After three seasons, a crowd-funded feature film, and two novels, Veronica Mars is returning to Neptune for a new limited series on Hulu. The neo-noir series starring Kristen Bell became a fan favorite during its initial run on UPN and The CW before helping to usher in the revival and reboot trend way back in 2013, when Bell and creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter to fund a follow-up movie. It only makes sense then that the series would want to get in on the revival action again before the wave eventually (hopefully) ends.
Of course, the times have changed quite a bit in the six years since fans ponied up the cash for the chance to return to Neptune; now every show that might have once made someone feel something in their heart region is being considered as a possible reboot or revival. But Veronica Mars is the only series that has the narrative depth and the continued interest of fans to be able to pull off a revival twice.
"People are wondering what Veronica Mars is doing right now," Kristen Bell told SiriusXM's EW Radio when asked about the new series. "There's never been a lapse in the fanbase. When I allude to anything Veronica Mars online, people lose their marbles. And it's so wonderful and cute to know that it means something to people still."
But it's not just the fans; the show clearly still means something to the people who made it too. "What happened was that Rob Thomas came into our office and explained very passionately about why he wanted to do this, how he was going to do this. So, there was a real creative reason for it. We're not just doing it for the sake of doing it," Hulu boss Craig Erwich told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour about how the show came to be.
As we (impatiently) wait for Veronica Mars to return, we've gathered up everything fans might need or want to know about the latest chapter in Veronica's story below. Be sure to check back often as we'll be updating this story whenever new information is announced.
It is an eight-episode limited series. Limited series are all the rage now, especially since the word limited apparently has no meaning! You can call something a limited series but then later change your mind and then everyone else just has to accept it! So will this be the last time we revisit Veronica Mars? Maybe! Who knows?! Not us! Bell said she was up for playing Veronica "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."
It's coming in July, and it's coming all at once. Summer is the new spring break! A teaser for the revival revealed that it's set to land on Hulu on July 26, and all eight episodes will be available to stream at once, which is both good and bad. "As a fan, I would love to get all eight at a time. I binge shows. I would love to watch it all in a couple chunks," Thomas said at the ATX Television Festival in June. "My concern, of course, is you write a mystery and not everyone watches it all in day one, and the possibility of the big reveals getting out in the ether, that scares me as a mystery writer. You like it paced so everyone gets to the ending at the same time. ... For a viewing experience for Veronica Mars fans it will be great. I just sort of hate the idea that [on] day one the big plot reveal is making it on to the internet."
The old gang is getting back together. In addition to Bell, Jason Dohring, who plays Veronica's very much on-again boyfriend Logan Echolls — at least we hope they're still on after rekindling their relationship in the feature film — is set to return as everyone's favorite former bad boy/current navy pilot. It should come as no surprise that Enrico Colantoni is also back as Veronica's father Keith, because there is no Veronica Mars without Keith.
Also confirmed to be returning are Percy Daggs III as Veronica's best friend Wallace Fennel; Francis Capra as everyone's favorite biker with a soft side Eli "Weevil" Navarro; Max Greenfield as Veronica's former boyfriend and current detective Leo D'Amato; and Daran Norris as the lawyer with a voice for radio Cliff McCormack. Meanwhile, Ryan Hansen, who plays fan-favorite character Dick Casablancas, will also be back, as will David Starzyk, who plays Dick's father Richard. But more importantly, TV Guide has confirmed that Ken Marino will be back as Vinnie Van Lowe.
There are some cool cameos too. Adam Rose, who played Max on the show, will appear, as will Logan's old girlfriend Parker (Julie Gonzalo). But the most exciting returns might come when Veronica drops by a Chino prison and sees a couple of the people she put in there, including her old teaching assistant Tim Foyle (James Jordan) and Mercer, the rapist played by Ryan Devlin.
People are being murdered! It's probably not people we care about though. According to the logline released by Hulu, it's mostly spring breakers who are pushing up daisies in Neptune these days. Unfortunately, their deaths are kind of wreaking havoc on the town's tourism industry, which is sort of understandable, we suppose. No one wants to go to go the beach if dead bodies are washing up on shore! (To be clear, we don't know where the bodies are located.) The parents of one of the victims eventually hires Mars Investigations to look into their son's death, which means Veronica is drawn into what Hulu describes as an "epic 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." So everything we already know and love about Veronica Mars? Great!
It takes place five years after the movie. Thomas revealed on Twitter that the new episodes take place five years after the movie. He also said that although the Veronica Mars novel The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line is also set against the backdrop of spring break, that's not the story the limited series is telling.
Veronica is at a crossroads in her life. "Traditionally, there are a lot of stories about men coming to this crossroads in their life where ... the idea of family, a mortgage, kids is one direction and then freedom, irresponsibility, [and] 'do whatever I want' is the other direction," Thomas said at the ATX Television Festival in June. "I was interested in putting Veronica at the crossroads."
The first trailer is everything we want. Hulu released the first footage from the revival and it felt like quintessential Veronica Mars: Veronica kicking butt and quipping about it, Papa Mars being perfect, and yes, even a LoVe scene. They knew exactly what we want, and boy did they give it to us.
The books are obviously canon. If you still haven't read the two novels that came out after the film, you should 1) figure out your life, and 2) probably get on that (but if you don't have time, we've summarized what happens here). According to Thomas, the "books are 98% canon," and says that Pony, the puppy Logan and Veronica adopted, is included. Meanwhile, Marcia Langdon, who ran against Sheriff Dan Lamb, is now the police chief and will be played by iZombie's Dawnn Lewis. He also revealed that Neptune finally incorporated, which is something we know everyone was really wondering about.
There are tons of new faces joining the cast. In addition to the returns of all our favorites, the revival will also welcome several new cast members, including Patton Oswalt. The comedian will play Penn Epner, a hapless pizza delivery guy with a passion for true crime. Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons will appear as Clyde Prickett, an ex-con who served time for racketeering and protected Big Dick Casablancas (Starzyk) in prison. He's now working as his fixer. Elsewhere, Killing Eve's and The Good Place's Kirby Howell-Baptiste will recur as Nicole, who owns the Neptune nightclub Veronica believes the killer is selecting his victims at, and Izabela Vidovic (Wonder) will play Matty Ross, a teenage girl who makes it her mission to get justice after the person she loves most is killed. And if this last bit sounds slightly familiar, you're on to something. When Veronica sees the grieving Matty go on her quest for justice, she'll find herself reminded of her own past and the time she spent chasing down Lily's (Amanda Seyfried) killer.
In addition, Westworld's Clifton Collins Jr. will recur as Alonzo, a mid-level hitman for a Mexican cartel who is sent to Neptune to avenge the death of his boss' nephew. But when Alonzo falls for a local girl, he finds himself questioning his profession and his mission. We saw what happened when a PCHer fell for Paris Hilton, so we can't imagine this relationship will end well either, but we'll try to stay optimistic for now!
From the #VeronicaMars table read. This is some indication of who is in episode 1. It doesn't mean your fave doesn't come in later. @IMKristenBell @PD3Official @golfstoomuch @jason_dohring @dawnn_lewis @pattonoswalt @ricocolantoni @IzabelaVidovic @ccollinsjr @dstarzyk pic.twitter.com/3dlrVlykqK— Rob Thomas (@RobThomas) November 14, 2018
This isn't a nostalgia-fest. The Veronica Mars movie was made for the fans, which means it was very nostalgic and featured a whole slew of familiar faces. All of that was great, but according to Thomas, the new series is not any of that. It's returning to the show's roots a bit, and will be what he calls "hardcore So-Cal noir." In speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Bell echoed those sentiments but confirmed it wasn't going to be the same as the original series either. "It's going to be a darker world. It's going to be a bigger world," she said. "It's definitely not going to be what we did on UPN or The CW, so I want to brace fans for that. It's going to be darker and bigger and more cinematic and definitely a little bit different."
In February, Hulu boss Craig Erwich told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that the revival "is very true to the character, it is true to the world, it is true to the tone of the show and what made people fall in love with the show. It's definitely an update. She's not a little girl anymore. You'll see her deal with contemporary issues in a contemporary world."
Familiar faces are working behind the scenes though. Thomas is obviously returning to executive-produce the series alongside Bell and fellow Veronica Mars alums Diane Ruggiero-Wright and Dan Etheridge. Thomas is also set to write the premiere.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a writer. This sounds like a joke, but it's not a joke. In addition to being one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he's also a prolific writer. And now he is on the writing staff of the Veronica Mars revival (he's also set to appear in the final season of iZombie too).
The show's Comic-Con panel poster teases the same old, same old. With the tagline "still fighting crime like a girl," we all know that the best man/woman for the job is always going to be Veronica. The noir-style poster doesn't tease much about the new episodes, but nevertheless, it gets us excited.
No one's a kid anymore. In an interview with Paste Magazine, Dohring teased that the eight episodes are "going to be really special and dark and more grown-up than when we were all in high school, of course." But one adult thing you won't see? Swearing. According to Dohring, one of the first scripts had a lot of swearing but Hulu "did not want to do it in that direction...[Thomas] came up with this great humor and banter and how Veronica would not be using swear words in the show with her dad, and they have this cute game much to my character's dismay, because it's annoying."
The four four episode titles are here! We know half of the episodes, at least for now. In order, they are, "Spring Break Forever," "Chino and the Man," "Keep Calm and Party On," and "Heads You Lose."
There could be a Season 5. Talking to TVLine, Bell explained, "I told [series creator] Rob Thomas that I will do Veronica Mars until it's Murder, She Wrote. I will keep doing this show until everyone in Neptune is dead. And then the big reveal [in the eventual series finale] is that Veronica's the criminal; she killed everyone!" Honestly, 10/10 would watch that.
If you don't have time to rewatch every episode (and the movie), don't worry. If you're pressed for time before watching Season 4, we've got a handy guide of what you need to rewatch before the show kicks off on July 26.