The fans who have fallen in love with Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars, and who have followed the fast-talking, hardened (but perhaps with a slightly less angry and marshmallow-like interior?) gal detective across TV channels, to the multiplex and through novels and a meta web series—and then were willing to stand outside in the hot Austin, Texas sun—got a special treat for their efforts on Saturday morning. These ATX Festival goers got a sneak peek of the show’s upcoming latest iteration: Hulu’s eight-episode miniseries, which hits the digital channel on July 26.
The teaser shared that Veronica and her dad, Keith (Enrico Colantoni) still have that great daddy-daughter banter (although he’s now walking around their shared Mars Investigations office space with the aid of a cane: Why?). Things also seem to be going well with Jason Dohring’s Logan, the on-again/off-again flame from her youth with whom she reconnected during the movie (and who gets a nice Baywatch-esq moment as he’s seen emerging from the ocean near their beach-front property in Neptune, California). And for the Backup stans, there is a new canine in her life.
While not all of the who/what/when/where/why and how questions provoked by this teaser were answered during the panel—which was moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Sarah Rodman—series creator Rob Thomas, Colantoni, Dohring and co-actor Percy Daggs III (who plays one of Veronica’s long-time besties, Wallace) shared some other details about the new story.
Why are we doing a new chapter of this saga now?
“Because they let us,” jokes Thomas, who stresses that he and Bell have been in contact since the movie premiered in 2014 and that they both liked the idea of doing a mini-series with one main case for Keith and Veronica to investigate a season.
What influenced the plot?
Thomas, who is a native of Austin and who has a cousin on the city’s police force, said this story is motivated by the bomb scares that happened in the Texas capital in 2018. He mentioned that “there will be bombs in Neptune during spring break.”
Where is Veronica herself at this point in her life?
Aside from working with her dad—a set that Thomas said was so meticulously reconstructed that it even includes the Lady Liberty statue that previously appeared on Veronica’s desk—the creator says that he wanted his heroine, who is now 34, to be at a pivotal point in her life.
“Traditionally, there are a lot of stories about men coming to this crossroads in their life where … commitment, family, mortgage, kids is one direction and then [there’s] freedom,” Thomas says. “I was interested in putting Veronica at that crossroads. And so a big part of the story has to do with what kind of life Veronica wants.”
What about Logan? He’s a military man and was heading back to service in the move.
Dohring says that given all the stuff that Logan has been through—a lot of family trauma, that guy has—“he’s very put together. He’s “almost helping Veronica through some things and trying to get her also, sort of, on board.”
How has the show aged to reflect its character’s maturity?
The first iterations of the TV show were set in high school and college and were on the relatively chaste channels of UPN and The CW. Veronica’s a grown woman now, and she’s on a channel that doesn’t have such stringent Standards and Practices. What does this mean for dialogue and mature subject matters?
“This is an adult private eye show,” Thomas says, adding that the f-word appeared 18 times in the original script for the spin-off until Hulu asked him to tone it down a bit. A workaround? Keith and Veronica have a contest to see who could go the longest without cursing and have created substitute words where appropriate (as moderator Rodman pointed out, “fork” was taken by Bell’s other TV show, NBC’s The Good Place).
As for sex scenes? Dohring teases that “you’ll see some stuff, guys.”
Who else is returning to the series?
Thomas says that Piz, Veronica’s college boyfriend and her boyfriend at the beginning of the movie, isn’t there, although he is mentioned from time to time. (Chris Lowell, the actor who plays Piz, is currently on Netflix’s Glow.)
However, Max Greenfield—who played police officer Leo D’Amato in the show and movie—is back for what Thomas says are “multiple episodes.” Also, Veronica’s case takes her to the Chino prison, where she runs into some folks she might have put in there, like Ryan Devlin’s Mercer Hayes from Season 3. Parker Lee (played by Julie Gonzalo in the series) is also back.
While there wasn’t any word on whether Tina Majorino’s Mac (a.k.a. Veronica’s computer whiz other-bestie) will be back, Thomas did confirm that Ryan Hansen’s party boy and problematic Dick Casablancas will return as (of course) “the king of Neptune spring break.”
How will the series air?
Thomas confirmed that all eight episodes will hit Hulu on July 26, which is something that makes him a little nervous in the age of accidental Twitter spoilers. (He knows first-hand what this is like, having simply Tweeted “Poor Robb Stark” the day after HBO aired the game-changing Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones.)
He also said that those who want a refresher (or beginner’s) course on the world of Neptune will be happy to know that all three seasons of the original show will hit Hulu on July 1. Start your binge-ing, Marshmallows.