Keep The Dream Alive

vm-Veronica-Mars-splashFellow Chucksters, we have a new mission.  The creators of a cult favorite show apparently have a real shot at bringing it back as a follow-up movie.  All they have to do is raise 2 million dollars from the fans.

Sadly the cult show isn’t Chuck, it’s Veronica Mars, but if this can succeed on this scale it could change the way movies and TV are made and sustained.  Join me for some information and discussion after the jump.

Epic and game changing.  That’s how I’d describe this opportunity.  You can read about it at the Veronica Mars Kickstarter page or read Alan Sepinwall’s thoughts on it (with links to the Kickstarter page.

Everyone who reads my work knows by now I’m a big proponent of changing the way TV and movies are made.  We’re all well aware of the limitations of the network TV model and the uncertainty of when the end will come and the problems it causes for quality shows with serialized elements.  I’ve written about how subscription TV and cable, and now Netflix are re-making that model here.  But friends, there is a real chance for us to do it with this.  Once done, it can be recreated, just as Chuck revolutionized fan campaigns to save their show, Veronica Mars could change the way TV is made.

I’m writing this about an hour after the news went public.  I found out on Twitter.  So far 1,603 backers have raised $125,536.  It has been about an hour.  If we can sustain anything close to this level of enthusiasm for even a day we’ll easily reach that goal.  That’s right, I put my $100 where my mouth is.  It’ll be the most expensive movie ticket ever (my ticket to Golden Boy was more) but for a chance to change the entertainment industry, and I think for the better, it’ll be worth every penny.

I urge everyone to check out the links, especially the Kickstarter page and the rewards for the various contributions.  If you are a Veronica Mars fan you know how much fun these characters are and how great a movie would be.  If you aren’t a Veronica Mars fan but are a Sarah Walker fan, you probably are, you just haven’t watched Veronica Mars yet and I  highly recent you do so.  If you can pledge please do so, and if you can’t tweet and tell your friends who might be fans about it.  This has the potential to be bigger than the Subway campaign.

Today Veronica Mars, tomorrow, Chuck.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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230 Responses to Keep The Dream Alive

  1. atcDave says:

    That is very exciting news Ernie, and I’ve never even seen Veronica Mars. No doubt I would also pitch in $100, or more, for a Chuck movie. I really wish those fans the best. And I hope this leads to new possibilities for getting things done!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m way too excited. And to be frank I’m far more excited about what it could mean for Chuck, not that I wouldn’t be thrilled for a final episode of Veronica Mars. In 2 hours fans have pledged over $400,000. This could actually happen within days, or even better, a day. Now that said, this is a unique case that can’t always be replicated.

      The push for this is coming from the original creator, meaning he has credibility with the studio that owns the rights. He has the main star on-board and they have both made the case to the studio ahead of time and established what they need to show in the way of fan support to make it worthwhile. In addition the cast will likely be doing this as a labor of love for minimal pay, as well as the creator. A lot of fans have to come through for it to happen, and willingly pay good money up front for a promise of a movie and some other rewards a year or more from now.

      But, it could actually happen. And if it does it will become the model of how to get it done like the Subway campaign was for Save Our Show efforts.

      I firmly believe that if this happens someone in the Chuck family will eventually make it happen for Chuck.

  2. Faith says:

    I knew it was only a matter of time. Though I’m not sure if I’m excited or scared on behalf of Chuck.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m pretty excited. Think of what it could mean for the fans who say they can’t re-watch because of the ending, and VM had a far more depressing ending than Chuck.

      However if it gets too successful a model you’ll have network studios cancelling shows so they can get the fans to pay for them!

      Passed the $500,000 mark in under 3 hours.

      • Faith says:

        Not sure that’s a bad thing necessarily. We’re coming to an age where pay for television will be the model.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think it could be a very good thing if handled right, but the transition could be messy and ugly.

      • atcDave says:

        I think it’s a good thing, but no doubt there will be some ugliness as business models change. Of course we’re already seeing ugly, so that may not be such a problem!

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    I’d just like to add one thing about my remarks to Dave about what a unique but powerful game changer this is. The effort and organization has to come from the creative team, but it empowers both the creative team and the fans to continue the storytelling even if the studio or network wants to cancel. This model could also be applied to a different medium, Netflix comes to mind as a different distribution method. Or it could be as Zach wanted to do a web-only series. In some ways they are making this tougher by going the movie route, but in many ways, if this succeeds, the other routs will become far easier to organize.

    Now that said, here’s what worries me. Fan entitlement will go off the charts, so only the thickest skinned producers will dare go down this road and only the most trusting fans need apply. And the first time some enterprising shark files a class action lawsuit on behalf of the fans this dies. Period.

    This is a marvelous opportunity to empower producers and fans, but there is so much opportunity for one bad actor to ruin it for everyone.

    I’m still mostly excited because I’m sure the disclaimer on Kickstarter (which I obviously read in full) contained plenty of lawyerly disclaimers, exemptions, immunities and punctuation etc, but that doesn’t mean someone won’t try and make themselves enough of a nuisance to get a settlement. But mostly I’m still very excited because it’s been four hours and they’ve received well over $700,000 in pledges.

    My excitement has gone from “this could actually happen” to “in all likely-hood this is going to happen.”

    • Faith says:

      They probably went for the movie route because it’s been done. There’s a precedent as there was recently a director/producer who opened something like this complete with perks and access and it was relatively profitable.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Hm, wonder how I missed that news. I’ve been waiting for something like this for ages.

        At this point I think the impact might be more about how quickly they were able to raise the money as opposed to the fact that the succeeded. It shows just how passionate fans can be and how involved they want to be, which for the entertainment industry is a good thing. Now they just have to learn to respond to fans without pandering to them.

    • atcDave says:

      Of course pleasing an audience without pandering is a balancing act that’s been going on since the beginning for performing arts. It’s always a tough issue. There obviously would need to be some legal protection on creative issues.

      But for now I’m very excited. Zach is clearly interested in more Chuck, and I believe most of the cast would be too, at least for a one time reunion. I would be more cautious about Zach’s dreams of an annual webisode; but at this point, anything would be good news.

      • BillAtWork says:

        But why is pleasing your customers considered pandering? What other endeavor do you not have to please your customers?

        That is one of the main reasons that I’m so excited about this concept. I become Chris Fedak’s customer. I never was before. NBC was. Subway was. I wasn’t. So he now has a financial incentive to keep me happy. He has to figure out how to do that without sacrificing his artistic principles. Just like any other business.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Bill, the issue is, and always was, that we are all his customers, and he has always had a financial incentive to keep us happy. If the show doesn’t hold enough of an audience to please Subway and NBC it gets canceled. That’s a financial incentive, but unfortunately pleasing some of us means disappointing others with a show like Chuck. Too much drama alienates some fans, too little alienates others. He has always had to try and balance all the elements in Chuck, and with the cutbacks in seasons 3-5 that became a lot harder. With sufficient funding for a movie I could see us returning to those thrilling days of season 2 quality.

        Pandering to customers may be pleasing to them, but it’s done in a cheap and cynical way. Sarah trying on bikinis is fan service. Sarah in a wet t-shirt contest for half an episode is pandering.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Well, Ernie, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to break our streak of agreeing. 🙂

        We were never CF’s customers. His real customer was NBC. We’re not even NBC’s customer, Subway is.

        Now having said that, CF surely had an incentive to keep enought people interested to keep Subway and NBC willing to fund him.

        Even that ended in S5. He no longer had any incentive to keep us interested. He didn’t need us to be around for the next season. He already knew there wasn’t going to be that next season. He didn’t earn another dime if we were happy or not.

        Why didn’t we get that kind of ending in any of the other episodes that could have very possibly been the series ending? He had about 4 that were written as possibly finalies. We always got a positive uplifting ending because he needed us in case he was renewed.

        So my message to the skeptical is simple. When you buy any product, you might be disappointed. Don’t buy it again. But not CF has a financial incentive to want us happy that he didn’t have before. He will want us to be willing to buy the next one, just like any product.

        That is the main reason I’m excited about this. CF finally has a direct financial incentive to make me happy.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I think pandering is the point when trying too hard to please becomes a turn off in its own right. Of course part of the issue is we don’t all want the same the same thing, so trying too hard to please one group will almost certainly alienate another.
        But I think the most common issue is the risk of becoming all “pay off” with no sense of earning it. Now to some extent they have a built in protection here, I think we all earned a pretty significant pay off after the way they ended the show. But even so, an entire two hours of Chuck and Sarah just enjoying each other’s company would not be satisfying to most viewers. Although I could be wrong about that…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Bill, the problem is that I did see a positive uplifting ending. So did Faith and dren_lla and many others. Chris Fedak wrote a risky episode that he felt would keep his fans engaged and invested right to the final minutes of the series. It payed off marvelously for me and many others. I’m sorry it didn’t pay off for you and many others. Did Fedak think his ending would be so negatively received by so many? Almost certainly not. Do I want him to become risk-averse or change his style because of that, definitely not.

        Now, again, you guys are all being nice, but I really don’t want another thread that turns into a referendum on Chris Fedak or the ending of the show. Let’s try to keep it about the future of the show. Because suddenly it has one.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Actually Ernie, I think you misunderstood me. I agree it doesn’t matter if you loved or hated the ending. That’s is the beauty of this deal. CF has already said what he thinks the next step in the story would be. I agree with it probably more than you do, lol. I’m just excited that now there is a financial incentive. I think it will make a better product. The fan contribution means things like the Buy More is no longer needed for purely financial product placement reasons.

        If you hated the ending (like I did), this would fix it. If you loved it, you get more.

        I can’t see much down side if you’re really a Chuck fan.

        I am curious why some people think that CF wouldn’t be involved? I think he has to be. I think in the Sepinwal interview post finale he layed out where the story would go. Acknowloging that the show is over is different than not being interested in the next project. Chuck is his creation. I can’t see any way that he wouldn’t be involved.

      • atcDave says:

        He actually said several times he was leaving any future Chuck to others. Of course situations do change, and if he does have some ownership he will at least have to sign off on whatever happens next; but as of the end of the show he sounded like he was done with it.

  4. garnet says:

    There has been an unofficial movie drive for CHUCK that has been going on for a while. It suffers from being divorced from the “official” channels, but at one point it had about $250,000. pledged (currently the counter is at 1.34E20 which would be nice but is unlikely!!). This isn’t on Kickstart because the drive organizers do not hold the rights, but it does indicate an interest and significant support . I suspect that if TPTB got onboard we would see what a real campaign could do. Good luck to Veronica Mars, there success may be the way to our success.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I was going to link to the site and highlight the differences and why VM is likely to be successful where the fan started Chuck effort is unlikely to be. The money has to be real and the pledge secured (I used Amazon payments so I know my info is safe) and the push has to come from someone who has credibility with the studio and has established with the studio what needs to happen.

      Sadly someone has obviously decided to have “fun” at the expense of the creators of that effort, so it can no longer function as an indicator of support. I suppose they can filter out the ridiculous numbers, but again the push will have to come from someone in the Chuck family.

      • garnet says:

        Yeah, It’s happened before, and they usually correct it.
        You are right though in saying it needs a push from TPTB or an actor (that’s a hint Zach!). I am a little surprised that Chuck wasn’t on this wave first, but oh well!

        VM is over $1.1 already!

      • lappers84 says:

        Come on – we all know that Zach would be the spokesman for a Chuck movie – not just because he’s the main character, but because he was clearly so devoted to the show as an actor. Obviously the fans would need to do there part.

  5. garnet says:

    For the interested here is the link:
    http://www.reelfans.com/reelfans.com/chuck/
    Hopefully they will correct the numbers soon.

  6. garnet says:

    And now coming in at $1.45 million!

  7. AP says:

    Looks like they’ll hit their target (their first target) before day’s end.

    Rob Thomas is already pushing for $3M on Twitter.

    Amazing.

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    This will not turn into a Fedak bashing post. I’m sick of it and I won’t allow it. There is something amazing going on in the entertainment world and it looks like it could be an amazing opportunity for Chuck too. I’m not going to let this be used as a reason for people to re-visit past grievances for the billionth time.

    I’ve been waiting excitedly for that single event that will change the way entertainment is made, and this looks like it. It is also happening with one of my favorite shows and characters.

    You will not ruin this for me. I will not let angry people to take away my ability to enjoy my own blog and post.

    Comments to this post will be deleted at my discretion without warning.

    • Faith says:

      *Headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

    • uplink2 says:

      Though I don’t think this is the game changer you think it is, I believe it is a good thing. It will allow for lower cost projects to be made. Movies now are too concerned with the big commercial blockbusters and lots of smaller projects don’t get funded.

      But a more cynical side of me does have issues with the fact that the WB gets all of the financial reward with none of the risk. I’d like to see more about the financial arrangements before I share in your reaction. I can’t help hearing a little Dire Straits in my head.

    • ArmySFC says:

      ernie fell free to delete this if you feel it crosses your line it’s not my intent. i am also in favor of what you seek in the way TV and entertainment is done. but as BAW said in another part of this thread is they will need to give the customer what they want because in essence they are paying for it. the way entertainment is done now is very low cost to the consumer. figure about 15 for a movie in theater or 20+ for BLU-RAY and broadcast TV is free. these folks are forking out a lot of cash for this endeavor probably over 100 bucks a crack.

      the reality of Chuck is a lot of people don’t trust TPTB or didn’t like the way it ended. i don’t think you can argue that point too much. before people invest their money in a project, any project i don’t care what it is, they will need to trust, or at least feel good about the return on their investment. in Chuck’s case, as BAW said what they WANT to see, not what someone thinks they should see or what they think they will like. that is the pit fall i see for this type of entertainment progression.

      i know if i invested 100 bucks, then paid entrance to the movie and hated it, or it fell way short of what i wanted to see, I’d be hesitant about how many more times i would fork out that much cash.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I’m with Ernie on this one (sorry, Ernie, lol). Just maybe not for the same reasons.

        Nobody has been a more outspoken critic of the ending tham I have been. But I have no fear of the movie storyline. CF is on record that C/S came away from that beach together, happy, and planning their future. How could be possibly write a movie that showed anything else?

        Of course, some bad stuff is going to happen. That would be true no matter who wrote it. Otherwise it would be boring, right?

        But trust me, CF understands how fractured the base is because of the ending. He now has a financial incentive to fix it.

        I’m very excited.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The great part of this is that you, or anyone who doesn’t trust TPTB don’t have to invest a penny, and if you do and are disappointed, don’t invest the next time. That’s how a really free market works. If you are disappointed you have nobody but yourself to blame. TPTB make the movie they feel will please the greatest number of fans, and the fanbase that supports them is made up predominantly by fans who trust them to do so.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’m also not very worried about the direction a movie might go. I think everyone involved knows what fans are eager to see. And it is like Ernie said, completely free market forces at work here, no one has to pay a thing, but those of us who want to can make it happen.

  9. Arya's Prayers says:

    Check out Zachary Levi’s response in twitter.
    He’s watching closely!

    “1st, congrats to @IMKristenBell & @RobThomas for helping move entertainment a little closer in the direction I’ve always hoped it would go…
    2nd, to you Chucksters, believe that this news only bolsters my faith that I can help bring you a #ChuckMovie. Be patient. Stay tuned.”

  10. Faith says:

    Woot

    • uplink2 says:

      Now THAT I like! I do have some concerns about the whole WB gets the reward with no risk on their part but reading this from Zach makes that unimportant right now.

      • BillAtWork says:

        WB already took all the risk. By all accounts, they lost a boatload of money on Chuck, offering it to NBC below cost hoping to make it up in syndication that never happened.

        So I don’t have any issue with them making some money on this. It’s the only way it’s going to happen.

    • anthropocene says:

      Yee-hah!

  11. aerox says:

    Going at like $1000 a minute right now. Literally minutes away from breaking the set fee. Definitely going to launch the new era of film producing.

  12. Arya's Prayers says:

    Aaaaaaand…BOOM!
    $2M in a day. Not a 24 hr period. A. Day.
    Inconceivable!

    Two thoughts:
    (1) not familiar with Veronica Mars or the fandom but obviously it is strong. I do wonder whether Chucksters are up to the task with their fractured opinions about some story choices…
    (2) the amazing opportunities this represents for a return of creative programming out of a sea of reality TV and police procedurals (no offense if those are your thing)

    • jam says:

      Veronica Mars fandom is small but dedicated. There was an earlier attempt by Thomas to make a movie, but it never worked out. The last season was weaker than the first two and it ended somewhat ambiguously, but it’s safe to say Veronica Mars never angered fans like Chuck did. I can’t see Chuck fandom responding *this* passionately anymore, but it’s still possible to get enough money to make the film.

      Anyway, this kickstarter is a fantastic thing for the whole industry. More similar to this will be coming.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I could see them responding more passionately. Sorry you can’t.

    • atcDave says:

      Other Internet polls make me think Veronica Mars currently has a more passionate fandom than we do. BUT, Chuck still generates buzz on the internet. I think we could do it; probably not in a day, but we could do it.

    • ArmySFC says:

      according to FOX news online, they have gotten over 2.1 million. they are offering perks to those that contribute. for 100 you get the PDF file of the script the day the movie comes out. for 10,000 you get a spot in the movie. for other amounts you get different stuff as well. they also confirmed it is a go and should be released in 2014. the company who owns the rights, i don’t recall who, gave their blessing and wants not part of it. the major players have signed on so far i think. the TPTB also said the more money they get the cooler it will be.

  13. Faith says:

    Here’s a good read from the ever reliable Mo Ryan:

  14. mr2686 says:

    Congrats to VM. It’s been on my list of past shows to check out, and with this impressive showing of the fans, I’ve decided to pick up the DVD’s to see what all the fuss is about. I must agree with those that are not sure if Chuck fans can do the same thing…I’ve thought for awhile now that the fracture with the fans is too great. I just don’t see “most” chuck fans blindly dropping hard earned money without finding out what the story will be, how the characters will turn out, yada yada yada.
    I do hope that this is the wave of the future for movie funding, especially for TV shows that were cancelled before their time. Here’s hoping that Chuck is next in line.

  15. Arya's Prayers says:

    Well, folks…until we get that Chuck movie opportunity via Kickstarter or some other yet-to-be-conceived mechanism why not practice your donation skills so you’ll be ready when the time comes?

    A very special young lady, 12 year old Bailey Browning (@LittleChuckFan) has two days left in her annual St. Jude’s fund raiser. Her goal is just over one percent of what VM fans raised to green light their movie and she’s halfway there for this year already. Surely we can put her over the top!

    In the ‘what’s in it for me’ category multiple raffle prizes are available! Your donation is your raffle ticket. Check them out at wegiveachuck.com

    Various Chuck-related prizes are available from many Chuck cast members. No promises since she’s in her homeland down under at the moment but the incomparable Yvonne Strahovski came through last year with a rather unique prize donation at the eleventh hour. 😉

    If we can’t pull together $10K for such a worthwhile cause in the next two days what hope do we have of collecting enough money for a Chuck movie when the time comes?

    Please take a moment to look at the website or find Bailey on twitter and give from your heart!

    • ChuckFanForever says:

      She’s done such a bang-up job on the charity, when she’s done with that, perhaps WB can hire her to run the #ChuckMovie campaign?

  16. lappers84 says:

    With all this talk of TV movies (and well done to VM) what do you guys think could happen in a hypothetical Chuck movie?? and would you love to see appear in it??

  17. Wilf says:

    Even the BBC has reported on this. Must be seen as an important step.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-21782941

  18. BillAtWork says:

    I think that this is a great idea. This isn’t just people saying they would pay. You have to commit the funds when you pledge. So this is collectable money. I don’t think that the Chuck effort is (I may be wrong about that). And that is a night and day distinction.

    Content being paid for by advertisers and measured by a small handful of Neisen viewers is obsolete and everybody knows it.

    I think i would settle for a 2 hour Chuck TV movie. Too many issues with making and distributing a movie for theatrical release (not that I claim to know anything about it).

    Don’t hold me to these numbers, but I think I read somewhere that it cost 4 million to produce an episode. So let’s double that for a 2 hour event. WB needs to make a profit, so let’s say 10 million in revenue would be required.

    The VM thing is over 2.5 million in it’s first day. Let’s say that a similar Chuck effort could raise 4 million. That seems very reasonable.

    So WB could offer this 2 hour event to NBC (or Syfi Channel) for a bargain of 6 million, which is about half what they would expect to pay. They could show it in the SNF slot after football ended (like the S3 premier) and get a sponsor (Subway is the logical candidate).

    Since the fans are subsidising this, it seems like a win/win/win. The network gets a cheap product and some huge buzz. WB makes some money. And we get to see our favorite show again.

    Somebody has to find the flaw in that for me. It seems like a no-brainer.

    I’ve never seen VM, but I pledged $20 just to encourage the concept.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Bill, you should check out Veronica Mars, if you like Sarah Walker you’ll like Veronica. Be ready for a far worse ending than even the most disappointed Chuck fans see though, but with the movie on the horizon the blow will be softened.

      A few answers. Post season 2 Chuck’s budget was about 1.5 million per episode (verified by Zach). Much less than most TV shows. As you mentioned there is potential to add to the fans contributions with product placement or a sponsorship deal with Subway or Netflix. The trick is to make this pure profit for WB so they just plain can’t afford to pass on it, and perhaps profitable enough that they want to do it again in a few years.

      As far as what the fans could raise, while VM made the model of how to do this right I could see Chuck taking it to the next level. Remember, direct to fans is Zach’s dream. It was the reason behind starting The Nerd Machine. He has the toolkit pre-existing to organize this effort and promote it even better than VM.

      Also, VM ran on UPN and CW from 2004 to 2007 and never had more than 2.5 million viewers. Granted it picked up some fans (like me) post-series. Chuck ran from 2007 to 2012 on what used to be a major television network. At it’s absolute nadir it had 4.5 million viewers and at it’s height nearly 10 million.

      Chuck’s demographic skews older, more educated and more tech savvy (read wealthier) than most TV shows. By organizing online (something we’re used to) I think we could blow away the record VM just set.

      VM donations are averaging around $61. Given an equivalent set of bonuses I could see Chuck’s average being considerably higher. Zach has 450,000 followers on twitter. Granted Kristin Bell has nearly a million, but she also has Heroes, Gossip Girl and several movies in her resume. A 10% response for Zach at the same average donation puts us equal with VM. 80,000-ish donors at that average gets us to $5 million, and I think the average donation would be higher with Chuck fans.

      At this point I feel the only question about a Chuck movie is when.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I agree with all that.

        If those are the dollars, then this becomes rediculously a no-brainer. I agree that the Chuck base would blow anybody else away. That was always true in every poll.

        So WB could offer a TV movie to NBC for free and still make a huge profit.

        A theatrical movie is a different animal. Totally different production values and expectations than a TV thing. I’m not sure how the feel of Chuck would translate to the big screen.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d venture that if Zach is the organizing force he will insist on some sort of direct to backers net distribution and offer it for purchase to non-backers through the usual venues. Whether they offer it up to a network or Netflix is another matter. VM is probably going to have a very limited theatrical release, and it isn’t yet clear that the DVD will have a general release, though if they have to produce 20,000 to satisfy their obligations to backers I can’t see why they wouldn’t try to market them for a general, if limited release.

      • atcDave says:

        So Ernie you’re thinking no TV or theatrical release at all? Just via internet or maybe disc sales? I would love that! I think it be a significant cost savings to be free of the existing distribution network.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        From everything Zach has said that would probably be his preference, but like VM I think a limited theatrical release and DVD sales could only help.

        Now that said I think this movement could also re-vitalize the movie industry so a movie might not be a bad idea to show the studios they can profit from small inexpensive movies as well as the blockbusters.

  19. Ernie Davis says:

    Heh, Rob Thomas from the Veronica Mars Movie Project FAQ

    Q: What if the movie doesn’t end in the way I’ve believed it should end for the past six years?

    Eek.

    Q: Veronica better end up with Logan, Rob. She just better.

    That’s not a question.

    Q: We’re just saying…

    I hear you. Remember, it’s noir. There aren’t a lot of happy endings.

    Q: Noir, my ass. We’ve waited a long time for this.

    (Busily reworking super-grim ending.)

    • atcDave says:

      That’s funny. One reason I avoid certain genres; I believe I’ve mentioned I’m not into “dark”?!
      Sounds like VM fans may have some serious disputes and divisions in their future…

  20. mr2686 says:

    I’d have to say that whether it’s Chuck or VM, a theatrical release is a bit of a waste, at least to my way of thinking. I’d much rather have these go either direct to dvd or on television with dvds also available. Seems like it would save money. No matter what, DVD’s or the ability to buy a digital copy is important. As far as I can tell, Netflix will not be offering either for the new season and movie of Arrested Developement, which sucks in my book.
    As for a Chuck movie, I’d gladly pay up to $300…especially if (like VM is doing) they offer a signed movie poster and copy of the film. Well worth it for a Chuck movie.

    • atcDave says:

      No doubt, I would pitch in a chuck of money too. As Ernie mentioned above, with an older, more affluent fandom we may be able to raise money pretty quickly.

  21. uplink2 says:

    A few of us had an interesting discussion on Twitter last night about what it would take to get Chuck fans to financially support a movie project like this. Now that the glow of the first day of this idea is over I’m curious to see what others here think. Would you contribute money and what would it take to do so? How could the fractured fanbase be reunited and enthused to make this effort a reality? I’d hate to see it started and then not make the final goal.

    A couple of things came to light in our discussion and much of that revolves around who would be involved. Of course Zach and Yvonne have to sign on. Probably Adam too. They are all deal breakers. I’m not sure that anyone else is really a deal breaker for me at least. But I would fully expect that Gomez would be involved as well.

    The big question is Schwedak. Fedak has said he is done with Chuck and that’s probably a positive for the idea. Folks from a number of sides of the fracture said that the best way to reunite the fanbase behind the project was if both he and Josh were not directly involved. Personally I’d like to see Yvonne and Zach in sort of an EP role where they would have more control of the direction of their characters, especially Yvonne.

    I’m just curious what others thoughts might be on this. Or maybe this is more appropriate for one of Dave’s alt S3 discussions.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’d say let’s save this for another discussion in season 3. I feel very strongly that both Schwartz and Fedak should not only be involved but should write the script. Their collaboration created this world, and their scripts for the pilot and First Date were some of the best ever produced. Between them they shepherded this show and ran the writers room for 91 episodes, both the ones people didn’t like and the ones everyone loved. They need to be involved for it to be Chuck. I understand a number of people don’t agree, and were they not involved I would still support the effort with another writer, but I’d want it to be one of the ones who wrote for the show. Schwartz and Fedak will be involved at some level. They have ownership stakes in the show, so they must be.

      I really don’t want this to become a discussion on the merits of this writer or that so let’s leave that for now.

      On a more general topic related to Uplink’s comment there was a discussion about how Chuck should launch such an effort, and that is an interesting one if we can keep from going back to individuals saying this or that person is a deal breaker.

      dren_lla on twitter and I started off admiring how well organized and thought out the VM effort was and commenting on how that was the secret to their success. The things they did right were:

      1) Get the creator and the star on board and get a sense that as much of the cast as possible is willing to commit if their able.

      2) They made a video to highlight that fact for the fans. The core of the cast was all there demonstrating their commitment.

      3) They planned and took time to get it right. The video is proof. Kristin Bell is presently 8 month pregnant. In the video she is not visibly so. That video was made well ahead of time.

      4) They met with the studio and were able to reach an understanding of what was required to get their support. They were able to do this because they were committed to the project and the studio could take it seriously.

      5) They went to the fans with a prepared case that this was real and would happen if they supported it.

      6) Trust your fans will support not just with money, but by spreading the word through social media.

      7) Participate with the fans while it is happening.

      All in all a very well organized and run effort. I wanna see Zach top it.

      • mr2686 says:

        If anyone can top VM’s effort I think Zach can. I also agree that Fedak and Schwartz need to be involved in the writing. Also, the fans need to remember that no matter how “perfect” the script is, there are going to be some fans that are not happy with some part of the story. I’m sure there will be issues with “how” Sarah gets back her memories…and God help us all if she doesn’t LOL. I was also thinking that Zach would be great as the director which would also help keep the cost reasonable.
        Bottom line, I think all Chuck fans should get on board with this, mainly because I really don’t think Zach would get involved if he didn’t have a little input in to what the fans are wanting…he’s a fan too and I think it’s important to him.

    • atcDave says:

      I think you summed up my feelings rather nicely Uplink. I’m maybe not as militantly anti-Fedak as some, but its probably for the best if he isn’t involved (as he’s indicated he wouldn’t be). And if JS is involved my guess is it would only be in an oversight capacity; which is fine, having someone who knows how to actually make a show could be helpful!
      I like the idea of Zach and Yvonne as EPs, really I think that’s the best of all possibilities. I have the impression they are the most engaged with their fans and seem to care about what we want to see. Of course they would need to hire a professional writer, but I would feel pretty good about it with them in the executive position. This is also a pretty common production model for this sort of project, so no real difficulties on that count.
      For me, Zach and Yvonne are the only absolute requirements for the cast. In fact, it is Chuck and Sarah together that pretty much defines Chuck for me, so there’s no flex on that. Adam is the next biggest deal; followed by Josh, Sarah and Ryan. I would hope to see them all back. I am not interested in the Buy More, although I wouldn’t worry too much if it played a small part (might be really funny to see what they do for a set now!)

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d say the conclusion we reached last night was that to go to the studio, they needed Zach and Yvonne’s commitment and Schwartz and Fedak’s support. We tabled the question of their involvement for the inevitable argument when we actually have to put our money where our mouth is.

        To go to the fans, we’d probably need that plus additional cast members like Adam Baldwin’s and Josh Gomez’s commitment, which I’m sure would be forthcoming. I’d also say that like VM they should have at least an outline of an idea for a script. For VM, it’s as little as Veronica returns to Neptune after many years away. It is also her high school reunion. Fans would want at least the germ of an idea. There also must be video of as much of the cast as possible showing their support for the project, whether it be a direct plea or a fun preview of things to come.

        What Chuck could do better? Organize for international support from the start. Ramp up the effort ahead of time with a launch date.

        Most of all, take the time to get it right, because it is almost certainly a one-shot deal.

      • atcDave says:

        I completely agree with all of that Ernie. And just to stir up a little trouble, you know Zach and Yvonne were seen at WB studios together about a month ago…

        (okay sorry, I don’t want to start rumors or cause undo excitement. It apparently had something to do with one of JS’ current shows. Not sure if its for a cameo or just a social call. But I sure would like to think they’re talking about the future).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d say that one of the best things going for us at this point is that we have a precedent at WB the same studio that makes Chuck. Since they are unlikely to approve of another until they see how the first works out, we have at least a year or so to organize before we even think about starting. One problem, if VM lays an egg we’re probably dead.

    • uplink2 says:

      Well I think the important part of what just happened is that they proved that it CAN be done. That is a very big step. Now what lessons are learned from this and the timing of when the Chuck effort happens is critical. VM has been off the air 6 years and it seems like they have been working on this idea for a lot of them and seeing it wasn’t going to happen in the conventional route, they found a new direction and I applaud them for that. Even with my concerns about reward with no risk I’m intrigued by all this.

      At some point when we do discuss this more i’m very curious as to what folks think will be the setting for the story. How the memory loss will be handled and where folks see the drama coming from. I have some thoughts on that but will wait for the appropriate time.

      I will say that I would prefer that Schwedak not be involved but at the very least I would hope that Yvonne has a very definite input into the direction for her character. Her vision is something I’d really be excited to see.

      • Robert says:

        I’d say they will not dwell on the memory losses for very long; perhaps just a lil mention or Sarah remembering a little something along the way. It may have some drama coming from there (a la 4.07, 4.08), but not much.

        It will come from the spy game intruding on their present (family) life, something related with their security firm, or their child (children) being threatened…

        An enemy from the past, a traitor, heck, even Bryce, whom we never really knew for whom he was really working…

      • atcDave says:

        Robert that is exactly how I would hope it goes too.

  22. aerox says:

    I’m 99,9% sure there’s going to be at least a kickstarter project announced for a Chuck movie, either in a month after the buzz of VM has died down, or after the VM movie has been released.

    With Kickstarter, first off, you eliminate not one, not two, but three major issues. One: you get rid of the start-up costs that can weigh on a production company (or part of the start up costs anyway). Two: by getting people to pledge their money to a show, it’ll mean that they’re pretty much dead set on watching. Not a lot of people promise to spend money on something and then not use the product they have bought. So that’s a guaranteed audience. Third, and finally, you’re going to get free advertisement, which is crazy. The amount of money that studios spend on promotion is painfully ridiculous. With this, you’re getting free word of mouth (which is the best advertisement) advertisement and a large viewer base.

    Another added bonus is that it’ll be easy to shoe in product placement. Especially in a show like Chuck, where product placement has become the norm, why not cash in an extra few bucks by being able to show concrete numbers to companies, who you can then, in turn, bill for products? Simple as that, really. Yes, I understand that product placement in a film is dodgy in the best of words, but why not?

    There are literally no risks at all for WB by agreeing to a kickstarter campaign. If it doesn’t work, WB loses nothing. If it works out, they stand to make a huge profit. The only thing I’m not sure of, is if there are enough people willing to pledge a donation. From a small poll I conducted, there seems to be a large divide of people who are A) done with Chuck or B) crave a film. Only time will tell whether or not they will get one, but logic dictates that a Kickstarter campaign, especially with the (semi) pledge by Zac, will come around, sooner or later.

    • atcDave says:

      I’m hoping they (mainly Zach?) take their time and get this right. I would hope to see as organized an effort as VM apparently has. Although Nerd Machine may be an excellent starting point for that organization, at least for distributing and coordinating information and news.

    • jam says:

      “I’m 99,9% sure there’s going to be at least a kickstarter project announced for a Chuck movie, either in a month after the buzz of VM has died down, or after the VM movie has been released. ”

      I have no idea what would be a realistic timetable for this, but I bet Zac would love to announce something at SDCC/NERDHQ this July.

  23. ThreeCentsWorth says:

    The question you folks might want to consider is this: Why would Warner do this when they are ALREADY so deeply in the hole on Chuck. The difference between Veronica Mars and Chuck is that Veronica Mars has had a decently successful off-network syndication life. That means Warner has probably broken even now. But after five seasons of Chuck, Warner is probably close to $10 million in the hole. Maybe more. No one seems interested in syndication, which means Warner has no chance to make back some of the money it has already spent.

    So why would it be interested in putting up even more (and, Kickstarter or no, Warner would have to spend) when it hasn’t recouped its initial investment and there seems no interest in anyone taking a flyer on syndication?

    I do not mean to be negative (hey, a new Chuck anything would be fun), only realistic.

    • BillAtWork says:

      The only way is if WB has no (or very low) risk. That’s why I’m saying a theatrical release movie is probably risky. A 2 hour ppv or network movie seems more doable.

      I agree that WB is probably not anxious to lose more money on Chuck. But the way the numbers could work, WB could be assured of a profit before they even green-lighted the project.

      In business we call that money from heaven, lol.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      The whole point of these efforts is that WB risks virtually nothing for whatever profit they receive. If the fans put up the production costs all the studio has to do is give their permission for the project to go forward with their intellectual property. There will be digital versions and DVD’s made to fulfill the backers commitment, so if those are made generally available WB gets their normal cut from their sales.

      Also as mentioned above for a lot of fans a new end to the show would make it more attractive as a series, and perhaps more attractive for syndication as well.

      The point of the crowd-sourcing is to make it so risk-free for WB that passing on any potential profit becomes unthinkable. While I am skeptical of your numbers (and Hollywood accounting where no blockbuster ever turns a profit) let’s say WB could potentially realize 1 million profit from a fan subsidized Chuck movie at no risk. Would any competent businessman pass on the potential to erase even 10% of his loss? 5%?

      The point is to make a win/win transaction for all involved. That’s how free markets operate.

      • atcDave says:

        All very well put Ernie. The whole point to the Kickstarter is to raise the money up front so the studio has nothing to loose. It is a new(ish) business model that will require some of the old timers to get used to it. But if the VM project is successful (as in, makes a little money) at little or no upfront cost to a studio, there’s no reason we can’t do the same for Chuck.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Now in the case of VM, WB does actually have some skin in the game. They will pay for distribution and promotion. In the case of Chuck, if we bypass the theaters and direct market to fans and rely on social media, the risk to WB is virtually eliminated.

    • uplink2 says:

      I think WB will also be interested to see what happens when the show FINALLY gets added to Netflix.

      I think Ernie is right. One of the more popular complaints about the finale is that it took much if not all of the desire to retake their journey because in the end we don’t know for certain if Sarah remembers any of it. I know that feeling first hand as it took me 11 months to finally rewatch an episode except the extended cut when it was released. So a more definitive or alternate ending just might have some impact on its value in syndication or other outlets like Netflix. Plus publicity about the film might ring in some new fans as well.

      But I’m not that certain like Aerox that it will come anytime soon. As Ernie correctly states there is a basic plot outline for VM already posted. There is much work to be done to make it work. But I agree that WB is in no real jeopardy here. For all we know the Netflix deal could be enough to recoup their investment. No actual dollar losses have ever been mentioned as far as Chuck goes.

      Another thing I agree with Ernie about is don’t rush it. Take the time to get it right. Im not going anywhere and if it takes another year to get all the pieces in place then so be it. But another interesting thing someone tweeted me about last night was does this have anything to do with why Zach AND Yvonne went and saw Josh together a month ago? I’m still very curious as to what that was about. A simple set visit to the old crew could be done at anytime and not together. It’s the fact they were there together that makes it seems like something else was going on.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Since the VM effort has been underway for quite some time, and word probably got around at WB I am now VEEERRY interested in what Zach and Yvonne were doing on the set of Hart of Dixie. At the time I hoped it would be a fun cameo with a Chuck reference. Now I’m hoping for something else entirely.

        I’d say we have at least a year built in. WB will want to see what happens with VM before they make any decision on Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        Even at the time I remember being glad just that the cast all does seem to get along so well. Even if it takes a while, that does make the chances of a later reunion much better.

        My wife and I have been re-watching Remington Steele. Fun show, not unlike Chuck in some ways. But Stefanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan were never buddies. There were never major problems either (at least not like Moonlighting), but they didn’t hang together and they never shared a vision for the show (Pierce in particular seems to have just viewed it as a career step). And that pretty much sunk any ideas for a reunion project.

        We are in a MUCH better place in that regard. I have had some concerns that Yvonne in particular would move on and never look back, But that doesn’t SEEM to be a problem so far.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Yeah, the danger is that someone would become a big star and simply not have time to be involved. Yvonne seems like the only one with that potential. And even that seems slim at this point. Nothing against Yvonne, she is amazing and I root for her. But that is pretty rare air.

        Zac and AB don’t seem to have much trouble finding roles. But neither are huge stars.

        The rest of the cast would be grateful for the work, I think. 🙂

      • uplink2 says:

        Well as far as Yvonne goes I do find this interesting.

        Watching Cougars with her parents. Plus her personal connection with the “Cats” seems very real and honest. So her relationship with the show is still very strong. I just think/hope that she would demand a bit more control of her character if she were to agree to sign on.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah, I think Yvonne is by far the most likely candidate to “make it big” and be too busy for more Chuck.
        No matter how talented she may be, there are huge issues of luck and timing too.
        But so far though, she seems close enough to the cast I think she will remember “where she came from.”

        I love that she was watching Chuck with her parents! That just makes me happy on so many levels. Good choice of episode too…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I don’t think people realize that Zach’s Hollywood profile is at least as high if not higher than Yvonne’s. Remember he’s often in the final 2 or 3 considered for the lead for major franchise movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s done two long running TV shows, was the lead on one and he has a several movies on his resume too, one as the lead (albeit voice only). If the pilot Zach got immediately after Chuck had been picked up we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

        I agree, Yvonne is bound for stardom. She’s classically trained, stunningly beautiful, incredibly nice and a true professional. But Zach has a deeper resume and fuller toolbox. He’s outgoing and charismatic, sensitive to his fans concerns and does all the industry things where Yvonne seems more private. Zach can also sing and direct, and he is interested in all those things. According to the crew on the Chuck set he often took on the responsibilities of an EP without the credit or compensation. I think Zach is headed for a future trajectory like Tom Hanks, where he can be a star, but he’ll also be calling the shots and making his own projects happen.

        If the Chuck movie happens, I guarantee it’ll be because Zach made it happen.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I really don’t know how to measure those things. Sadly, I don’t see either becomming stars in the league of Tom Hanks. Can you imagine Tom Hanks agreeing to a Bussom Buddies remake, lol?

        Anyway, I hope I’m wrong, both are very talented. But Yvonne is the one who seems to have retained more of the ‘Chuck’ following. Dexter had it’s best ratings in… well, maybe forever. They didn’t even kill her character off. How many can say that? She can play action or the romantic love interest.

      • garnet says:

        What seems lacking in all this is a discussion as to why we areonly considering a movie. A a few (say 3-4) 1 hour “episodes” that leave room for future projects would seem just as possible. If we look at VM they have raised $2.7 million already. I expect they will top out at near $4 million. For that they could potentially do 2 movies/episodes (they would already have the sets and crews so the costs for the additional episode would be lowered).
        Even “Video Game High School” that had Zac in a small role managed to fund a short 1st season and a second is apparently on the way.

        If it is a movie or nothing, I’d sign on for the movie. If they were to offer more episodes I’d jump at the opportunity!

      • BillAtWork says:

        I agree. I don’t think that the show we watched translates to the big screen all that well. I’d rather have a made for TV movie that was basically a 2 hour episode with the promise of more if the first one went well.

        The only reason to make a feature movie would be if you thought it could have broad appeal and turn into a blockbuster hit. You’d make it much darker and more adult. Put C/S in some really dark, tense situations. Market it as an action movie in the style of the Borne films. Turn C/S into a married team of action heroes. That would require more investment than the fans could fund, and it could bomb. But it would have a higher upside.

      • atcDave says:

        Zach’s involvement with the full process always gives me great hope for more Chuck. He’s exactly the sort of actor I would expect to take charge of his own projects, and fortunately for us he has stayed very attached to his Chuck fans. I still think the ceiling is a little lower for him as an actor than it is for Yvonne, but I do think he may be very successful as a multi-talented individual.
        But I worry less about him as an issue for more Chuck. I think Chuck will always be a part of who he is, and he will do it again if he can find a way. Yvonne I can see getting more overbooked. Which is why I’m always pleased when it seems like she is still connected to the show.

        Garnet I think a movie just seems like the most likely implementation. Zach talked about doing an annual webisode at one point. A short series of webisodes could work too. There’s actually a lot of possibilities. But I think the people who would be actually leading the effort (likely starting with Zach) need to figure a plan first.
        I’m of the more is better school. No matter what happens, I will likely always be ready for one more movie/episode.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        There is too much commitment and no real upside to making multiple episodes of a canceled series. Multiple episodes means multiple scripts and more time. Chuck was unusual in that in season 3 they had a 6 day production schedule that often overlapped episodes in production. As the cast often said it is a hellish schedule to keep for any length of time.

        As a niche nostalgia project the actors, writers and crew can afford to work for minimal pay for a brief time with some limited potential for seeing some extra income off of DVD sales or royalties. Taking a few weeks for that when you can get everyone together is doable. Anything much longer and they are passing on lucrative and career-building opportunities.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I always mean a more TV type movie when I say movie. I think the darker type movie you mention is a bad fit for Chuck, I would hope they always keep it light hearted and fun. That’s what made the show so compelling for me, and I sure don’t need another dark self-important spy story to fill my time. There’s too many Bourne type movies out there already. What Chuck had was uncommon, and THAT’s what I want to see again.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Yeah, Dave. I don’t disagree. One of the key differences is special effects and fight scenes. Chuck fight scenes are clearly TV quality. That’s not a criticism. That is a budget thing.

        If you were asking for my 20 million to make a feature quality Chuck movie, I’d want to know how you think that would make more profit than just doing the TV thing that has a built in audience but also a low ceiling.

        And the only reason I could think of was if you thought that the feature movie could have far more broad appeal then the TV show did. If Zac and Yvonne could launch a franchise as an action couple. That would be a tough sell if it was my 20 million.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        One idea I had was some Jeffster webisodes of their adventures in Germany as a compliment to a Chuck re-union. Because frankly I have trouble seeing how they can bring back the Buy More now that the set is gone without breaking the budget. They could be cheap, easy to produce, and short. Just enough to bring back Jeffster.

      • atcDave says:

        I really don’t need any Jeffster!

        I think bringing the Buy More back, just for a cameo could be quite funny though. They could do like the Pilot, and dress up an existing big box store with the appropriate logo and colors. It would look like an entirely different place (because it would be), and I think that could be part of the joke (gee, I love what you’ve done with the place…)
        Of course the other extreme could be Buy More logos on a mall Radio Shack. How the mighty have fallen…

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I actually could imagine Chuck working as an action adventure comedy series of movies. The first two seasons often had that “movie” sort of look to them. So I could imagine just doing things a little bigger and better for an actual fun movie franchise. Almost like Star Trek with all it’s follow on movies, and eventual series.

        And to be fair, it took quite a few years from the end of the original series before such things seemed likely for Star Trek too. But I suspect that was a once in a lifetime sort of thing, a perfect storm that made Star Trek successful like it was. Chuck seeing such a success at this late date seems beyond “unlikely”. Like, “only in my fevered dreams…”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well Dave there’s a discussion for season 3. Two actually. What makes an episode of Chuck an episode of Chuck? What absolutely has to be there for the episode to qualify as a part of Chuck’s world. Also is that different for a movie? What would make a Chuck movie a Chuck movie?

        We’ve already fleshed out the cast part (though I’d love to see both Gertrude Verbanski and Alex McHugh back) to the top 6 at least. I want Dianne back on the video monitor doing full exposition in 2 minutes or less and Big Mike running a Subway franchise. At least as cameos.

        My biggest worry is that without the Buy More it won’t feel like Chuck, and that sort of includes Jeff and Lester as that was their world.

      • BillAtWork says:

        But you could have Jeff and Lester without the BM. They are in Germany when we last left them. Big Mike maybe not so much.

        I agree, Alex and Beckman are musts. Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Morgan, Ellie, Devon, Beckman, and Alex in that order.

        Depending on the story you were telling, I’d love to see flashbacks telling the Orion and Frost backstory.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t mean I don’t want to see them, only that Jeffster has no place on my wish list. There are so many characters I would love to see at least briefly, I think that’s one of the great challenges with any reunion project, apart from recapturing what worked the first time; is including a large variety of fan favorite characters. Like what about the CATs, or Roan Montgomery, or Jack Burton….
        After five years of show the list is vast. And really, if you’re going to actually tell a NEW story, the number of such appearances will be very limited.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Aside from Orion and Frost, I would like to see the Jill story wrapped up. Where is she? What is she doing? Does Sarah know that Chuck helped her escape while she was in a fire fight for her life with 20 Fulcrum agents? That might be a fun chance for jealous Sarah to come out to play. 🙂

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I would love to see some Jeffster in Germany antics, and those could be short enough and cheap enough to start producing now, to be folded in at a later date.

        Sadly I’m starting to think that I see some of the Chuck sets as characters too. Like in Firefly The Serenity was part of that family it won’t feel like Chuck without the fountain in the courtyard or the Nerd Herd desk, that island of red and black (always wondered why Chuck and Sarah picked those as their wedding colors) in that sea of Buy More green.

      • garnet says:

        checking to see where this ends up!

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Megathread alert.

      • uplink2 says:

        A couple of things. First Dave, your mentioning of the Star Trek movie made me cringe a little bit. I remember those years before the first movie when the show exploded in syndication. The anticipation was huge and the movie was a complete dud. Now true thankfully it made enough money that we got by most people’s estimation the best movie of the entire franchise with Wrath of Khan and we knew that Search for Spock was also coming but I want no comparisons to that first Star Trek movie. That was dreadful.

        Now as far as the BuyMore Dave is right you could a BestBuy or something else and considering the Subway owns it now you don’t have to have the exact feel. The courtyard and fountain could be recreated easily but depending on where you start the movie, immediately after the beach or a couple of years later, I would hope they were now living in the house with the red door and that still exists.

      • garnet says:

        Ernie, I’m not sure that there is no upside to doing 2-3 episodes for the cost of a movie. I would think that WB would be in a position to market or distribute the DVD’s and would be able to charge more for 3 episodes than 1. As far as production, they would have to create new sets for CHUCK in any event. You would get more out of the set if it was uesd 3 times than one, and if you are going to hire writers, I would think that they would be able to produce 3 episodes almost as easily as 1 if they had to. As far as shooting schedules, they could be looking at about 1 week per episode, or 2-3 weeks for a movie, I’m not sure that would make that much difference to the actors in the long run.

        So just spitballing her, but as a totally different way of looking at things, I wouldsuggest that they team up with Apple and offer CHUCK on iTunes at a cost of about $3.00 an episode (after a kickstart campaign for about $2-3 million) and cut the networks out completely. Even if 500,000 fans purchased the episode they would have $1.5million (less costs to Apple). Add in some product placement that we have come to expect, and add in a few actual adverts. and there might be potential for some income.

        I wonder if the future of TV might end up looking like this! Or imagine after pilot season the pilots are all posted for viewing rather than disappearing without being seen. Perhaps we would see a unpicked-up pilot turning into an internet hit and achiveing a pick-up.

      • atcDave says:

        Garnet I believe Pilots, like movies, actually do more location shooting and less studio set work. So it is possible very little would be done in terms of set construction (I don’t know the math of it; but location shooting is generally more expensive, of course sets have an up front cost. So at a certain point it becomes cheaper to build a set). The original Chuck Pilot was shot at a real apartment complex, a recently closed store (CompUSA if memory serves…) and an open store for Large Mart (a Costco I believe?). Once the show was picked up, the sets were built, patterned after those original sites. So I could imagine our reunion project reversing the process some. Like revisiting those apartments, at least for a familiar courtyard scene. Or dressing up a Best Buy to look like a remodeled Buy More. I think that would be far cheaper than rebuilt sets. Especially since they don’t really need those old settings; Chuck and Sarah could easily now have a house (maybe the dream house), and even if the Buy More has a cameo, it plausibly could have seen major remodeling with the change in ownership.

        As for the other, yeah I’d love to see more variety come from pay per view options. Even with the possibility of Pilots turning into new shows with no studio or network interference at all. Simply the shows (Pilots) that sell are the shows that get made. That would be great!
        And the next great thing, buying sports games a la carte so I don’t have to spend $300 on Sunday Ticket just because I’m a Bears fan living out of market! Let me buy the games I actually want to watch! Sorry, wrong discussion…

    • aerox says:

      WB won’t lose or gain anything based on a kickstarter campaign, and if the campaign succeeds, then WB at least has a viewerbase. Yes, they’ve lost a lot of money on Chuck, but like I said, if part of that already gets recouped through the Kickstarter project, plus with the guaranteed audience, then they stand to gain a lot more. Maybe not to get the show and their budget for it into black digits, but enough that should attract the attention.

      Furthermore, an interesting tidbit. There’s been a spike in torrent downloads for Veronica Mars after the kickstarter project. I’m pretty sure this will translate in DVD sales too.

      • mr2686 says:

        Well, I for one just picked up the Veronica Mars DVD’s to check out what all the fuss was about so I’m sure I’m not alone. I probably would have done that anyway, but much further down the road.
        As for Chuck, a movie would not be the same without ALL the main characters, and that includes Big Mike, Jeff and Lester, Alex, Verbanski, etc. I’ve always been a bit peeved that they gave such a small part to Ron Glass when they did the Serenity movie, and I would feel the same without the whole gang of Chuck. I’d also love to see the Buy More, but depending on the cost to rebuild the set, I would understand if they didn’t.
        I also like the idea of doing 2-3 or even 4 episodes instead of a movie. The first could be some backstories of what the characters were doing right after the beach scene, and then lead in to a 2 or 3 episode arc.

      • garnet says:

        I think this could finally be some of the out of the box thinking that th entertainment industry needs. The American networks are not really providing what I want to watch. I don’t care about Survivor, The Voice, X-Factor, Amazing race etc etc etc. I want to watch more fun shows like CHUCK, Castle, Dr. Who, and Sherlock. Heck Downton Abbey is fun to watch too.
        A successful Kickstarter campaign like this and a bit of “alternative thinking” might just go a long way towards the production of some quality shows that I want to watch.
        I’m interested enough in what has been going on that I might even pick up the VM season 1 for our family to watch

      • mr2686 says:

        Amen to that Garnet! Although with so much junk on TV right now, I find it kinda cool to go back and check out shows from the past and find some of the gems that I missed.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        If you love Sarah Walker you’ll love Veronica Mars.

        If you are looking for missed gems my top ones are Firefly, Wonderfalls, VeronicaMars, Pushing Daisies, Life, The OC and Freaks and Geeks. I’m about to start Six Feet Under, I’ve heard good things.

        One warning on Veronica Mars, if you hated the way Chuck ended you will loathe the way they end the series, but you, unlike fans at the time can take heart that there is a movie on the way.

      • mr2686 says:

        Ernie, of the one’s you mentioned, I’ve got Life and Pushing Daisies high on my list along with Dollhouse and Tru Calling.

      • aerox says:

        Ernie, I almost never get attached to characters. Chuck (and Suits/Firefly) is the only show that’s ever pulled that off. So I doubt I’ll loathe the ending, mostly because I won’t be as overly invested.

      • Mel says:

        I loved VM’s characters, and it’s ending was nowhere near as miserable as Chuck’s. Unlike on Chuck, romance was never really the main focus on it.

  24. BillAtWork says:

    I’ve been thinking about this. Ausiello just came out and listed Chuck as a show that he would not recommend doing a movie. And his main reason is that it would be too expensive.

    This I don’t get. It would be (IMO) foolish to fund the massive amount it would take to create a theatrical quality feature film. According to IMDB, Oz The Great and Powerful had a production budget of 200 million and another 125 in advertising and distribution. No way is WB going to fund even 10% of that, even if the fans raise 5 million.

    But that same 5 million gets you a fully funded 2 hour movie the quality of the television episodes. Which I think would suffice for most of the people contributing. I don’t care if we see Sarah in slow-motion, panning in 360 degrees while she kicks some bad guy in the head. Just as long as she is kicking him in the head, lol.

    So, how to distribute it.

    You may be able to do some kind of PPV. Although the infrastructure to sign people up, collect the money, and make sure it isn’t pirated isn’t really mature and would require some attention and investment. I think that is the headwind that Zac was running into with WB. It’s outside their current business model.

    I would think that someone like HBO or Showtime might be interested in a 10 (or so) episode run similar to Dexter or King of Thrones. Especially at the bargain price that the 5 million subsidy could allow.

    I also think that NBC might be interested if the price were right (which it could be) with a limited commercial run. Ratings wouldn’t matter so much since the cost is subsidized.

    The 5 million subsidy makes up for a lot of flaws. This just seems to doable to let die.

    • uplink2 says:

      I saw another site where they said no to a Chuck movie but their reason was we already got an ending. They did acknowledge the whole whether Sarah gets her memories back or not as a sort of asterisk though. VM never did get an ending at all. They wanted to focus on other shows that didn’t get one. Personally I don’t get the logic as there is certainly more story to tell and if we want to pay for it, who cares?

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I’m certainly in the camp that wants a better ending; although I have some concerns about opening that can of worms again, but really, to me, there’s no show in recent memory that I would more want to see a better ending for. Ultimately, what the critics think isn’t terribly important, it never is; what matters is a plan and funding.

        Reference Bills’s comment about NBC having nothing to loose, unfortunately that really isn’t true. A networks overall viewership matters, it’s how they promote their own programming. So even a fully funded show that no one is watching can have a negative impact across the board. I think it really is in our best interests to leave a broadcast network out of the equation entirely. Some other cable or Internet venue might work, but not anyone who watches ratings to closely.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Dave, I might agree. Except have you seen NBC’s ratings lately? Chuck on Monday, even at it’s very worse, would be an NBC superstar. Even their Friday numbers now don’t look so bad. They could run reruns of Fake Name 10 weeks in a row and it would probably be above NBC average. 🙂

        Broadcast TV is a mess in general. Did you see the numbers for the finale of 90210? More people go to the big house and watch U of M play Slippery Rock, lol.

        That’s sort of my point. They already have a workable content dristribution model. What they need is a new business model. Giving them one by subsidising something for them seems like a good idea. Especially since we get something out of it.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Exactly,

        I don’t want to start the finale debate all over again. I even think that Ernie and I don’t disagree about it as much as he might think. We’re just using different words to describe it.

        I thought that the finale was well done, emotional, and powerful. But I also think there’s more C/S story to tell. NBC doesn’t want to tell that story. We can argue about NBC’s decision making woes some other time. But I’m very willing to pay to see someone else tell it. I strongly suspect that me and those like me are willing to pay WB more per episode than NBC did to see more of that story. And since WB is in the business of making stories to sell, why not sell it to me and my friends?

        Seems too obvious to me.

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree. On the NBC ratings front it’s ridiculous what is going on. Now comparing ratings now with 3 years ago is a difficult thing as ratings in general are dropping especially with younger demos. But look a a personal favorite of mine, Smash, one of NBC’s biggest hopes with IMO a much better second season so far than last year is doing worse on tuesday night at 10 than Chuck did on fridays. Similar demo but fewer viewers overall. It’s a disaster and is now going to be burned off on saturdays. Plus Smash cost NBC more than twice per episode than Chuck did. They are talking about renewing comedies with 1.1 demo numbers. Community did a 1.0 with fewer viewers than Chuck did last night, their biggest comedy hit for next season is Parks and Recs and it only did a 1.6. Hell they have been getting beat by Telemundo and some shows look like WB type ratings.

        I still see Netflix as a more likely avenue for distribution and if the fans put up the entire cost of production, its all a win for WB.

        On the ending issue I firmly believe that if Zach is the driving force behind this effort there will not be the controversial, ambiguous ending that caused some fans in his own words to be “apoplectic” in their reaction. It’s only ambiguity will be based on if they leave it open for more story to tell but its my belief that if Zach and Yvonne have real say in it, and I hope they do, Sarah Bartowski will be back and in full glorious bloom by the ending.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Uplink,

        Who is your target audience? Is NetFlix the way to reach them?

        My target is the 6 million floor who regularly watch the show on Monday at 8:00. Becuase I want the buzz and the excitement. I want that to keep the excitement going for the next one, and the next after that. By my calculation, the fans would fund the development costs. Whatever revenue could be made from whatever distribution is WB’s profit. I think that HBO/Showtime would be the best place to maximize that. But if I’m WB, I want the most eyeballs possible. And NBC is still the best place to do that, IMO.

        JAM, nice article. But maybe I’m making a distinction where there isn’t really a difference, but I wince at the word ‘movie’. VM is making a movie. Just like Firefly. They have talked WB into putting some of thoer own money. And it’s going to bomb just like Serenity did. I hope I’m wrong. Nothing against VM. The bar to call something like that a success is simply too high. I don’t think Chuck fans are clamoring for a movie that they would go to a theator and watch. They are looking for some more episodes of the tv show they love. That’s basically what I would make, I think that’s what Zac is really saying when he says ‘movie’.

        Uplink,

        Let’s assume CF is going to write the next installment, whatever form that takes. Wouldn’t you have to begin on the beach? That story is already teed up. BrickRoad and I spent many, many hours talking about it when we were deciding if we wanted to write Long Road Home. We came to the conclusion that the only story that made sense to us was CF’s vision as he relayed it to Sepinwal. C/S happy, together, and planning their future. So how would you get from the beach to that point? I would tell some version of the story of Sarah slowly getting her memories back, but also falling in love all over again. Add in some threat, blow some stuff up, and you have your movie, right?

        How else could it go? 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I don’t really care how many people watch. I don’t actually expect the series to ever return, I’m thinking more like one or two reunion movies. And if those are funded through a Kickstarter, viewers and later revenues don’t really matter. Obviously if we can get the viewers so much the better, that could lead to more people supporting and more movie/webisodes.
        But I don’t believe there’s any future with NBC. No matter what the current state of their network, they will obsess over ratings and advertising revenues; and we can skip all that entirely. As a pure commercial venture; viewers pre-paying (Kickstarter) or just paying (to download or per disc) is simpler and could likely work. That seems to be Zach’s vision, and I’d be excited to help him make it work.

        Bill I do completely agree about the most likely course for a movie, no doubt that’s how I would expect it to go. Especially if Zach and Yvonne have some executive control I think the result would likely be very good. I will always have some doubts and concerns until I see the end result, but I am mostly optimistic about what anyone, including CF and JS, would most likely do.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I don’t think the series will ever return. I don’t even want that to happen. I’m done with TV series. But i could see a made for tv movie. And I could see that doing well enough against low expectations that the next one would be easier.

        NBC is a business. What I’d offer them is something with a built in audience that they could buy for half price, get some critical aclaim, and make some money on.

        I’d not ask for a long term committment from them. But they would be crazy to not accept the free money. Especially since their schedule is in shambles.

        But maybe there are considerations that I’m not taking into account.

      • uplink2 says:

        I see your point but let’s face it the earliest I can see this being available is probably early 2015. If NBC is in as bad a shape 2 years from now as it is right now they might be dying for it. But in their minds they expect to be back and if their fall is as bad as their spring this year, Greenblatt will be out. So you there is no way to know who his replacement will be other than we know it will never be Jeff Zucker lol.

        But I could see them airing this as a saturday night movie or even a sunday night one in January once football is gone. I am just intrigued by the Netflix model and am really curious how the show will do once it is finally added. Their Arrested Development and House of Cards concepts are the most interesting developments in TV along with this VM thing.

        As far as Fedak goes, I just wonder if he will be true to his word and is done with Chuck. As far as story goes, to me it either starts immediately after the beach or there is a jump of a few years. If there is a jump, what is the story? Jill? Clara or Chuck junior is kidnapped? Jack Burton’s final big score? There are lots of possibilities Volkoff relapses, something with Mary. Or a new big bad.

        But you are right in that the biggest unanswered question in Chucklore is did Sarah get all of her memories back. I think that is what people want to pay money to see. That the incredible woman we saw on the bullet train is back kicking ass and completely in love with her husband. I know I’d give a weeks pay to see that.

      • mr2686 says:

        I think they have to start a movie at the beach, maybe something as simple as Chuck telling Sarah that he could continue to tell her their story but it would be better to show her. With that, off to reenact several key, and fun moments between them leading up to a train ride accross Europe. At that point, they can fast forward to present day and do whatever. Honestly though, what’s even more important is that they don’t have an ending that leaves another split between the fans. I know that’s asking a lot, but I can just see the people that are unhappy now being happing with the movie, and the people that are happy now saying they’ll never watch the movie again. LOL.

      • uplink2 says:

        Finally an article with real info from Zach following his tweets.

        http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/03/15/zachary-levi-chuck-movie/

      • uplink2 says:

        Oops sorry delte the above post. I didn’t refresh my screen when I typed it.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        It is fun to think about more “episodes” but I think the reality of this is that we can get Zach and Yvonne maybe twice for this sort of project if we’re lucky. It’s clearly a nostalgia/one more for the fans thing and they’ll be moving on to other things, probably after one.

        In addition you could see at the Nerd Machine panel they are aware of and sensitive to the fact that a lot of people ‘ship them in real life, so getting typcast as a couple might be something they want to avoid.

      • aerox says:

        Bill, there’s a major difference between NBC not wanting to tell their story any more, and there not being a crows large enough to make it worth their while, telling this story. At the end of the day, we only have ourselves to blame (or well, the fans that stopped watching). Plus, they only count American viewers, so it’s not even a fair representation of the viewers, but then again, this goes for every TV show in America.

      • aerox says:

        Honestly, real life ‘shipping’ is the freakiest and honestly, most disturbing part of fandoms. Freaks me the hell out every time I see it happen.

      • Mel says:

        No kidding Aerox,

        I once made the mistake of checking out their twitter mentions when they tweeted each other. I’m sure all those “why aren’t you married yets” and “you two should be togethers” they always receive have scared them away from interacting publicly too often.

        Ugh, so creepy.

      • joe says:

        @BillatWork

        More people go to the big house and watch U of M play Slippery Rock, lol.

        Smarta$$ reply – 1) Are they STILL doing that gag? It was old in 1976 when I was there! – 2) Hey, I resemble that remark! I *did* go to the big house to see that game! 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie it reminds me of the James Garner/Mariette Hartley thing from the 1970s. They did a series of very funny, very popular Kodak commercials together, that seemingly had thousands of people convinced they were really an item, or really married. Their actual spouses were not amused. It culminated in Mariette Hartley doing a guest spot (as a romantic interest) on Rockford Files, fans and rumors went bonkers.
        And the end result was they stopped doing the Kodak commercials together. Both of them even saying it wasn’t even about all the money they were being offered to do more, they were tired of paying the price of being seen together.

        Now I have no idea how big of an issue this has been for Zach and Yvonne. Or if it has presented any actual personal problems for them. I do know, historically many actors have been able to profit from successful on screen pairings; from William Powell and Myrna Loy to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (all four of those actors and significant and successful careers independently too). I think Zach and Yvonne could generate some positive buzz anytime they want to work together, for the advantage of the project and their careers. But only they can decide if it’s a direction they want to go and if its worth the cost in other ways (I mean mainly personal cost it might involve. None of those other actors were particularly typecast by those pairings, professionally I think it was pure benifit).

      • joe says:

        Next you’ll be telling me that Mickey wasn’t married to Minnie, Dave. Yeah. I’ve always imagined that the Chuck fandom was a little more mature (read, older) than that. I know my generation sort of grew up half believing that Dick Van Dyke was married to Mary Tyler Moore and that Ozzie was married to Harriet and … hey – wait!

        I’m sure there are delusional people out there who have pestered them on occasion, and I sincerely hope it hasn’t been too much. From what I can tell from afar, it hasn’t been. Zac especially has always shown his appreciation of the fans as a group, and neither seem to have become reclusive. I take that as a good sign.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Joe, at least from this distance everything looks fine to me (a few wackos, but nothing actually scary going on).
        Funny about Ozzie and Harriet. The exception that proves the rule…

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think everything around them is generally calm, but you have to remember that when Yvonne got to the US the Chuck family were probably the only friends she had for a long time, and the fact that they worked together a LOT and did a lot of promoting the show together Zach was likely the best friend Yvonne had for a year or so until she had time to settle in and make new friends with similar interests. They also have marvelous chemistry and are very comfortable and affectionate around each other, but Zach says it’s a lot more like siblings. It would be easy to misread the nature and depth of their relationship.

        Now I mention this because I remember something from the Nerd Machine panel, and I’d have to re-watch to tell you what, but something after the sexytimes dance and Yvonne’s dance when the crowd was obviously eating it up somebody mentioned something about the two of them, the crowd started to react and another member of the cast, might have been Zach, made a comment about starting that again that you cold just tell it had been an issue before among the cast. Not saying it caused ill will or hard feelings, just that they were aware that that type of comment stirred up rumors and innuendo.

  25. jam says:

    EW article:
    http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/03/15/zachary-levi-chuck-movie/

    quote:
    Over the years, Levi and his cast members have talked about what a Chuck movie might look like. “I talked to Yvonne [Strahovski] maybe a month ago and said, ‘If I can get this movie made, would you be open to doing [it]? Even an online version of it?’ And she was totally game. So I know that I’ve got the cast and crew on board.”

    • Arya's Prayers says:

      Honest question: does anyone know when the comment about talking to Yvonne a month ago was actually made? The article didn’t qualify it so it could have been last March or yesterday. I’m honestly curious whether I should get excited about the fact that the two of them were talking about this as recently as a month ago. (I like to think when they tweet and include the other but don’t respond that they actually dialed their phones and talked about some silly thing or another.)

      Regarding format (and operating under the delusion that the whether or not question is a done deal) I wonder how effectively they can get C&S back to being C&S in two hours. A feature film is roughly equal to three episodes and a made-for-TV movie roughly two. I’d like to see six or so episodes. Does nine more and thereby the magical 100 total really mean much with regard to syndication or is that an arbitrary thing?

      As far as distribution I can’t see NBC admitting any sort of mistake given their acrimonious relationship with Chucksters toward the end. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t see how they have a dog in the fight at this stage and would expect them to remain out of it. Is that same programming director still involved? (I would assume he couldn’t still be employed – at all – but you never know!)

      The story problem as I see it (and it drives format to some extent) is whether to show them reconnecting and the process of getting Sarah back to being Sarah Bartowski through a different set of experiences against the backdrop of some plot. Or is she magically back to that Sarah say, three months later? I really want to see the adorable Sarah Bartowski she became for the majority of whatever-we-get but if we see the process we might get an interesting blend of Sarah Bartowski and Agent Walker. All that is why I hope Zach and Yvonne are driving forces for this. It would seem Yvonne felt pretty invested in the character growth and was disappointed she had to revert (whether she liked the storyline or not).

      I really want to see the Sarah B with the silly side of her for the majority of the film/episodes.

      The only thing totally unacceptable would be something like: “three years later, Sarah returns for Chucks help with the XYZ”. I hope they’re smart enough not to do something like that.

      • BillAtWork says:

        AP,

        Have you read CF’s interview with Sepinwal the night of the finale?

        I don’t think you have to fear the 3 years later thing. In fact, the discussion was more did Morgan’s magic kiss work?

        I take it that you would want it to have worked. That she would be instantly transformed back to Sarah Bartowski and spend the rest of the time as her.

        I don’t. For one thing, I wouldn’t believe that. But I also want them to tell the love story of beautiful, but cold and deadly superspy being turned into family woman because she did the one thing she was trainned not to… fall in love. They sort of told that story over the first three seasons. But I think they could do it now with more clarity. And since they no longer have to worry about wt/wt worship, the story could be told honestly without the silly resets. I love the romance of that idea.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The interview would have to have been in the last few days since the article and interview are about his reaction to the VM kickstarter. There were reports of Zach and Yvonne on the set of Hart of Dixie about a month ago, which fits.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’d say the best way to handle the memory loss is in the “Here’s a few things you need to know or might have forgot.” Quickly cover what happened (the kiss reconnected her emotions with the memories she had gotten back), enough so that she would stay with Chuck and work on the relationship. Move it forward quickly with some short humorous scenes showing her reaction to recovering certain memories and setting up the memory loss and recovery as a running gag for the extent of the movie. Barstow, Prague, their wedding and Shaw come to mind as a few to provide some contrast, then on to the “3/6/9 months later” so she can be mostly Sarah Bartowski, but with a few new and interesting/adorable quirks or weirdly OOC moments (like suggesting cutting off Casey’s hand in A-Team).

        As for the rest of the movie, I dunno, second honeymoon in Europe so they can run into Jeffster (who Sarah may or may not remember depending on what provides greater comic potential) followed up by a Chuck flash or a villain from their past (not Shaw as an olive branch, even though I still think he makes a great villain), launching them into the mission of the week which re-unites Team B, including Ellie and Devon.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Yeah, Ernie,

        I think we’re saying the same thing in different ways. It could happen very quickly. There is no longer any reason for Sarah to fight her growing feelings. In fact, she already mentally recognizes Chuck as her husband. A couple of sweet Chuck moments, Sarah remembering him jumping off the roof to save her… and they’re in bed, lol.

        I like the idea of Sarah not being exactly the same. Maybe faster to joke and laugh.

        I also like the idea of a 2nd honeymoon and running into old enemies (a la honeymooners), maybe even on the same train.

      • Aryan's Prayers says:

        Ernie – I thought there were other Zach comments in the article that felt like some things I had seen immediately after the finale so I thought it might have been a hodge-podge of quotes. I love that the cast is still so tight and that they’re talking about these types of possibilities.

        Bill – I don’t want the kiss to be magical and that’s part of my dilemma. I want to see them reconnect without arbitrary asset / handler obstacles, her worrying about what he will think of her past, him worrying about being good enough for her, etc. Just go to El Compadre, go dancing and see what should have happened the first time around! (not literally)

        I just wonder how effectively it can be done in 84 minutes (TV movie) or 2 hours (feature film) given that it likely won’t ‘feel’ like ‘Chuck’ without B-plots taking up some of the time. Part of me would be OK with an entirely Chuck / Sarah plot but I also want to see the rest of the cast.

        I actually think the best possible outcome would be the kick-ass ninja spy girl falls for the nerd all over again (as you said). It’s just that Sarah had developed such a delightfully silly and adorable side by the end that it would be a shame to only get five or ten more minutes of that. Although I’ll take as much as I can get! But does she become a different type of Sarah because the growth happens differently or does she get back to the way she was (either is interesting)?

        I saw the CF interview and didn’t think it meant they left the beach 100 percent OK just willing to work through it. Unfortunately ‘working through it’ CAN be boring and drawn out. The 3 yrs thing was just to make a point that there’s a lot of ways to take the story and I can see all of them working on some level and I would be happy with any of them (except that!)

      • BillAtWork says:

        AP,

        When BR and I were talking about LRH, our first idea was to have Morgan and Chuck plot to get Sarah to fall for him again. It would be easy, right? Chuck knows her. He knows what she likes, what touches her, etc. Except like all Chuck/Morgan plots, it succeeds more in spite of itself than anything. Sarah sees the vulnerable side of Chuck when the plotting doesn’t go so well and that’s when she falls for him. Just like helping the ballerina in the pilot. I think that could work.

        But we couldn’t make it work in prose so we shifted to Sarah realizing that losing her memories was a good thing.

      • atcDave says:

        AP we can only hope the comment about when Zach talked to Yvonne is from last month when they were seen together on the WB lot. At least that’s how I would take it. But even if its from say last summer when they were all together at Comic Con it still bodes well for their mutual interest in reviving the story. But for the record, Zach’s tone sounds more optimistic there than it did last summer, so I’m betting its far more recent.

        As far as story, I have exactly the same concerns. We know what CF said in the aftermath of the show, but that is hardly a commitment, it is only what he was thinking in 1/2012, and the project may not even be done by him. I really bristle at the idea of Sarah returning to the field after the finale, it’s not how I see it, and it’s not how I want it. But I FEAR some writer getting the idea we need to SEE the recovery, and since its been two or three years (or however long this takes) her recovery will start after two or three years…

        I shudder at the thought. But I honestly don’t EXPECT they would do that. I think two scenarios are more likely; first is showing it right from beach with Sarah quickly falling for her husband all over again. Probably something like Bill described above, with some sort of adventure to provide some excitement, all while Sarah struggles with being a different (softer, happier) person than she ever remembers being. And making peace with it quickly while the memories return more slowly.
        The next most likely scenario I would see is telling the story more in flashback. This could actually be a lot of fun. Zach and Yvonne have both joked about how many kids Chuck and Sarah will have; so start with the big bustling household, and then flashback to the amazing rediscovery process Sarah went through.
        Either way, I think the story would likely be a lot of fun. There are concerns I have, but for now it’s way too early to worry about them much!

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        I’ll buy that (what Ernie said)

      • atcDave says:

        Wow, Ernie, Bill, everyone coming up with some great ideas. I would love if we saw some slight differences by the end, sillier sense of humor being a good one. Or maybe developing a shared passion for one of Chuck’s interests that she never quite got before (comics? Movies?). Something she might have developed anyway, but t could come as quite a surprise to Chuck. I like it!

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Actually I’ll buy all of those

        Bill – I think that’s the most important thing to me – Sarah being funny again. Especially in that delightfully quirky and inappropriately deadly way.

        Ernie – 2nd honeymoon / renew their vows would be delightful, especially if there are still memory gaps and the first wedding is one of them; as far as villains (using this loosely) from the past how about Jill?

        Dave – I love the second idea, it screams 80’s Christmas episode in a wonderful way

      • BillAtWork says:

        I’d love to resolve Jill’s story. Certainly not from a LI perspective. But Chuck committed treason and helped his ex escape at the same time his government agent future wife was fighting for her life.

        I can’t imagine that conversation going well, lol.

        Except that she would be an expensive casting.

      • atcDave says:

        Can you tell I generally really like Christmas episodes!

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Just realized my iPad autocorrected my screen name into something dreadful

        Please disregard the ‘n’!

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Dave – open on a house with a red door bustling with kids and Chuck and Sarah laughing together and setting the table for all their friends and I’ll be completely satisfied in the first twenty seconds; Christmas episodes/specials at their schmaltzy best!

        It’s all gravy from there!

      • uplink2 says:

        Sarah Bartowski being all excited when she finds the Princess Leia costume and wants to wear it to the Premier of Star Wars VII lol

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Uplink – you’re on to something

        Like the Veronica Mars incentives for higher donations (name a character, role as an extra, etc.)

        They could have a pick-a-Sarah-outfit prize (within reason and subject to Yvonne’s approval of course or everyone will choose Sobe body paint) – I’m only partly kidding!

        I love that Yvonne got to ‘protest’ all those outfits over the years in ‘Kept Man’

      • BillAtWork says:

        What’s wrong with Sobe? They could replace Subway. Talk about product placement opportunities. And I’m hardy at all kidding. 🙂

  26. jam says:

    “Honest question: does anyone know when the comment about talking to Yvonne a month ago was actually made? The article didn’t qualify it so it could have been last March or yesterday.”

    This Zac interview was done after the VM thing came up, so likely today or yesterday. And we know Zac and Yvonne were visiting the set of Hart of Dixie last month.

    “The only thing totally unacceptable would be something like: “three years later, Sarah returns for Chucks help with the XYZ”. I hope they’re smart enough not to do something like that.”

    That would be 100% unacceptable to me too, but it is my fear that’s exactly what they do. We don’t need that just after managing to convince ourselves they were going to be fine after the finale.

    • atcDave says:

      I share the fear Jam, but I also think its highly unlikely. Zach and Yvonne DEFINITELY know that’s not what their fans want.

  27. atcDave says:

    One thought that’s been bouncing around my head now these last two days, I think this is what Ernie’s thinking, and even Zach said something along these lines; but I think I’ve gone from thinking that “someday” Chuck movie/reunion project was an extreme longshot, most likely a pipe dream, to thinking it WILL happen. Of course, it still could be a few years off. But it sure seems a lot more likely today (and I mean a LOT!) than it did on Wednesday.

    And no doubt that excites me quite a lot too. Wouldn’t it be awesome if when we finish our series re-watch in 2014 that we can just seamlessly switch to discussing the new Chuck movie starting production. Talk about a shift in the “big picture”! I know I would have a much easier time enjoying the good qualities and performances of the finale knowing my hoped for epilogue was on the way…

    • uplink2 says:

      Now that would be perfect. Go from the “finale” discussion and I’m using quotes for that as the needle of it absolutely being the ending has budged a bit in these last few days, to plot discussions, spoilers and returning guest stars. Now that would be fun and lets be honest it would keep this site alive a while longer.

      But if we do get more positive news on this I think it will have a direct impact on those discussions. They will probably be more positive and with less rancor. I think for many of us its the incompleteness of the ending and the fact that they chose a memory loss story to end the series with no clear knowledge of a total recovery that bothers us most. Now if we get a movie both of those things would I hope, and I trust Zach and Yvonne to make sure that is the case, no longer be issues and we can focus on the great performances etc. I’ll get to say hello and goodbye in two hours.

      Not getting ahead of myself I hope but damn that would be fulfilling because no way a fan funded movie ends like the one we have now.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I say it gets the green light next March when the VM movie comes out (or slightly before). They make 12 million on the drive film in May/June/early July and show up at Comicon with previews.

      • mr2686 says:

        If they’re smart they’ll have some kind of tease by Comicon…something that the fans can hold on to until it’s released, which would probably be in 2015. Then, of course, they can go back to Comicon in 2015 and sign movie posters 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        Fun! This sure has become an optimistic crew. I like it!

      • mr2686 says:

        What I’m wondering is that after a movie comes out, and if it gives everyone that feel good experience, will people go back and have a different opinion on some of the episodes/arc’s that they didn’t like? Maybe not a complete turn around of opinion, but for those of you that can’t even stand to watch them, maybe it will pave the way for a rewatch or two. Any thoughts?

      • atcDave says:

        Well, sorry to say that ship has sailed on S3, there’s no redeeming it for me. BUT, the finale is a whole other story. I mostly like it, beautiful performances especially. But it didn’t provide the closure I wanted. So yeah, it’s easy for me to imagine a good follow up could completely redeem the finale for me. Although keep in mind, I don’t hate the finale now, I just needed something more. So providing the needed follow up could change my attitudes radically.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Nah, optimistic is that they make the first movie so it can also be split as 3 episodes, and it works so well that WB green lights a second one for March 2015. Shoot, comicon, release, kickstarter, shoot, comicon, release. So they eventually have 100 episodes and decide 3 “movies” is enough, but the franchise has become so popular that they decide it needs an origins story, so a new property, the Chuck prequels called Steve is set for a fall 2017 TV season.

        On CBS.

        The story of Stephen (aka Orion), Mary (aka Frost), Hartley (aka Volkoff), Dianne (aka Major/Colonel Beckman) and Roan (aka Roan) lasts 6 years as a hit TV series (for real hit this time). Then someone at WB thinks, hey, I know we did like 91 episodes and 3 Chuck movies, and then 132 episodes of prequels, but how about we finish off the trilogy of trilogies with a new series where Sarah has been promoted to the head of the NSA and is running a top secret team of upstart agents out of a retail store in Fresno. Zach being too busy with other projects appears only occasionally. Often in the background of a videoconference.

      • aerox says:

        How’d she go from being a CIA operative, to an NSA chief? This requires the prequel to the sequel of Chuck, simply titled “SARAH”, which will be tricky, because by then, Yvonne and Zach will be in their fifties, but hey, CGI nowadays, they can make it work. Slated to be part of CW’s new and improved dramedy lineup somewhere in 2025.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        How’d she go from being a CIA operative, to an NSA chief?

        In keeping with the Chuck’s greatest tradition, we don’t sweat the details.

      • Steve: the story of how he because THE computer master spy who could reroute predator drones while his wife spent 20 years unable to finish one mission.

      • atcDave says:

        I stand corrected; THAT is optimistic!

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave, I’m going to agree with you on that. At first watch I appreciated the love coming back in the finale. It was the incomplete ending that on reflection that bothers me. That and the choice of a memory loss storyline to end the series. All that could be wiped out by a movie. I could simply appreciate the great performances and really come to terms with their journey and want to take it again happily.

        But nothing will ever change my opinion of S3. As you say that ship sailed a long time ago and if anything it keeps getting further and further from port. Bad writing, bad execution, contrived story choices and bad casting can’t be fixed no matter if the movie is the second coming of Shawshank Redemption. It’s simply never going to happen. But the finale arc can be rescued for me because it was never about the casting, performances or execution. It was simply incomplete and a poor payoff for a very difficult and stressful set up. Chuck and Sarah earned that Beach moment and if anything they earned something a lot more after it like Sarah asking Chuck to put her rings back on her finger. S3 C/S didn’t earn DYLM. All the angst was just swept under the rug and it was just handed to them because it was ep 13. It was a great unearned payoff whereas the finale was extremely earned but just not enough payoff.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jeff, see above. 😉

      • I’m not sweating the details. I’m just imagining an ongoing gag at the end of every episode (a la Pinky and the Brain).

        Steve (in digitized Matrix style form on a computer screen): What are you going to do tonight?
        Mary: The same thing I do every night, Stephen. Try to take over Volkoff Industries

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Oh that is too perfect Jeff. I thought of a limited running gag for between movie 1, 2 and 3. Now FYI I’m patterning my imagined movies on my backorder of a trillogy of post finale three episode arcs set 1, 3 and 5 years after the finale. In 1 they are still childless, in two Ellie and Devon are first brought in when Chuck and Sarah have to drop off their two children for Devon and Ellie to look after. As they are both infants it’s not too bad. Between 2 and 3 they again drop off their kids, 4 of them now, and Sarah is pregnant. Devon and Ellie are left to deal with a 4 year old girl who throws sharp objects with frightening accuracy and frequency and a three year old boy who reprograms their DVR and hacks their computer. Other gags from the pregnancy, Sarah has to stay in the car, and using a sniper rifle when you can’t lay on your stomach is hard.

      • Love it, Ernie. I think I’d like one tweak. The boy throws knifes and the girl reprograms DVRs. Got to go against stereotypes and parental patterns.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Part of the charm of the show was that especially in S1 – S2, C/S had a gender reversal thing going. Sarah was the strong silent bad-ass who was afraid of committment. And Chuck was the needy emotional one who was always looking for reinforcement.

        Just a couple of random musings. Early on, they made a huge deal out of Sarah’s skills throwing knives. It was her favorite tactic. That kinda went away. And they also made a big deal out of Sarah being a pilot in First Class, never to mention it again. I’d like to see her as a pilot.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yeah, I’m cool with that Jeff. Chuck is Sarah, Sarah is Chuck. Symbolic of the unifying of their former selves to something greater than the sum of their parts, or some writer-ly stuff. 😀

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie, great ideas! Maybe you should contact Zach and offer your writing services, ’cause I’m sure no other fan ever tried that one….

  28. joe says:

    I apologize for almost missing this thread. Real life has kept me mostly away from the Internet these past couple of days.

    I saw the story a little after Ernie, but I missed it’s importance. I didn’t think that the fan reaction – both the VM fans and Chuck fans – would be this great. Glad to be wrong!

    I must say, I agree with almost every point made in the 170 or so comments above (well, actually, I’m still catching up. I’ll read them all before I sleep). I’m certain that this event – kickstarter – is a game changer for all the reasons mentioned. It will spur TPTB into action for a Chuck movie. I think it might be a new set of powers that be – maybe even with Zac nearer the top of that heap. I’m not worried about Yvonne’s participation. My impression is that she’d be eager to do it, and if necessary, the rest (Zac!) will shoot around her schedule. I’m slightly more worried about Adam. I do believe, and this is only my impression, that he’s the most willing and able to move on to new things and new characters.

    If one Chuck episode ran for $1.5M, I’m not exactly sure how the VM precedent will work. But from a business perspective, $2M is nothing to sneeze at, especially since it means fan commitment. They will also spend more to go to the theaters or buy the DVD or buy the Subway sandwiches – anything – to see it. As impressive as this effort has been in only 2 days, I have a feeling that, right now, Chuck fans could raise more money than we’ve seen so far for VM.

    I will miss the Buy More as a character. But not seeing the store in a 2 hr. movie would not bother me that much. I might miss the fountain more, but if the central location is a small house with a picket fence and a red door, I won’t mind a bit.

    As for the story – I feel like an addict needing a fix. I will be happy with almost anything they give me, just so long as I can see the characters again.

    • atcDave says:

      It will be interesting, and possibly frightening, to see how the math of it works out. But I’m guessing a lot of cost efficiencies from the series will be lost due to the sets being gone. It’s also hard to say what casting will cost, everyone seems to be on board with making it, but they still may want to get paid! And promotion/distribution is a big question mark, sure it’s fine with me if its Internet only with no advertising, I’LL find it, but folks involved may have a bigger vision (and really, I have bigger hopes than that too!). The old saying “it takes money to make money” will surely apply here; most of US may be happy with a pretty minimalist approach involving a funny story with the core cast; but if its going to sell (and possibly attract new fans) it will need to LOOK good and provide some real excitement.
      I’m thinking, when all is said and done, it will need a lot more than a couple million.

      • Faith says:

        I can’t remember if it’s been posted but there was a Q&A with Rob Thomas (the VM EP who spearheaded this) via HitFix and he went into the nitty gritty. (Side note: they deserve all the credit and all the success they get as this is a year long struggle and work for him.)

        The crux of it was that it addresses some of your concerns Dave about WB essentially getting paid and not having to spend. Turns out it’s far more complicated than that. Yes, the 3 mil VM made will go a long way but as this is a movie, the bulk of the promotion and the distribution still falls on the studio to do and spend. It’s an interesting step forward for me because essentially they’re pre-selling the product to us before it’s made. That of course puts the control in our hands in ways it has never happened before (kind of makes Nielsen irrelevant and who doesn’t want that?) and in a lot of ways it’s a step towards what Zac dreams of how the consumer market would be–and how it would dictate future projects.

        Of course the best part of that article was the Bryan Fuller mention. he also tweeted that he would do his best to get it done. I squee, loudly. Pushing Daisies FTW.

        It’s worth nothing that the last 5 movie projects of WB has flopped (recent being the Steve Carrell-Jim Carrey comedy) and so they’re obviously conscious of the bottom line. For a comparison, Jack the Giant Slayer cost 195 million to make, 105 million to market. Now obviously neither VM or Chuck (if that came to be) wouldn’t cost nearly that much or be promoted that costly but it’s a good estimate I think–a 35% promotional budget.

      • atcDave says:

        I do hope this project is VERY successful, it could open doors not only for Chuck, but a lot of other fan supported projects (more Firefly please…)
        Could be very exciting times ahead.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually Dave, because the motion picture and television industry are all unionized they pretty much have to get paid a minimum determined by their role according to SAG guidelines. I suppose there may be ways around that, like taking a partnership stake in lieu if salary, but if it a studio backed or owned project there must be compensation involved for everyone from the writers and directors to the grips and extras.

        There is, as you say a lot more flexibility in the promotion/distribution side that the studio usually handles, like it is in the VM case, but for these first few crowd-sourced pictures a lot of publicity will come their way just based on how they were made.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m sure, at least for the leads, alternate pay would be worked out (as you said, percentage of take or something). But obviously secondary cast, and all crew, would have to be paid.

        I actually do have some concerns about getting this going fairly quickly (within a year or two) because I imagine we’ll hit a saturation point where people will be less enthused with supporting new projects. Not to mean it isn’t a viable new model, just that there is often an over saturation on these sorts of things after an initial success. More specifically, those fans who might kick in some upfront money, may be the same folks pitching in for VM, and Pushing Daisies, and Firefly, etc…
        So the market could dry up, or at least slow down a lot, after the first couple shows.

      • mr2686 says:

        The more I think about this, at least from a cost/profit standpoint, it seems to make more sense for shows like VM, Chuck, Pushing Daisies, etc, to gather the money through fan support while working with (in this case) Warner Bros. to use online streaming companies like Netflix. Warner Bros gets paid for every time it’s streamed and also retains the rights to put out the DVD after a year, no real advertising is needed other than through normal netflix advertising, Netflix gets more subscribers and more content, and everyone is happy.

  29. Jason says:

    I just finished watching “Chuck” for the first time a few days ago, so I know I’m late to the party. But it’s nice to have found this blog, especially at a time when the hopes for a “Chuck” movie have just hit a new high. I’ve been going back and forth about the finale, but I’ve come around to finding it a really beautiful conclusion that has also made me want to see more (i.e., Sarah with her memories back, together with Chuck).

    I thought this might be something good to add to the conversation re: a Chuck movie. It’s a quote from Rob Thomas in a Hitfix interview with Alan Sepinwall about how WB is approaching the VM project (and what it might mean for shows like “Chuck”):

    “Warner Bros. isn’t treating “Veronica Mars” like a one-off. I think they’re treating us like a guinea pig — in the best way. They want to see if this model works, and they made the calculated decision, and for a lot of the reasons you articulated in that story, that we were a good test case for this. We just happened to be the right show at the right time, got to be the first one out of the gate. I think Warner Bros., if it works, it works, and they could start doing more of these.”

    So basically, every Chuck fan that wants to a see a continuation of the show in a movie format needs to hope that VM project works out well for Warner Bros. (and contribute, if you feel so inclined). Three days in, and the KS fund is over $3.5 million. If a show that never had more than a fraction of Chuck’s audience can pull in that kind of coin, I have no doubt that Chuck’s fanbase, which I think is even more passionate the VM fanbase (and I’m saying that at a huge fan of both shows), could easily fund a KS Chuck project. I agree with Ernie that they shouldn’t rush it; better to take their time and do it right. But I do think that it’s gone from “it would be nice if it would happen” territory to “it seems like a real possibility.”

    • Jason says:

      One other reason why I think this would work: this type of funding relies less on a huge number of people who all donate small amounts than it does on the relative level of passion each individual fan brings to the table. For instance, one of the reasons why the VM KS fund has been able to raise so much money is the passion level of the fans. For instance, I pledged $100, which is about 10 times more than I would have paid for a single movie ticket for the film, because that’s how much I want to see the film made, and there are tens of thousands of other fans who are doing the same thing. It’s a vote we made with our money to show Warner Bros. how much we want to see the world of VM continue. It’s essentially “pre-ordering” the film before it’s made, which mitigates the vast majority of the financial risk for Warner Bros. It’s a new way of funding films, which rely on selling ticket prices at the same level to everyone, regardless of how much they want to see the film. According to the tradional model, a superfan who would pay much more to see it pays the exact same amount as the casual fan, but that model is fundamentally inefficient. However, with the KS model, a group of small but more passionate fans–in the case of VM, about 50,000–can get a project off the ground that would otherwise never see the light of day.

      For instance, let’s take a look at the numbers for the VM KS fund. The amount pledged right now is $3,535,313. There are 53,574 backers. That works out to an average pledge number of $66. The campaign is monetizing that passion into a more efficient market action. Under the traditional model, assuming that every single person who has pledged money spent $10 on a movie ticket to see the film in a theater, that works out to just over $535,574 (which is revenue, not profit–a big difference). So in essence, 50,000 people are getting a film made that their purchasing power would not have been able to accomplish via the traditional studio model for making a film.

      I don’t see how the Chuck fandom wouldn’t bring that same level of passion to a KS drive for a film, and since their audience was much larger, I bet the KS drive would probably be proportionally larger as well. VM pulled in about 2.5 million viewers. Chuck pulled in about 4.5-5 million at it’s lowest. So even if you run your numbers based on the lowest level of Chuck’s viewership, assuming that both fanbases are equally passionate, you’re looking at $7 million for KS pledge.

      • Faith says:

        Welcome to the blog Jason. It’s always encouraging for me personally to see like-minded folks with regards to the ending.

        You make a very good and interesting point about the $66 per. If you think about it in the sense of what each individual donor is receiving tangibly, and the product it’s almost a bargain. Just think of it this way, the average movie ticket price is now $12 (in California), you add a t-shirt (say for those that get a T-shirt), which let’s say costs $20, and a DVD which is $20, $10 for a digital copy. That’s already $52 right there and that’s not even counting the intangibles–such as the feel goodness of supporting a product dear to our hearts. Among the principals in this blog, I estimate we’ve spent hundreds on subway sandwiches alone throughout the last 3 years, and that’s not even counting the other Chuck-sponsored products they endorsed such as the sleep sheep, etc. If for nothing else, that is why this is a good thing going forward–it’s a sustainable (in my opinion), wiser approach to the market that gives the control to us, the consumers.

      • mr2686 says:

        Welcome Jason. First off, I think you’re right on with everything you’re saying, but still feel it would be better to have these movies via a Netflix etc simply from a cost savings that could then be put back in to the film.
        On another note, I hope you plan on watching Chuck again soon because it just seems to get better with every watch.

      • joe says:

        Great to see you here, Jason. I love seeing new names commenting.

        And you bring up great points about the VM Kickstarter effort too. It’s really good to hear that WB is treating them like an experiment – I’m betting that it’s going to be a successful one.

        You know, I’ve been saying for years that movies have been made only for “kids” (and yes, I’m the group’s curmudgeon 😉 ). I’ve seen all the Fri. the 13th meets The Incredible Hulk in the Matrix type movies that I care to. They’re fun, but I’ve seen enough of them.

        So I’m only half kidding when I say that I’ve been looking for a way to tell Hollywood to make a movie that doesn’t insult my intelligence – please! – as if Hollywood was going to listen to me. But doesn’t this look like just the way to make that happen?

        Finally!

        BTW, Mr2686 is exactly right. Chuck really stands up to re-watches.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason welcome to the blog! always great to have new comers drop by.
        The comments from a WB exec are very encouraging, and I think the numbers are too.
        I particularly like that we will “pre-pay” based on our passion and commitment. I think that is a good combination for Chuck. There is no other show I would pre-pay as much as I would for Chuck, although I might pitch in smaller amounts for several other shows. But I really like this, things are looking quite good right now.

      • Jason says:

        Thanks for the welcomes, everyone. I’m looking forward to reading more of the blog going forward and hopefully sticking around to become a regular commenter.

        Faith, you’re absolutely right about the “bang-for-your-buck” aspect, which is something else Rob Thomas brought up in his Hitfix interview. He doesn’t see the money coming in through the KS drive as donations; instead, he sees it as a way to pre-pay for goods that they will deliver on the back end. That’s why I think folks who are arguing, “well, why isn’t this money going to some other charity?” are incorrectly conflating two issues–purchasing something vs. giving. Giving would be donating to Operation Smile or some other charity without any expectation of receiving something in return, whereas the $100 I put toward the film not only helps to get the film made (which otherwise wouldn’t have happened) but it also buys me a PDF of the script, a digital download of the film, a T-shirt, a movie poster and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with a bunch of special features. So I look at it as a transaction, not a charity case.

        And to Joe and Mr2686, I absolutely plan to re-watch the series. I need to give it a little time to sink in, particularly the ending, which I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I first saw it. But I just went and bought the complete series on blu-ray so that I can re-watch it with my wife the next time around, as I think she’ll really enjoy the Chuck/Sarah dynamic.

        Also, I know that this is off-topic from the main purpose of this thread, but does anyone have any thoughts on the best commentary tracks included on the blu-rays? I haven’t watched any yet, and I want to go back and watch the last two episodes with the commentaries, but are there any other commentary tracks that stand out as particularly worthy of one’s time?

      • joe says:

        Hum… if it’s any consolation, Jason, some of us are still letting that ending sink in. Like you, I can’t quite get it out of my head either. It is one of the reasons – maybe the biggest reason – that the fans want that movie.

        That’s an ongoing conversation, one that’s far from done, I’m sure. Some fans just want to know that C&S are together and “alright.” Some want to see loose ends tied up. I’m of the camp that says doors were left open for the next part of the story, and I want to see where they lead.

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Jason – saw that you just finished watching Chuck (not sure in what format) and then bought the blurays to share with your wife.

        I haven’t listened to any commentaries so I’m curious to see the responses to that question you posed but I do have a word of warning on the blurays…

        I bought them individually after the finale because the WB shop was having a sweet sale (and I wanted to make sure WB logged, noted and ascribed the appropriate immense importance to my purchase of Chuck in hopes of future Chuck continuations at some point!!)

        However, when I watched them – and I don’t know the technical reasons for this – the picture quality was, in a word, disappointing.

        I have Verizon FiOS and occasionally I’ll mean to type in 570 for ESPN HD but miss the ‘5’ and get the standard picture channel instead. It’s like that. Not horrible but you do realize you input the wrong channel.

        My understanding is that the box set is the exact same video transfer as the individual blurays so just be aware that despite the fact that you bought the blurays the picture will not look as good as when you saw the broadcast version on an HD TV (if you did). It was the only time I’ve wondered why I didn’t just buy the DVD version of a show/movie but to be fair I got them at a very reasonable price, am not sure my bluray players will even play a DVD and, most importantly, already knew from online reviews that the blurays weren’t any better than the DVDs.

        It looks OK but not having the ability to see Yvonne in HD is borderline criminal. I have high hopes that there will be a true HD option when Chuck is available on NetFlix layer this year but don’t have high hopes.

        Hope you still enjoy them (I do despite the above) but thought you should be forewarned.

      • Jason says:

        Arya’s Prayers, I watched the first couple of seasons on DVD and then switched to blu-ray. I definitely experienced a significant uptick in quality in both video and audio, but the issue with Chuck is that it was shot on 16mm film, which generally does not provide as crisp a picture as 35mm film or digital HD. So while the blu-rays are a definite improvement over the DVDs, they won’t ever look as good (“good” being a relative term) as some other blu-rays. I personally like the grainier look that 16mm gave the show’s presentation on blu-ray, but in these days, when so many TV shows and films are shot digitally, I understand why some people take issue with it.

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Searched online to see why the picture seemed a little ‘off’ to me and apparently I’m the one on crack.

        Consensus seems to be the blurays ARE better than the DVDs but overall picture quality is not as good as some movie blurays. I’m curious if others have noticed a difference in bluray v. DVD or bluray v. their expectations.

      • atcDave says:

        AP I have both Blu-Rays and DVDs. The Blu-Ray picture is better, but not by a lot. Especially compared to an upconverted DVD. Any Blu-Ray player should be able to play a DVD, and upconvert it too if its using the HDMI connection. The picture should be quite excellent either way. I also have the iTunes download in 720P which is also quite sharp, but not as good as the Blu-Rays.

        How do your other discs look? If your picture is poor my first guess is you’re not using the best connection. Did you maybe use the composite video (yellow RCA plug) instead of component (three seperate RCA plugs for video) or HDMI?
        If only the Chuck discs are bad they may be defective. I would try to compare them to other sources, there’s really no reason why the Blu-Rays should be inferior.

  30. Jason says:

    atcDave, I think a big part of which version to watch comes down to the size of the screen you’re using to watch it. For instance, Chuck on DVD looked perfectly fine on my 36 inch TV, but when I started watching it projected onto a 92″ screen, the differences between an upconverted DVD and a blu-ray became enormous. The DVD no longer cut it, but the blu-ray looked fantastic.

    • atcDave says:

      92″ is huge! You need a 4K system! Of course Chuck isn’t available in that yet, probably wasn’t shot in high enough resolution. The 16mm was only used first season (maybe some second), but they definitely switched to some video format with the budget cuts in S3. I don’t know the exact details, but the grain that was obvious in S1 is gone in later seasons.

      • Jason says:

        From the research I’ve been able to do on the video quality issue (the individual season release reviews at blu-ray.com are really helpful for this), they shot the show on super 16mm film for all five seasons (see also: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934814/technical?ref_=tt_dt_spec), but the the film-to-digital transfers required for the film footage to migrate to blu-ray and dvd just improved each subsequent year they were released. That’s why season five looks a lot smoother than season one. The grain is a lot more obvious in season one, but at 92 inches, you can definitely still see it all the way through the entire series.

    • mr2686 says:

      My plan is also to purchase the blu ray version before my next rewatch. I did watch the regular dvds upconverted on my blu ray player with an hdmi connection and I could not tell the difference between those and the HD version of the last two episodes that are still on my DVR from when they were broadcast. I do understand that a lot of people are disappointed with the Chuck Blu ray but as stated before, it has more to do with what film the original was shot on and the artifacting that shows up on blu ray. Let’s face it, with the bigger screens and the higher quality players, all the flaws are going to show…except Yvonne because she has no flaws LOL.

      • atcDave says:

        No doubt the bigger screens will pose challenges for a lot of shows. Ironically, older movies shot in 35 mm or better may look a lot better than some of the video formats used. Our local Best Buy had a 100″ 4K (I saw UHD is replacing 4K as a term, but I believe they’re the same thing) set-up, unbelievable picture. But it may be a while before very much is available at that resolution!

      • Arya's Prayers says:

        Thanks for the info all!!

        I wonder whether the 16mm decision was a budgetary thing or an artistic decision? I have grown to like the slight graininess but it just doesn’t match my apparently faulty recollection if the first time seeing the episodes on TV. Clearly, more rewatch conditioning is required.

        Dave – I’m using a PS3 as a player on a 55″ Sony Bravia with HDMI. Nothing fancy but I think my ‘issues’ are the ones inherent to the source material mentioned by others. I’ve been cheating on Chuck with my Game of Thrones rewatch in anticipation of the new season (see my screen name) and that picture is up to snuff.

        Mr2686 – I have been focusing on older episodes so maybe my recollection is based on what the last few eps looked like vs the early ones. And maybe my biggest complaint is that I want the best picture possible when Yvonne is on screen!! However, the pilot has one of my favorite quirks – in close ups of Yvonne you can see the hole from her old nose ring in her left nostril. Don’t know why I love her even more for that.

      • atcDave says:

        Just guessing AP, I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but if its done in the contemporary razor sharp style, Chuck would look fuzzy by comparison.

        Film is actually a bit more expensive than video. Many old timers have preferred it for more natural colors, but as video technology has improved the differences have become more subjective.
        I’m not enough of an expert to argue with Jason on this, but I am almost positive Chuck was originally done in both 16mm and video. I remember JS saying they shot the spy life in video because it was sharp and vivid; and they used 16mm for home and family life because it has a warmer, more natural look. My guess has always been that as Chuck fully entered the spy world (and because video is cheaper) they used more video in later seasons.
        It is possible they switched the other way, and used more film and just changed the process so they got the best of both looks. But I’m not sure why they would choose the more expensive way of doing that when budgets grew tight. Although it may have just been the preference of the film crew or chief; again, I don’t know why.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Just for the record different scenes were shot in different formats from the beginning. Some were digital from the start, others were 16mm or 35mm. I’m guessing some of it had to do with stunts or wanting a scene to have an amateur video feel (a technique pioneered on Firefly), but it was apparently an intentional decision from the start. Zach for instance says that the slide scene into Castle in Anniversary was shot by him holding a Nikon D8 at arms length as he slid.

  31. Ernie Davis says:

    Just an FYI for all those who want to check out Veronica Mars before investing a DVD or iTunes episodes, it is showing on SOAP network, so if your cable or satellite company provides that you can check out episodes before buying.

  32. dkd says:

    I was really busy last week. I knew about this news, but didn’t have time to participate in any discussion.

    A few thoughts:

    There was some discussion above about the length of the movie. I think if this ends up in some “direct to consumer” format, the movie can be any length that is reasonable for a person to watch. The length of a TV movie is set by the advertising time that is required to be inserted.

    I don’t see this playing on any ad-supported TV network. So, that limitation doesn’t exist.

    As for the storyline, I think it depends on when it actually gets made. VM went off the air in 2007. So, the six-year gap drives the story in a big way. The same thing would be the case for a Chuck movie, IMO.

    Assuming this happens at all, we don’t know if it will happen next year or four years from now. I can see there being different stories depending on the “when”. There also could be different stories depending on who is available when they actually can do it.

    I’m not just referring to the regular cast, but to any possible guest cast. For instance, a “whatever happened to Jill” story–that some have suggested–would require Jordana Brewster’s availability.

    So, I’m not going to expend to much energy on what it’s going to be about until it actually happens.

    I do hope, though, that they have some higher aspirations for budget than to do it “bare bones”. Towards the end, the budgets were so low and I really missed the higher budgets they had in the early seasons.

    A final FYI:

    I looked up some ratings for VM. It’s final episode generated just a 1.0 Live + 7 Adults 18-49. The audience was very young, though. The median age of the viewer was 29. Chuck’s was around 50 when it ended and got a 1.5 Live + 7 rating. Only 19% of VM’s viewers were 50 or older. But, those 29 year-olds would now be 35 and have proven to be affluent enough by their donations. I see the relative youth of VM’s audience as a positive when you are looking to do something like this. When VM ended, it had more Teen and Adults 18-34 viewers than Chuck did at the end.

    I do believe that if it could work for VM, it could work for Chuck. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, that WB would want to wait until the VM thing is finished and to see how it proceeds before pursuing another Kickstarter-funded thing.

    • mr2686 says:

      I just read an interview with Zach that indicated (as he has said before) that its probably more viable to have online content rather than a theatrical release. I think when all is said and done, that VM will only have a very short run in theaters for the hardcore fans and the rest will be online and dvd. Just a guess but it makes sense. Chuck, if a movie is made, would probably skip the theater part. Again, just a guess

      • atcDave says:

        Chuck will go the “Dr. Horrible” route! err, but with less singing…

      • mr2686 says:

        Chuck the musical!! Chuck and Sarah start their own band only to find themselves as the opening act for Jeffster.

      • garnet says:

        The webisode/internet idea was floated from the start, and, if they can keep the quality up, it would be a great idea. It would likely stretch their budget so they could provide a longer episode if they wanted. I believe that one of the plusses that was mentioned was that they would not have to be slaves to the 42 minutes that network TV uses. It might be one ore two episodes, it could be more if all goes well. I’d take anything they offer for my “new” CHUCK fix.

      • atcDave says:

        Yup, I agree with all of that exactly Garnet.

    • dkd says:

      It’s always possible that they may have some “special showings” at the theater in the way that some long TV pilots get shown in theaters to VIP’s and a special audience.

      There’s a movie called “Bad Kids Go To Hell” that I’m aware of because Ben Browder of Farscape is in it. That movie has never gotten a broad theatrical release, but it is available on Demand on many cable systems as well as Netflix, iTunes, and other places.

  33. I have to admit that I have never seen Veronica Mars it apparently was shown in the UK but i must have missed it. O really hope that this project goes well as that will make it more possible for a new Chuck of some kind or other. I know that this is being advertised as a movie but I have to wonder how viable it is for one based in cinenas I think that it should be a smaller production, that would lend itself to be a TV movie, Straight to DVD or digital downlaod only.
    This must bode well for the possibilty of Chuck as the Zac has mentioned that Yvonne would be in Ryan tweeted about it and Adam did to but he said only if Robbie Dunc Mcniel directed. (he replied that he would be happy to, if i remember).
    I also think that Chuck possibly has more international fans than VM had so I was pleased that the VM campaign is trying to sought out some of the benefit for international supporters.
    It might make for a very intersting Comic Con/ Nerd HQ but would be great if they have more than two Chuck panels this year. We need one with Crew/writers/Fedak and co besides Cast need Yvonne at more than one aswell.

  34. I see that it is now over $4.4 Million but the really good news as far as I am concerend is that they have got there top 9 tiers of backing set up to include international backers. This should be a major benefit for any hope of the Chuck continuation happening as I think that chuck has a wider international fanbase.
    The Average donation is still about $67 which is pretty good as they have also now launched a $1 level

  35. uplink2 says:

    BTW with less than 48 hours to go the VM project has broken 5 million dollars. Congrats! If we could get that for a ChuckMovie it would be great.

  36. dkd says:

    One fan’s perspective on Kickstarting a Chuck movie:

    http://geekfurious.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-not-kickstarter.html

    • BillAtWork says:

      I’m not sure what value Kickstarter lends to the effort, but Amazon clearly does. I think that’s one of the major reasons why this new concept hasn’t happened yet. WB is not in the business of taking pledges to fund projects. Business leaders are very cautious before venturing into unknown territory.

      The required infrastructure to administer and collect pledges can’t be underestimated. If Amazon will do that for 5%, I say that’s a decent deal. It’s similar to Visa charging a fee to accept a Credit Card. They are adding value to the process.

  37. Pingback: I Want My NerdHQ | Chuck This

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