The enigma that Scooby-Doo won’t be a part of the upcoming HBO Max series Velma was revealed today at New York Comic-Con. The streaming juggernaut’s latest wager for 2023 is based on the iconic Scooby-Doo franchise, which follows the exploits of a crime-solving team that include beloved characters like Daphne, Velma, Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo, the talking Great Dane. In 1969, CBS premiered Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? as a children’s cartoon. Since then, the series has seen numerous animated and live-action versions on TV and in theaters.
Following closely behind these earlier iterations is Velma, which, in contrast to the often family-friendly shows and movies about the Mystery Inc. crew in the past, adopts a very different style. The upcoming animated television series for HBO Max, which stars Mindy Kaling in the title role, will market itself as an adult-oriented show that doesn’t hold back on blood and guts. The show’s protagonist Velma and the rest of the group will be high school students, and it will cover all the events that surround that time in a person’s life as well as the mysteries Velma will have to solve even though she will be missing one important team member.
According to Polygon, Mindy Kaling’s Velma show will not feature Scooby-Doo, as was announced during the panel for the show at New York Comic-Con. The renowned Great Dane was briefly considered for the program, according to showrunner Charlie Grandy, but two important factors prevented him from appearing in the adult animated comedy. Here is what Grandy revealed:
“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!”
When Scooby-Doo is absent, can Mindy Kaling’s Velma survive?
Grandy contends that Velma’s adult interpretation of the characters is all the more enhanced by Scooby’s absence from the show. The Velma clip, which was unveiled at the NYCC panel, demonstrated further how the series will differ significantly from earlier Scooby-Doo-related shows and films in that it will not be afraid to tackle adult themes, violence, and some gore. Being of South Asian descent herself, Velma will bring a lot more diversity to the table and won’t be scared to change the ethnicity of the original characters. Sam Richardson from Hocus Pocus 2 will voice Shaggy, while Constance Wu will play Daphne.
The news that Scooby-Doo won’t appear in Velma is certain to be Grandy, Kaling, and her creative team’s most polarizing decision yet, despite the show’s diversity and R-rated tone receiving mixed reviews. Following the unpopular 2020 animated film reboot and the recent revelation that Velma is gay in Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!, which most fans were ecstatic about, many general audiences are still unsure about the future of the Scooby-Doo brand. The wide variety of Scooby-Doo franchise directions will undoubtedly leave some feeling even more conflicted about the HBO Max effort. Once Velma airs on HBO Max in 2023, only time will tell how viewers react.