A curious fact about HBO Max’s upcoming show Velma was unveiled today at New York Comic-Con, revealing that Scooby-Doo won’t feature in the show. The streaming giant’s new bet for 2023 is based on the classic Scooby-Doo franchise that follows the adventures of a mystery solving gang that includes classic characters like Daphne, Velma, Fred, Shaggy, and the talking Great Dane Scooby-Doo that has been loved for generations. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? debuted as a kids cartoon on CBS in 1969, and has since then had many iterations on TV and on the big screen, animated and as live-action films.
Velma comes at the heels of these past versions, but takes a completely different approach to the usually kid-friendly shows and films about the Mystery Inc. gang of the past. HBO Max’s new show, led by Mindy Kaling in the titular role, will present itself as an adult-oriented animated TV series that will not shy away from difficult subjects and gore. Audiences will see protagonist Velma and the rest of the gang as high-schoolers, with the show also addressing all the events that happen around that phase in life, as well as the mysteries Velma will need to solve, though she will be without one major teammate.
As revealed during the show’s New York Comic-Con panel (via Polygon), Mindy Kaling’s Velma show will not include Scooby-Doo. Showrunner Charlie Grandy indicated that the iconic Great Dane was considered at some point for the show, but there were two key factors for keeping him out of the adult animated series. See what Grandy shared below:
“What made Scooby-Doo a kid show is Scooby-Doo. We couldn’t have a take on it, like how can we do this in a fun and modern way. [Our efforts] coincided with Warner Bros. Animation saying we can’t use the dog!”
Can Mindy Kaling’s Velma Survive Without Scooby-Doo?
According to Grandy, not having Scooby on the show only makes Velma that much more of an adult take on the characters. The Velma trailer released during the NYCC panel expanded on how the show will take a very different approach than previous Scooby-Doo related shows and movies, not shying away from adult themes, violence and a bit of gore. Velma will also bring a lot more diversity to the table, not being afraid to change the ethnicities of the original characters, as Velma herself will be of South Asian descent, while Hocus Pocus 2‘s Sam Richardson will voice Shaggy and Constance Wu will voice Daphne.
While the show’s diversity and R-rated tone has been met with a mixed response, the reveal that Scooby-Doo won’t feature in Velma is sure to be the most divisive choice yet from Grandy, Kaling and her creative team. As many general audiences continue to find themselves uncertain about the future of the Scooby-Doo brand following 2020’s poorly received animated movie reboot and the recent announcement that Velma was confirmed to be gay in Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!, which, while most were ecstatic about, the wide array of directions for the franchise are sure to leave some feeling further mixed on the HBO Max effort. Only time will tell how audiences respond when Velma premieres on HBO Max in 2023.
Next: Velma Updates: Everything We Know About Scooby-Doo’s Adult Spinoff
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