What Does the Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter Mean for You (and Your Favorite Canceled Show)?


By now you've surly heard of the Kickstarter to fund a Veronica Mars movie, organized by the cast (including star Kristen Bell) and creator Rob Thomas. The campaign launched yesterday and by last night, had broken records at the fundraising service, reaching its $2 million goal in a matter of hours. As of this writing it's currently amassed around $2.6 million, with 29 days left to go.

Of course, with a move like this, there are bound to be widely differing opinions. Critics and fans began the merits of the Kickstarter plan since the moment it launched, and with good reason. The near-immediate success of the campaign raises fascinating questions about contemporary TV/movie production, fandom, and the relationship between the two.

There are a number of possible positives to come from this. The first being, well, there’s going to be a Veronica Mars movie. The rumors and rumblings about a potential film have been out there since The CW canceled the show and as the video on the Kickstarter page suggests, the cast (or at least a good chunk of the “important” ones) are totally committed to making the film work. The unbelievable speed at which Rob Thomas and company received donations suggests that there’s still a big—or at least dedicated—fan base out there for the show, so even though I tend to wish that “There will be a movie!” and “We’re doing another season on Netflix!” stories would just go away, I’m happy to know such fans exist for this good show.

Furthermore, if the produced film ends up being successful (and it has to be the film, too, not just the Kickstarter campaign), it’s very likely that this presents a model for future canceled shows with diehard fan bases with disposable income. Fans and critics have knocked around the idea of fan-funded continuations of dead shows before, but a successful Veronica Mars film would lend major credence to that model. The success of the Veronica Mars crowd-sourcing campaign tells us (and Hollywood) that productions can come together in new ways based on what audiences already know that they want—not some property adaptation that’s test-marketed and workshopped dozens of times until it’s lifeless. We’ve already seen independent projects like Jane Espenson’s Husbands web series funded through Kickstarter, and while I hope this Veronica Mars situation inspires more independent television, it's a different animal altogether. It could open the floodgates for other canceled shows to get movies, shorter web series, or who knows, full seasons of television-length content. It’s a big moment for fan empowerment and intervention in traditional Hollywood production processes.

However, there are other ways to look at this development and fan involvement within it. First, while VMars is a great test case for whether or not something like this can work financially (and we now know that it can), it’s also probably an exceptional example of how it would work production-wise. Not only is the cast already on-board and working together to figure out scheduling barriers, but the story is dominated by one character/actor. With Bell on-board, Thomas can alter the story and his use of other performers depending on finances and scheduling to fit any budgetary concerns. Conversely, it’d be tougher to make a similar project happen for a show like, say, Community: bigger, busier cast and a story that kind of needs them all (well, not Chang or Pierce, but you know what I mean). There are similar challenges for shows with higher concepts or budgets (imagine a Kickstarter-funded extension of Terra Nova).

And as Noel and others have pointed out on Twitter, asking fans to partially fund a production that is under the purview of Warner Bros., a massive media conglomerate, is complicated. Rob Thomas doesn’t own Veronica Mars and as the Kickstarter page notes, Warner Bros. is still involved, at least in distribution. It’s unclear at the moment how much money WB is going to kick in to help this thing get off the ground, but the campaign obviously exists to both secure more money that Warner Bros. doesn’t want to pony up and to show Warner Bros. how much fan interest there is in the project once it’s actually done. So fans probably aren’t footing the whole bill, but rather a good portion of it. That makes some people uncomfortable, and I see that, but I guess if you want to give them money to get something you love, it’s their right to ask you for it and your right to give it to them. 

But I want to turn it over to you folks. Did you donate to the campaign, and if so, why? What other projects (web series, spin-offs, movies, etc.) would you be willing to help fund? And which other canceled shows do you think have devoted enough fans to make another, similar Kickstarter’d project work?


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I honestly never thought this would happen, I am so happy. And my (now ex)-boyfriend chipped in a 100 dollars to the project as a birthday present. So I haven't even technically given a dime. I will definitely go see the movie in theaters, if it airs here in Norway. As far as I've understood, we've got one of the biggest VM fanbases in the world (if you take into account that we're less than 5 million people), so I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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I totally donated for Veronica Mars. I had previously done the same for one of my favourite authors for a book she wanted to write and it rocked.

Kickstarter is a great idea to get fan involvement. And yes, it is sad, that big corporations like WB don't see a market for relatively small budget projects for themselves. Still, if they provide the opportunity for a self-funded project like this and then offer their distribution and marketing machine when it is made, I don't see the downside. Indie Films will not suffer from this, rather more people might become aware of the possibilities. Believe in the signal people! (Aside:Firefly got its movie with Serenity)

By the way, the kickstarter campaign is still live and kicking and I want that fight scene at the class reunion Rob Thomas has mentioned in an interview. So come on Marshmallows, you can at least afford a dollar to receive daily updates from Rob Thomas about the whole affair, can't you?
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Only show I'd ever consider giving money to is Firefly.

Damn they blew it with that cancellation. So much potential!
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id love to see a kyle xy movie! that show ended on such a big cliffhanger! as well as reaper!
and a chuck movie would be epic too!
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I would love a JAG kickstarter
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I loved Veronica Mars, but this is going to be a disaster. To much time has gone by, they won't create the same tone as the original, and it'll come off as a direct to video failure. The time for Veronica Mars to happen has past, and the same with so many other shows. There should be a general rule of thumb here. If it's been more than three years (even that might be pushing it) there's no use trying to go back to it.
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Hey, don't be so pessimistic. It will be a movie and not a continuence of the series, so yeah, it will be different. But different doesn't mean bad. We all have to grow up sometime and I have faith in Rob Thomas and the gang. I cannot believe they would go to the effort if they were not committed to have fun with it and deliver same for us fans.
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Firefly & Moonlight, that's about it.
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Wonderfalls was such a funny show. Loved it!!
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I wish they'd bring back Alphas. :(
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my name is earl is another good choice
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How about Las Vegas that show was awesome and they already have the set nbc still uses the montecito in other shows as the casino.
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just bring back secret circle and awake
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Deadwood was promised 2 TV movies as closure. Never happened. KS anyone?

Rome seems to be in high demand for another season as well still after all this time...

None of the above vote listed should or will see any continuation.
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- Firefly
- Terriers
- Awake
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- Invasion
- Fastlane

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To me it means that people care more about giving money to make a dead tv show into a movie rather than offer it to poor people. Way to go humanity.. We suck...
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Where is the thumbs down?

Gee, I'm getting sick of this holier than thou attitude. Just because people are donating money to a favorite TV show it doesn't mean you need to throw your 2 cents in about how they should give the money to this or that charity.

People spend money on entertainment all the time and Hollywood spends billions of dollars every year on movies. Why do you feel the need to criticize fans for supporting there favorite TV show! I think you are the one that sucks!

What the hell are doing on TV.com if you are going to criticize fans for supporting their favorite TV show? Sheesh!
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LOL It's just that the world is getting stupider everyday... Who needs a movie about that show.. Why give money to support that kind of crap.. Keep it to yourself instead of wasting it on tv shows that makes your life seems a little less pathetic.. Because I'm sorry, but if you actually have enough time to read comments on internet, it's kind of sad..
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Yes, there are other worthy causes out there, and I sure hope you and others here donate time, money, effort for them as well but I hardly see a downside into participating in this project which by the way, will also provide jobs for people in the industry.
Besides, every life needs balance and a good laugh now and then. If you find it here why not?
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Well that's a good reply to my comment. At least YOU know how to explain a point without trying to make someone look stupid because he has a different opinion.
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Let's get a Class of '96 movie happening so we can see what all those memorable characters are doing 20 years later. The show only last 17 episodes and was taken off Australian TV after 5.
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1) bring back ROSWELL!!! anything to get another glimpse of Alien's Love!!!!!!!!!!
2) Firefly
3) Buffy&Spike and all the Scooby Gang!!!
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Crowd-sourced funding is great. It makes media producers care about audience passion. With most media funding models, audience size is all that matters. TV networks much prefer 60 Minutes (12 million viewers) to Fringe (3 million viewers). Fox didn’t benefit from the Fringe audience’s much greater passion.

Crowd-sourced funding basically monetizes that passion. As creepy as that sounds, it’s a good thing for any media that (1) has a rabid audience and (2) doesn’t do well in traditional funding models. In the future, it might protect shows with small but devoted audiences.

We already have crowd-sourced funding in other media fields. In the radio industry, ad-based classical music is a disaster, but pledge-based public radio works really well. Advertisers avoid classical radio because the audience is relatively small and old. But classical listeners love their music, and they can afford to support it themselves. A pledge model works for small but devoted radio audiences.
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I'd love to see some more from Ugly Betty.
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I don't consider the $50 I pledged a "donation." It's more of a pre-purchase. I loved the show and really want to see the characters again. If WB greenlit the movie without this campaign, I would go see it in the theater and buy the DVD when it came out. So that's about $50 right there. This way, they make the movie and I get the DVD and a t-shirt, and chances are it won't play on my local theater on a limited release, so I won't likely be spending the ticket money in addition. It's good value for my entertainment, to get a product that without our pledges they wouldn't ever make.
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does anyone remember The Middleman? it was on ABC Family a few years ago. I would totally love to see a Middleman movie!
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Does anyone remembers a show called Reunion? I wish that show got a proper ending...
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Hey so many good shows out there that got canned by the studios what about

The Sarah conner chronicles
The Unit
The doll house

I'd happily donate for those three.
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I think it's interesting how a lot people don't mention "Dead Like Me" for a tv series that made a movie a couple years after it was canceled. That movie wasn't perfect but I did like the closure they brought to the sisters' storyline.

I also didn't feel that cheated or used with my donation to the campaign because if WB goes the really limited-distribution route - at least my donation secures me a digital copy that I can watch within days of the premiere! That reward alone too, to me, sounds like a revolutionary idea that I hope works. It could be a nice compromise between studios and fans to combat piracy (to watch a current movie from the comfort of their home if they pay a fair price and wait a *small* amount of time from the movie's official release date) - legal, adware/virus free, and great quality would be good reasons to turn people towards this system. It could help movies make even more money by reaching the large amounts of people that just don't typically go out to the movie theaters much.
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I don't know about a movie but there's a few shows i'd donate to make another season.
I'd pay anything to have more House though it ended beautifully, it still hurts.
As for others, ABC's The Unusual's was awesome, just in a terrible time slot. Endgame, great show on Hulu that never got exposure. Fox's Mental, needed at least a wrap up.
As for TNT's Leverage and Fox's Lie to Me... Well i just want more.
Everything else is just recent guilty pleasures i would like back.
Fairly Legal, Hung, Bored to Death, and GCB. Also Party Down was great.
Oh how i wish...
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Dark Angel never had a proper finale! They left the series just as everyone had united to fight a big battle!

Human target is another one I would like to see come back.
Blood ties and Tru Calling also make the list.
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Secret Circle Pleaaaaassseee!!!!!! :"(
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And, Veronica mars doesn't need special effects, really. No huge gun fighting, explosions, vamps or demons. It's just a girl and her dad trying to solve crimes. This is the perfect thing.
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i donated, am getting a script and t-shirt. If they want to make a movie, but need the fans help, I'll gladly do it. and i want to see The Secret Circle! Last Resort already got their movie by making the season (series) finale tie up loose ends. Secret Circle did not. Still pissed.
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Would love a cross-series Stargate movie, but the CGI alone would likely kill a Kickstarters' fund.
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Well, Joss has said he's not too interested in Kickstarter. Sorry,Whedonites.
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Firefly already had its Serenity movie anyway.
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what about jericho???
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LOL hello!
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People still care?
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FIREFLY! 6 seasons and another movie!
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i would donate for firefly, happily
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I think Veronica Mars is the best show for this type of situation... Even looking at the list of shows on the bring-back list most of them would require huge budgets, that you can't really ask everyday people to fund. When doing the math for this particular situation if each person only gave $66 then the movie would have been made, which isn't much money as compared to a movie that would require a $150,000,000 budget. Veronica Mars was a show with a simplistic design that is appropriate for the simplistic premise of Kickstarter.

I gave money towards the movie because I wanted to see it get made and wanted to be part of a history making moment. Do I think this will become a way to bring back old shows that people felt got cancelled too soon, maybe, but also not likely because of all the factors to consider.

It's not as simple as raising the money. You need the actors to want to be involved, the studio to approve it, creators, writers, and producers to want to come back. Not every actor or creator holds on to shows that don't work out the way these two did and studios only care about money. You kind of need a perfect storm of things for a situation like this to happen.

For low budget shows and independent projects I think this gives a standard for how far you can go, but for larger budget shows and projects I don't see it working.
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yeah you really have to give credit to rob thomas & kristen bell - it so easy to assume that creators and actors are just saying they miss the show and wish they could revive it somehow but ultimately don't really mean it (at least not to the extent of the heartbroken fan). Bell & Thomas however went above and beyond for the fans - staying dedicated to the idea even after large amounts of fans had resigned to nothing ever happening. I hope the movie does enjoy some success as a 'thank you' to them for their efforts.
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Absolutely. Couldn't agree more.
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For the love of God please bring Stargate universe back. I'd spend all my savings, if they were asking.
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no no no no SGU simply sucks
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The second season was finally starting to find its way and get really good :(
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I donated because I believe in the democratization of greenlighting creative endeavors. Studio executives should not be able to say this costs too much so we're not going to do it. Also to get a t-shirt that is a piece of history. I've never even watched the damn show.

This redefines the hollywood model going forward and will ultimately redefine ratings to what they should be: not just number of viewers, but #viewers*enthusiasm. And that redeinition completely changes WHAT KIND of television gets made. The reason most shitty shows get renewed is because mediocre shows have broader appeal. There is no incentive to make quality because enthusiasm of the fanbase hasn't factored in. Until yesterday. In a post VM Kickstarter world, shows like Firefly or TSC don't get cancelled. If a show is possibly too expensive to renew, the producer starts a kickstarter to make up the difference.

Also, if the VM movie isn't well received, it's a setback, and will delay the inevitable shift of power, but it won't stop it. Nothing can stop it now. The Studio System has fallen, again.
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Am I the only one who would love to see more episodes of Life? At least a descent ending episode. A movie to wrap it up would be amazing.
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More seasons please! though I sadly think this is unlikely as Lewis has moved on onto bigger & better things... But I still love watching all episodes of Life...
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Honestly I don't see any downside in asking fans to (partially) fund a project such as this. Its a promising concept for future projects that generate large fan bases but little support from studios/networks. I think television/film is a long way from being fully fan-funded, and the studios/networks are still a necessary evil. But the notion of fans and studios working together to develop and fund projects is a huge step in the right direction. Obviously the real test is whether or not the film is a success at the box office, but finally fans are being asked to put their money where their mouth is.
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$3.2 so far yay!!!!!!!!!!! When they figure out the logistics about international buyers I am donating.
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When the studios and copyright owners figure out the logistics of international anything, they won't have to worry about budget.

There are millions of international viewers who resort to torrent downloads because there is no legit structure in place for viewing the shows they want to see.

The studios are 10 years behind technology is terms of profiting from the international market.
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Amen!
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I'll second that opinion :)
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I Would say Alphas should be renewed... it was not long ago, since they have been cancelled without a cause. But please not Syfy anymore ;)
But here are some really weird picks, why Stargate? it was just a mere reflection of itself after the 4th season or so
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I completely agree about Alphas. They left it on a HUGE cliffhanger. We need a wrap-up movie for this.
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This was a show that deserved a longer initial run, but I wouldn't get all certain that this means that any show that died too young can get a fan-funded closing act. They raised $2 million, which is cool, but not nearly enough money to produce a feature film. As a proof that a ready market exists, it's awesome. As a true alternative to the studio system, not so much.
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I once wanted to start a Kickstarter for finishing Carnivale, so I asked Daniel Knauf what would he need to do that. his answer was crushing: "My crew, my cast, 4 years and approximately $240,000,000"
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I also thought of Carnivale as soon as I heard of this VM movie on KS. But yes, finishing the remaining 4 seasons would be incredibly costly and the actors have all moved on long ago so it would be next to impossible to do. And making 1 or even 2 movies to finish up the story would not do the show justice imo.

The only thing we as Carnivale fans can do is accept that it's lost forever I'm afraid. Luckily, there's more hope for some other shows that are less expensive and have a smaller cast. Veronica Mars is a perfect example of this and I hope more will follow in the future.
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The right way to finish Carnivale would be in comic form. Solves the money, cast, crew, scope and time problems.
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Stargate Atlantis and/or Universe.
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I'm so happy.
I would love to see a Chuck movie. Also Firefly or The Secret Circle.
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Fastlane
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FASTLANE
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Deadwood
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Chuck and Stargate for me!!
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CARNIVALEEEEE
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I would definitely pay massive amounts of money for ANY sort of continuation/end for the following:
1. Jericho (It all got wrapped up so fast, I want to see the aftermath)
2. Tru Calling (It was such a cliffhanger ending and I've been mad ever since because there was no end.)
3. Angel (Doubt it would happen but I want to see who survived/died in the final battle. Although the actor who played Lorne is dead so I can only assume they would kill him off.) 4. Heroes (I felt like there was supposed to be a movie that never happened. Especially with the way it ended the last season.)
5. Roswell (I want to see where they went after but good luck getting Katherine Heigl to do this...)
6. No Ordinary Family (I know it wasn't popular but I loved it!!)
7. Blossom (It could be a reunion type movie...family reunion. IDK I just want to see them all nowadays!)
8. Everwood! (YES PLEASE!!!)
9. Buffy (I. Want. This. Now! It could be a BTVS/Angel crossover movie)
I would say Firefly but we have Serenity so I'd much rather have a show come back that had no real ending. *coughtrucallingcough*
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There are comic/graphic novel continuations of Angel (Angel: After the Fall) and also Buffy (Season 8 and Season 9)
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I read them but they're not the same. I'd much rather watch them than read about it. I love to read but I grew up on the shows so it's different for me.
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You can read what happened to Angel and crew in the comic book series Angel After fall. And yeah love to see a Buffy Angel movie! Roswell and Firefly as well
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