While it may not be released on HBO Max until 2023, Mindy Kaling’s Velma series already has seen plenty of criticism. An adult animated series, Velma puts a spin on Scooby-Doo by reimagining Velma in an origin story where the brainiac is solving much more serious crimes. One key difference the new series has is that it will not include Scooby-Doo, and this was something many fans had cried foul on when the show was first announced.
At New York Comic-Con, the first teaser trailer was unveiled for Velma. The teaser poked fun at the race-swapping criticism leveled against Velma following complaints on social media about making this version of the character South Asian. Of course, there were no references whatsoever to a certain pup named Scooby-Doo, coinciding with the news that the cartoon dog would not be a featured character.
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During the Velma panel at NYCC, the show’s creators addressed why Scooby-Doo wouldn’t have a part in the show. This apparently comes down to two reasons. For one, the Velma team felt that Scoob was too much of a character for kids that including him in this new cartoon aimed at adults just didn’t feel right. It just so happened to turn out that they were told by the studio that they couldn’t use Scooby in the series anyway, perhaps with producers at Warner Bros. feeling the same way. As explained at NYCC, per Variety:
“When we were going into the show, and thinking about adapting it, we wanted to be respectful. We didn’t want to just kind of take these beloved characters and put them in outrageous or gross situations, and say like, ‘Isn’t it crazy we did that to Velma?’ So, when we were thinking about what made it a kids show, and what makes an adult show, the dog, Scooby, is what really seemed to… we couldn’t get a take on it that was like, ‘How can we kind of do this in a fun modern way?’ It felt like what made [the original version] a kids show was Scooby-Doo. That coincided with Warner Bros. Animation saying, ‘Hey, you can’t use the dog.’ So we’re like, ‘Great! This works out well!'”
Velma Will Include the Human Mystery Solvers from Mystery Inc.
So there won’t be a Scooby-Doo in Velma, but that doesn’t mean the others from Mystery Inc. won’t be making some appearances. It was revealed at NYCC that the series had cast Sam Richardson (The Afterparty) as Shaggy, Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) as Daphne, and Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Fred. Original Scooby-Doo voice actor Frank Welker is also a part of the voice cast as an undisclosed character, apparently not Scooby-Doo.
Other recently-announced names for the voice cast include “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Russell Peters, Melissa Fumero, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Ming-Na Wen, Ken Leung, Cherry Jones, Fortune Feimster, Yvonne Orji, Sarayu Blue, Nicole Byer, Shay Mitchell, Debby Ryan, Kulap Vilaysak, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Velma will premiere on HBO Max in 2023.