Last night I managed to pull myself away from Titanfall long enough to check out Veronica Mars which, surprisingly enough, is playing in a theater within an hour of me. As a fan of the series, the movie hit every note I could have asked for but also confirmed my suspicion that Mars is best suited for the type of long-form storytelling that television permits. Creator/director Rob Thomas does an admirable job of bringing us up to speed on the lives of our favorite Neptune characters against the backdrop of a ten year high school reunion. That said, 107 minutes doesn’t leave much time for breathing in between the introduction, mystery set-up, and resolution. I often felt rushed through the process, longing for 20-22 episodes for Veronica to crack the case as opposed to 75 minutes or so. This small gripe aside, Veronica Mars is a movie made for the fans (and, in no small financial part, by the fans) and I can’t imagine anyone who loved the series walking away from it disappointed by anything other than the fact that it had to end too soon.
We’ll talk a little more about VM in this week’s Top 5 which also includes a considerable amount of Captain America: The Winter Soldier content, our SXSW 2014 coverage, interviews for and Matt’s review of Need for Speed, and President Barack Obama‘s hilarious appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Keep doing what you’re doing for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
After a seven-year absence, private investigator Veronica Mars has returned, and she’s come to the big screen with the help of a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. In the film, Veronica (Kristen Bell) has come back to her seedy hometown of Neptune to help her old flame Logan (Jason Dohring), who has become the prime suspect in the homicide of his celebrity girlfriend. The film also stars Enrico Colantoni, Chris Lowell, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino, Martin Starr, and Krysten Ritter.
At the film’s press junket last week, I got the chance to sit down and talk with Ritter, who reprises her role as Gia Goodman. During our conversation, we talked about her reaction to the film’s Kickstarter, returning to the character, the “high-school reunion” vibe on-set, and more. We also talked about her top 5 films of 2013, Breaking Bad, her thoughts on the cancellation of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and desire to Kickstart a movie. Hit the jump to check out the interview. Veronica Mars opens on March 14th. Click here to read my review.
When beloved TV shows come to a close or are abruptly canceled, there’s almost always talk of potentially continuing the story in a feature film form. That talk rarely materializes into an actual movie, but in the case of Veronica Mars and its rabid fanbase, patience and passion have actually brought the notion of a Veronica Mars movie to fruition. Written and directed by series creator Rob Thomas, the pic finds Kristen Bell’s titular character returning to her hometown of Neptune when her ex-boyfriend, Logan (Jason Dohring), is accused of murder, only to find that the case isn’t as straightforward as it first appears. Warner Bros.—which is distributing the Kickstarter-funded feature—has now released a batch of new images from the film, offering fans looks at some of their favorite VM characters nearly a decade after the show first debuted.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The film also stars Tina Majorino, Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter, Chris Lowell, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ken Marino, Max Greenfield, and Jerry O’Connell. Veronica Mars opens in theaters on March 14th after first premiering at the SXSW Film Festival.
The Color Wheel director Alex Ross Perry’s new film Listen Up, Philip will make its debut in a few days at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, but in anticipation of the film’s premiere, a teaser trailer has been released online for all to see. The pic stars Jason Schwartzman as a self-obsessed author awaiting the publication of his “sure-to-succeed” second novel. Facing a deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss), uncomfortableness at his home, and an indifference to promoting his novel, Philip is offered the chance to retreat to the summer home of his idol, played by Jonathan Pryce. This teaser is certainly an odd watch, as we see a barrage of characters addressing the title character Philip by talking to the camera head-on.
Hit the jump to watch the teaser trailer. The film also stars Krysten Ritter, Josephine de La Baume, Jess Weixler, Dree Hemingway, Keith Poulson, and Eric Bogiosan.
Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Rob Thomas‘ Veronica Mars movie. The story finds the former teen detective (Kristen Bell) returning to her hometown Neptune for her 10-year high school reunion, and it turns out there is a new mystery to solve. The movie is in the difficult position of appeasing the fans who made it happen via Kickstarter, and appealing to a wider audience so it makes money. This trailer is almost strictly for the former, and I honestly have no idea how to get the latter to shell out their cash for something that almost feels exclusionary. Additionally, since the show isn’t on any streaming service, there’s no easy way to get new viewers on board before the movie opens.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Francis Capra, Ken Marino, and Enrico Colantoni Veronica Mars opens March 14th in select theaters.
I’ve shared my skepticism in the past about the Veronica Mars movie, but that’s been related to how it relates to funding in Hollywood rather than the content of the picture itself. I’ve seen all three seasons, and while I felt it was diminishing returns, I can see it’s appeal, and it’s a world that could reasonably be adapted into a feature film. At today’s Comic-Con panel, we got a brief glimpse at the film, but it left me cold. Perhaps appropriately, this panel was for the fans rather than anyone else in Hall H even though Thomas stated that they want to open the property up to newcomers. Based on what we saw and heard, they still have a way to go.
Hit the jump for my recap of the Comic-Con panel. Veronica Mars is eyeing an early 2014 release.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
- Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) has joined Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, starring Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams.
- Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) is in negotiations to join Disney’s live-action Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James, Richard Madden and Cate Blanchett.
- Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) has landed a starring role in the indie picture The Guest, directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
The first trailer for Clueless director Amy Heckerling’s vampire comedy Vamps has landed online. The film stars Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter as two eternally young vampires navigating the dating world. Though the premise doesn’t exactly have the most appealing logline, the trailer looks like the movie could be kind of fun. Heckerling’s Clueless-style goofiness is put to good use with the vampire stuff and Silverstone and Ritter have some great chemistry. Moreover, the supporting turns by Justin Kirk, Wallace Shawn, and Richard Lewis look pretty promising.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Sigourney Weaver, Dan Stevens, Marilu Renner and Kristen Johnston. Vamps will open in select theaters on November 2nd and hits Blu-ray and DVD on November 13th.
Life Happens, from director/co-writer Kat Coiro, is a comedy centered on three young women – Kim (Krysten Ritter), Deena (Kate Bosworth) and Laura (Rachel Bilson) – who all live under the same roof in Los Angeles. When one of Kim’s one-night-stands results in an unexpected pregnancy, she turns to her girlfriends for help while she attempts to cope with single motherhood and jumping back into the dating scene amid the fear that having a child could put a quick end to any potential relationship. The movie also stars Jason Biggs, Justin Kirk, Kristen Johnston and Geoff Stults.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, the film’s star and co-writer Krysten Ritter talked about how this movie came together, the changes it went through in nearly four years of development, how happy she was with the final outcome of the film, and what she learned from this entire process and experience. She also talked about her role in the upcoming vampire comedy Vamps, from writer/director Amy Heckerling, playing the lead in the new ABC comedy series Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 (airing Wednesday nights, starting April 11th), and the pilot she’s producing for MTV, adapted from the novel Cassandra French’s Finishing School for Boys. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
The first set photos from director Amy Heckerling’s (Clueless) vampire-themed romantic comedy (apparently this is a genre now) Vamps have hit the web. The film stars Alicia Silverstone, Sigourney Weaver, Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), Malcolm McDowell, Marilu Henner and Justin Kirk (Weeds). The story centers on ““two young beautiful female vampires (Silverstone & Ritter) living the good nightlife in New York until love enters the picture and each has to make a choice that will jeopardize her immortality.”
If you’re wavering on whether or not this sounds remotely interesting to you, I’ll end with this: McDowell plays a geriatric Vlad the Impaler. Hit the jump to check out the set photos featuring Sigourney Weaver vamping it up.
Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Logan Huffman (V), and Madeleine Martin (Californication) have signed on to join Krysten Ritter (She’s Out of My League) in the indie drama Refuge. Director Jessica Goldberg adapted the script from her own play, about “a young woman, Amy, forced to care for her younger brother and sister after her parents have abandoned the family and fled to Florida for a vacation from which they will never return.”
From the age breakdown, it looks like Ritter will play Amy, Huffman and Martin will play the younger siblings, and Geraghty will play Sam, a drifter that romances Amy. Hit the jump for the synopsis for Goldberg’s play.
Filmmaker Alan Brown (Book of Love) recently completed post-production on Private Romeo a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. You can expect the film to hit the festival circuit this spring, but Brown is already hard at work on his next film, Audrey Hepburn’s Neck. Brown will adapt the script from his 1996 novel about “a young Japanese man (Toshi) who is obsessed with slender American women, and his gay American friend, who has affairs with a series of Japanese men.”
So far, Brown has rounded up an affable cast in Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), Ari Graynor (Fringe), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker). I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but IMDB suggests Geraghty will play Paul, the gay American friend. Ritter is linked to the role of Lucy (a composer), and Graynor is listed as Jane, Toshi’s English teacher/affair partner who turns out to be insane. Sounds like an interesting project, and I’m curious to see who will play Toshi. Hit the jump for the official announcement.
This morning we have set photos from three upcoming films. After the jump you’ll find set photos from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, the Sam Worthington heist-thriller Man on a Ledge, and the indie comedy BFF and Baby. Hit the jump to check out the photos and for a recap on each film.
Rachel Bilson has signed on to costar in the indie comedy BFF and Baby with Krysten Ritter and Kate Bosworth. Per Variety, the “film revolves around two best friends who fight to maintain normalcy in their lives after Ritter’s character gets pregnant and has a baby.” Ritter co-wrote the script with director Kat Coiro who’s making her feature debut on the picture. Shooting is slated to begin on October 19th in Los Angeles.
Earlier today, we reported that Bilson would star in a new series from The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz. NBC picked up the pilot production deal for the show which centers on a young woman who can talk to the dead.
Four delightful actors have joined the cast of Amy Heckerling’s vampire-romantic-comedy Vamps. The film stars Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter (She’s Out of My League) as a pair of vampires enjoying the New York nightlife until “love enters the picture and each has to make a choice that will jeopardize their immortality.” Sigourney Weaver also stars as the vampire queen Cisserus.
The gents joining the movie are Wallace Shawn as Dr. Van Helsing, a well-known vampire expert and hunter; Justin Kirk (Weeds) as Vadim, a Russian vampire always on the prowl for a good time; Dan Stevens (The Turn of the Screw) as Joey Van Helsing, a college student smitten with Stacy (Ritter) and; and Barry (The Wrestler) will portray Ivan, loyal assistant of blood-thirsty vampire Cisserus’ (Weaver). I repeat: Wallace Shawn is Van Helsing. I must see this movie now. Hit the jump for the full press release.