Earlier this year, it was announced that Mindy Kaling was set to produce and star in Velma, a Scooby-Doo reimagining for adults that would focus on the short-sighted member of the mystery-solving gang. Not much more about this animated series was revealed at the time, but now a lot of extra info has come out, promising that the show will be like no other version of the franchise we’ve seen before.
Tom Ascheim, President of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, spoke at the virtual TV Kids Summer Festival 2021 today, opening up about what the studio has planned for both young audiences on Cartoon Network and more mature viewers on HBO Max. Ascheim revealed that Velma, which is headed to streaming, will depict the character as East Asian and won’t feature several key elements from the classic cartoon – including Scooby-Doo himself!
“We have a not-for-children, Mindy Kaling project called Velma because she was excited to reimagine what Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were of East Asian descent and lived in a different world,” Ascheim explained. “And in that version, which is going on HBO Max first, there’s no dog and no van but we have our four key characters through a different lens and I think it’s great. Allowing our creators to play with our IP is super powerful.”
First of all, this is the first time that Velma will be portrayed as anything other than Caucasian in the 50-year history of the animated franchise. That said, Hayley Kiyoko – who’s of partial Japanese descent – portrayed the role in the live-action prequel films Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and The Curse of the Lake Monster. Latina actress Gina Rodriguez also voiced her in 2020’s Scoob!
The most shocking fact here, though, is that Scooby won’t appear in Velma, nor will the Mystery Machine. It’s likely that this adult animation will strip away much of the ghostbusting, mystery element of the franchise, then, and attempt to flesh out the human characters some more and focus on their dynamics. There’s no word yet on who could join Kaling in the voice cast and bring Fred Jones, Daphne Blake and Shaggy Rogers to life in this bold new take on the classic Hanna-Barbera IP, but we’ll let you know when further updates arrive.
Source: TV Kids Summer Festival 2021