Zoinks! The Scooby-Doo Gang Is Coming Back To The Big Screen In New Animated Feature
Scooby-Doo, where are you? Over on Cartoon Network, mostly, as the television channel has done a fine job of keeping the franchise modern with a never-ending stream of new series and made for TV animated specials featuring the Mystery Machine gang. But those aren’t bringing in the millions upon millions of dollars that theatrical releases do, and so Warner Bros. is once again going back to the spooky well for another Scooby-Doo feature film, according to Variety. Thankfully, we won’t have to worry about seeing Freddie Prinze Jr. or Sarah Michelle Gellar ruin the characters of Fred and Daphne in this version, however, as this will be a fully animated feature.
Warners is working with Atlas Entertainment and producers Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, who produced the first two live action films, Raja Gosnell’s Scooby-Doo in 2002 and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed in 2004. The first film, which to me was one of the least inspired TV-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen, grossed around $275 million globally, while the more enjoyable and on point second film earned about $180 million worldwide. This is probably going to be a cheaper production than either of those movies, so I wonder if it will be nearly as successful.
Though the studio is keeping the film’s plot a secret, we know that they’ve hired Matt Lieberman for script duties. A quick trip to IMDb isn’t going to get you very excited, as the only produced credit that Lieberman is 2008’s direct-to-video sequel Dr. Doolittle: Tail to the Chief. He also wrote the script for Dimension’s planned Short Circuit reboot, which I realize doesn’t really help matters. He also wrote Disney’s upcoming Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for director Peter Candeland, as well as Jared Hess’ The Pet, which will also be a Disney feature. He recently sold a spec script titled 12/24, which was bought by director Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures. So, we’re not quite sure how talented this guy is just yet, but at least he’s moved beyond direct-to-DVD sequels. Sort of.
In the last fifteen years, Scooby-Doo has been a part of over 20 direct-to-video features, starting with 1998’s Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (the most recent, Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright, was released a little over two weeks ago). Another one is already in the works involving pro wrestlers. There have also been two more live action films, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, but both were obviously made for TV. Cartoon Network has produced and aired three different animated series, What’s New, Scooby-Doo?, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, which ended this past April. This last one is probably the second best animated series following the original Hanna Barbera series, as it’s a more serious affair with horror film homages included.
Join me in singing along to the original series’ theme song, which features the most hilarious pronunciation of the word “sliver” I’ve ever heard.
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