Velma: Mindy Kaling series will not feature Scooby-Doo

The meddling kids will solve puzzles on their own in the upcoming series, directed by Mindy Kaling.

The Scooby-Doo universe is about to come back in a big way, but don’t expect Scooby-Doo to be involved. “Velma,” a new adult animated series in which Mindy Kaling will voice the title character, promises to please longtime fans of the animated series who want to pair their nostalgia with a more mature sense of humor. It features adult versions of the crew from the Mystery Machine, but to ensure Velma takes center stage, Scooby himself will not appear.

Showrunner Charlie Grandy, who appeared on a panel for the show at New York Comic-Con (via Insider), explained that the decision to omit Scooby-Doo from the series was an attempt to adulterate the show from the family-friendly property distinguish what inspired them.

“When we went into the show and thought about adapting it, we wanted to be respectful,” Grandy said. “We didn’t want to just put these beloved characters in egregious or gross situations and be like, ‘Isn’t it crazy you did this to Velma?'”

As they pondered ways to add Scooby-Doo to the show, the creative team just couldn’t find a way to reconcile the two sensibilities.

“We couldn’t get an idea like, ‘How do we do this in a fun, modern way?'” he said. “It felt like it was Scooby-Doo, which made it a children’s series.”

Grandy also made it clear that while Scooby-Doo won’t be showing his face, the new series still exists in the same universe as the iconic mystery dog.

“I think it’s nice to allude to dogs in the world,” he said. “It’s fun and let’s just leave it at that.”

The more mature theme in Velma will likely appeal to James Gunn, who attempted to write an R-rated live-action film Scooby Doo in 2002 before studio encroachments eventually resulted in the script being watered down into a family-friendly film.

“The first Scooby-Doo was originally (by me, the producers and director Raja Gosnell) supposed to be PG-13, but we never got a PG-13 rating,” Gunn wrote on Twitter recently. “The initial rating from the MPAA was R, and then a bunch of stuff was changed and this cut ended up being rated PG.”

Velma is scheduled to stream on HBO Max in 2023.

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Lindsay Lowe

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