick Jun 20, 2019 6:02 PMTags
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Veronica Mars is at a crossroads. We're talking about Kristen Bell's main character at the heart of Veronica Mars. When the miniseries—season four if you will—kicks off on Hulu, the titular character is still living and working in her hometown of Neptune.

The series picks up after the events of the 2014 movie and two books that followed. Veronica is back working the private eye life (despite going to law school) alongside dad Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni), she's still with Logan (Jason Dohring) and, well, kind of stuck.

"She is a woman figuring out what she wants out of the rest of her life, which are very different decisions than the ones you make when you're 16. She sees the world differently. She's a little more bitter now than when she was on the series," Bell told Vanity Fair.

Kristen Bell Warns "Veronica Mars" Revival Is Controversial

Translation: like other millennials, Veronica is going through some growing pains.

Bell previously teased there will be some controversy this year. "This will be a controversial season. Let me just say that," Bell told E!'s Erin Lim.

Meaning what exactly?
"I am excited for people to watch and I am also probably going to stay off the internet once it airs," she said. "There's some stuff that happens that people will have strong feelings about."

Get the scoop on what else you can expect below.

The Premiere Date

The new series is eight episodes and will premiere July 26, 2019, production began in November. As part of the deal between Warner Bros. and Hulu, all three seasons of the original show and the 2014 movie will be available to stream starting July 1, 2019.

Joining Thomas and Bell as executive producers are original series veterans Diane Ruggiero-Wright and Dan Etheridge. Thomas is penning the first script. The writers room also includes David Walpert, Heather V. Regnier, Raymond Obstfeld and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Yes, that Kareem Abdul Jabbar. The only Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

The Story

The official logline: "Spring breakers are getting murdered in Neptune, thereby decimating the seaside town's lifeblood tourist industry. After Mars Investigations is hired by the parents of one of the victims to find their son's killer, Veronica is drawn into an epic eight-episode mystery that pits the enclave's wealthy elites, who would rather put an end to the month-long bacchanalia, against a working class that relies on the cash influx that comes with being the West Coast's answer to Daytona Beach."

Returning Faces?

Series creator Rob Thomas took to Twitter to reveal who else has signed on to the cast so far. In addition to Bell, there's Jason Dohring (Logan), Percy Daggs III (Wallace), David Starzyk (Dick Casablancas' dad) and Francis Capra (Weevil). Enrico Colantoni, Chris Lowell, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino also starred in the original series.

Dick's Back

Ryan Hansen will return as Dick Casablancas in the new series. His involvement was confirmed by TVLine, which reports he'll recur on the series. It was only a matter of time Hansen signed on, as David Starzyk was already confirmed as returning as Dick' dad.

Papa Mars

Enrico Colantoni will return Veronica Mars as the titular character's father, Keith Mars. Colantoni will be a series regular on the Hulu miniseries and the dynamic will be a bit different between Keith and Veronica. In the original series, Veronica was a kid, Keith wanted to protect her and make sure she does the right thing. "Now that she's an adult, there's only so much that he can stop her from doing," Colantoni told Vanity Fair.

LoVe Is Alive

Veronica and Logan are still very much together, but things are different. "We have a new Logan on our hands. It's something Veronica loves, is competing with, and annoyed by," Bell told Vanity Fair. He's still on the straight and narrow, trying to keep his demons in the past.

It's Getting Real

"It's going to be a much darker world, it's going to be a bigger world. It's definitely not going to be what we did on UPN or The CW. So, I want to brace fans for that, that it's going to be darker and bigger and more cinematic, and definitely a little bit different," Bell said on EW Radio.

This Isn't a Book Adaptation

The events of the series start five years after the movie. And if you think the plot sounds familiar that's because there was a similar one in the novel The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, a book that came out after the movie co-written by Thomas. "Like The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, the mini-series will be set against a Spring Break backdrop, but TDTL is NOT the story we're telling. We're five years after the movie. Books are 98% canon. Pony is included. Marcia Langdon is police chief. Spoiler: Neptune finally incorporated," Thomas tweeted.

Nostalgia? So 2014

On Twitter, Thomas reiterated what he previously told E! News. "I will say this: the movie was nostalgic. The Hulu limited series isn't going to be. Hardcore So-Cal noir. One big case. Eight episodes to tell the story. This is a detective show."

"If we get to do it again…I think the way to make it survive is to—If the movie was kind of a love letter to the fans, anything that comes from now on, I think, is going to be about the kickass mystery…If we get to do it again, that's what I want to deliver," Thomas told E! News in summer of 2018. "I want to make Veronica the first name in female detectives. I have no designs on supplanting Sherlock Holmes, but I would really love Veronica Mars to be—when I think female detectives, that's who I think of."

Veronica Mars Forever?

In the world of remakes and reboots, Thomas plans to stick to reviving Veronica Mars.

"What I'm hoping for is that after I retire, some quality young writer wants to remake it and send me checks that's the dream there," Thomas told E! News. "I can't imagine doing it without Kristen in my professional lifetime. I mean, never say never, but I think if I'm not doing it with Kristen, it means that Kristen no longer wants to do it. And Kristen has said she's willing to do it until it's Murder, She Wrote. As long as she holds to that, then I think I want to keep doing the Kristen Bell version, if there's an opportunity."

Bell is sticking by that. "I mean until literally everyone in Neptune is dead," Bell joked. "As long as we feel there's a hunger for Veronica Mars and the world still needs to see her fight the good fight and it still feels topical," she said on EW Radio.