The upcoming eight-episode series of the beloved cult drama kicks off five years after the end of the fan-funded 2014 film, and will be more adult than ever. Hulu's Senior VP of Originals, Craig Erwich, offered an update on the anticipated return of the expert sleuth as she investigates a brand new case in Neptune, California.
"With Veronica Mars, [creator] Rob Thomas, who is the steward of the franchise, really threaded the needle. From what I've seen of the show, and the scripts are excellent, it is very true to the character, it is very true to the world, it's true to the tone of the show and what made people fall in love with the show," Erwich said Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour. "But it is definitely an update. She is not a little girl anymore. You will see her dealing with contemporary issues in a contemporary world."
A very early (and brief) first look clip from the new series featured Bell as Veronica lamenting her need for money is the primary reason she still is in the P.I. business. "I would have walked away if we didn't need the money. Knowing what I know now, I wish I had," Veronica says in voiceover, as she comes across a murder scene of a young woman. "But there was a girl, and I started to care about the girl, and if you know anything about what I do, that's never good."
Asked whether Hulu was proactive in seeking out a new iteration of Veronica Mars, Erwich admitted they weren't. It was an intriguing pitch from Thomas that prompted them to go ahead with a revival.
"We weren't necessarily looking to make another version of Veronica Mars. What happened was Rob Thomas came into our office and explained very passionately about why he wanted to do this, how he was going to do this," Erwich said. There was a real creative reason for it. We're not just doing it for the sake of doing it. We're very strategic about those choices."
The revival series brings back Bell, Enrico Colantoni (Keith Mars), Jason Dohring (Logan Echolls), Francis Capra (Eli "Weevil" Navarro), Percy Daggs III (Wallace Fennel), Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas), Max Greenfield (Leo D'Amato), Daran Norris (Cliff McCormack), Adam Rose (Max) and David Starzyk (Richard Casablancas). New cast members include Dawnn Lewis, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Patton Oswalt, Clifton Collins Jr., Izabela Vidovic, J.K. Simmons and Tyler Alvarez.
Earlier this year, ET spoke withHansenabout reuniting with his co-stars for the revival, and though he remained mum on details, he hinted that his character, Dick Casablancas, has a minor role.
"They are doing eight episodes and I already finished my bit and headed off to Fiji, but ... every time we get to do a little something with Veronica Mars, it's such a treat," he said in January. "It's the show that keeps on giving and, you know, I pretty much started on that show. So, to keep having that fan base still, and getting able to play with the cast that I kind of I grew up with, it's truly amazing."
Last September, Bell hinted to ET that the new Veronica Mars is "much more adult." "The show will have grown with Veronica. It will also have grown with the fan base because, you know, it was on 15 years ago," she said at the time. "It will be a much bigger world cinematically."
"Veronica Mars more than any other project I have done has been one that has clung to people," Bell noted. "When I meet fans, they still tell me it's so significant in their lives. So, to me, that says maybe that story is not over. And we always refer to Veronica as a hero and cape and now I think more than ever, people want to see a hero and an underdog that is fighting for good. I think she is still important to people and I don't think her story is over."
Veronica Mars originally ran from 2004 to 2007, on the now-defunct UPN and The CW, before a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 successfully funded the 2014 sequel film. The show also had a 2014 digital spinoff, Play It Again, Dick, on the CW Seed. It starred Hansen working to stage a Dick Casablancas-centered take on Veronica Mars.