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Hulu is bringing back the UPN/CW cult favorite Veronica Mars as an eight-episode limited series. Here’s everything we know so far about the forthcoming revival.
The original Veronica Mars ran for three seasons from 2004-2007, and was followed up by a 2014 feature film of the same name, which was financed by fans through Kickstarter.
Following the film, speculation that there was even more Veronica Mars in the works started in January 2016 when star Kristen Bell hinted it was possible if she could align her schedule with that of series creator Rob Thomas.
“There’s a constant dialogue about projects and when we can work together again, and it’s unfortunate that our schedules are quite different and that my kids and current television show keep me very busy so I’m not often available,” Bell told Entertainment Weekly. “But he knows I would be there for anything were I to have the time.”
This finally happened in August 2018 when sources told Variety that a revival was in works at Hulu, with Bell returning as the titular private investigator and Thomas serving as writer.
The following month, on Sept. 20, Hulu announced that it had ordered an eight-episode limited series revival, as Bell also confirmed to the show’s devoted Marshmallows on Twitter.
Hulu also announced that it had acquired the rights to the three-season original series and the 2014 feature film, which it said would appear on the service starting in summer 2019. New episodes would follow later in the year, although the streamer didn’t confirm exactly when those would premiere.
The following day, Bell appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers and revealed that production was slated to start on Nov. 5 in Los Angeles; the original series shot in San Diego.
On Nov. 1, Bell shared on Instagram the title page and a partial first page from the script of the revival’s first episode. Episode #101 is titled “Spring Break Forever,” and is written by Thomas and directed by Michael Lehmann. The first scene appears to be set at the front gate of a mansion, per Bell’s post.
THINGS ARE HAPPENING TODAY! AND ITS ALL FOR YOU MY LOVELY MARSHMALLOWS! #veronicamars
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Hulu released this logline along with its release announcing the series revival:
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.
On Sept. 20, the day of Hulu’s announcement, series creator Thomas also posted this tweet, revealing that the “nostalgic” tone of the movie would be absent in the forthcoming limited series.
Thomas also shared that the series would have a similar spring break setting to The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, the first in a two-book Veronica Mars series published in 2014.
“It’s gonna be a much darker world,” said Bell in an interview on SiriusXM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio on Sept. 27. “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.”
While Thomas says the series will not follow the story of The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, in November, series newcomer Dawnn Lewis was cast as Marcia Langdon, a character from Mr. Kiss and Tell, the second of the Thomas-penned Veronica Mars books.
On Sept. 20, the day that Hulu announced that the Veronica Mars revival was joining the Hulu Originals slate for 2019, Bell confirmed that she would be returning as the titular private investigator.
Thomas will executive produce the revival along with Bell; Diane Ruggiero-Wright, Thomas’ iZombie co-creator and co-writer on the 2014 Veronica Mars feature; and Dan Etheridge, also a producer on both the original series and feature. Thomas’ Spondoolie Productions will produce the series in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Cast regulars Jason Dohring (Veronica’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Logan Echolls), Percy Daggs III (best friend Wallace Fennel), Francis Capra (biker gang lead Eli “Weevil” Navarro) and David Starzyk (Richard Casablancas, father of Veronica’s frenemy Dick) joined the cast on Sept. 24, as Thomas shared on Twitter.
Enrico Colantoni, who plays Veronica’s father Keith Mars, joined the cast on Oct. 15, per Deadline.
Ryan Hansen, who played Veronica’s frenemy Dick Casablancas in the original series and movie, joined the cast on Oct. 30, per TVLine.
On Nov. 8, reports revealed that Max Greenfield, who played Sheriff’s Deputy Leo D’Amato in the original series, is also set to reprise his role.
Tina Majorino (Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie), Chris Lowell (Stosh “Piz” Piznarski) and Krysten Ritter (Gia Goodman) are original cast members who returned for the 2014 movie, but have not been confirmed for the revival series just yet.
On Sept. 26, Thomas announced the revival’s writing staff on Twitter.
In addition to Ruggiero-Wright, the 2014 film’s co-writer, the show’s new writers include David Walpert (House of Lies), Heather V. Regnier (Sleepy Hollow, iZombie) and, perhaps most intriguingly, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with Raymond Obstfeld, who has co-authored several books with him.
“And yes, if you’re brilliant and give yourself a #PartyDown Twitter handle, I’ll hire you. Or, you could be the NBA’s all=time leading scorer, but you must still be brilliant,” joked Thomas.
On Nov. 6, A Different World alum Dawnn Lewis joined the cast as Marcia Langdon, the police chief in the newly incorporated town of Neptune, per TVLine. While the character didn’t appear in the original TV series, she was introduced in Mr. Kiss and Tell, the second in a two-book Veronica Mars series penned by creator Rob Thomas, as aforementioned. Lewis also had a recurring role as Mama Leone on the fourth season of Thomas’ iZombie.
On Nov. 7, Barry and Killing Eve star Kirby Howell-Baptiste joined the cast, per Deadline. She will play Nicole, the owner of the Neptune nightclub favored by spring breakers. When they begin dying, Veronica suspects that the killer is selecting his victims at the club. Howell-Baptiste also appears alongside Bell on The Good Place, in which she plays Simone Garnett.
The following day, Patton Oswalt joined the Hulu revival’s cast, along with returning cast member Greenfield. Oswalt will play Penn Ephner, a forty-something pizza delivery man and true crime enthusiast who looks to milk his 15 minutes of fame for all it’s worth when spring breakers start disappearing in Neptune.
As of Nov. 15, Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons has signed on for a recurring role in the Veronica Mars revival, per Deadline. Simmons will play Clyde Prickett, an ex-con who now works as a fixer for Richard “Big Dick” Casablancas Sr. (David Starzyk), the richest real estate developer in Neptune. Clyde served 10 years for racketeering and was smart enough to be the first guy in Chino to offer his protection to Big Dick on his first day in prison.
On Nov. 19, the show’s Twitter account shared the first video of Bell as Veronica Mars, back behind her desk in the Mars Investigations office.
“Being in the investigation office brings back a lot of memories and nostalgia, and feelings of ‘who on Earth let us do this again?” Bell also said in a first-look video from set posted on the Veronica Mars Instagram page.
It’s all happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Investigate our stories for more from the set of #VeronicaMars
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Stay tuned for further details of Hulu’s Veronica Mars revival.