Actress Kristen Bell arrives at the "Do Something Awards" in Santa Monica, California August 19, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
The long-awaited "Veronica Mars" movie will feature many of the original cast members from Neptune High, but Leighton Meester will not be among them. Carrie Bishop, Meester's role on the series, will instead be played by Andrea Estella, the lead singer of the band Twin Sister.
According to The Huffington Post, Rob Thomas, the series creator and film director, said that Meester could not appear in the film due to scheduling conflicts. Thomas relayed the news in a letter to the 'Marshmallows' who helped fund the film in an historic Kickstarter effort. The film raised $2 million in a matter of days, and raised a grand total of $5 million.
"One of the reasons I wanted Leighton, beyond her talent/beauty/history in the show, was that we needed a performer who could sing in this important role," Thomas wrote. "Once it became evident that we couldn't make Leighton's schedule work, I decided to cast someone from a band I already wanted in the movie."
Thomas mentioned that a number of Twin Sister songs will be used in the film, including the song "I Want a House."
Estella said she had never seen the cult CW show before being cast in the role. "I've been increasingly interested in finding new TV shows to plow through," Estella said. "I watched the "Veronica Mars" pilot and was totally into it! It's the exact kind of show I would get obsessed with, so it's been a bit of dream to be in a movie, especially being a messed up rock princess. How could I say no? I think the VM fans are going to be very happy!"
The movie will feature many of the original cast members, including the original Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell, as well as Jason Dohring and Chris Lowell. Gabby Hoffmann and Justin Long are also said to be in the film, along with James Franco, who is rumored to be playing himself.
In other "Veronica Mars" news, the beloved adolescent detective will soon be a protagonist in print as well as on screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rob Thomas announced that he will develop a two-book "Veronica Mars" series that will pick up where the upcoming movie ends. Thomas has signed the deal with Vintage Books and Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, to produce the books. Alloy is behind best-selling young adult novels "The Vampire Diaries," "Pretty Little Liars" and "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."
The books will feature Veronica and the rest of the characters as adults, and will focus on Veronica solving a new set of mysteries.
"I started my career as a novelist, 'Veronica Mars' was first imagined as a novel," Thomas said. "I'm thrilled that I'm going to get the opportunity to continue telling "Veronica Mars" stories in a form I've loved and missed."
Vintage editor Andrea Robinson shared her excitement at beginning the "Veronica Mars" project. "Veronica Mars has always been a one-of-a-kind character, and, as a longtime fan of the series, I've always thought there is an immense amount of story left to be told," Robinson said. "Our goal for the book series is to appeal to fans of the show, but also to appeal to mystery readers and lovers of series featuring strong, intriguing female protagonists. 'Veronica Mars' is a contemporary update to the tradition of noir crime fiction that was established by Vintage's Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, so it's exciting that we'll also publish her here."
The book is slated to arrive in spring 2014, around the same time the still untitled "Veronica Mars" movie will be released.