Bring Scooby-Doo Back To Live Action On HBO Max

Yesterday, Warner Brothers released the first teaser trailer for Scoob and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

From the beautiful animation, it’s funny and what looks like a heartfelt story that I’ll most likely make me cry with the story of how Shaggy and Scooby-Doo met.

It also keeps the heart of what makes Scooby-Doo great and been going for 50 years and that’s it’s this gang solving mysteries and every generation knows the franchise to this day.

WB is also going for a May release, which is some confidence. I would’ve gone for an August date and make it an end summer palate cleanser

The only issue I have with the movie is the fact Matthew Lillard isn’t the voice of Shaggy when he’s been the main man, along with Frank Welker’s iconic Scooby voice, since the first-ever live-action film back in 2002.

Image via Warner Bros

I think the hopeful success from all age groups towards this film will give WB and their parent company WarnerMedia the chance to build on it.

On the big screen aim for the kids, but WarnerMedia should look into live-action and create an HBO Max series with the target audience being older teens/20+.

Image via HBO Max/ WarnerMedia

Have it like along the lines of Titans and no I don’t mean we need Shaggy saying “Fuck Mystery Inc”. Make the series eight to 10 episodes, an hour long and have produced by JJ Abrams production company Bad Robot.

This could be a tentpole for the streaming service similar to Disney Plus’ Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian or there Marvel shows. As for the budget, $8-10 million per episode would be ideal and similar to the budget for a live-action Scooby film.

Storywise the best bet is to look at the fantastic Mystery Incorporated which was a linear story with brilliant character building and while they took it seriously they don’t lose any of the heart. I’d highly recommend checking out and it only went for two seasons.

Image via Warner Bros

Additionally, I’d throw in the horror vibe of the Scooby Apocalypse comic book and the comedic format of The Breakfast Club.

Plot

After the events of a nuclear test gone wrong turning people of Crystal Cove into the shows classic monsters, Scoob and the gang must solve the mystery of how to turn them back with the bigger mystery why this happened.

Casting

Before I continue and talk about the main four castings, one of the things I’d do is bring back the original live-action cast but this time playing the parents.

Image via Warner Bros

Lillard would be Shaggy’s dad, real-life husband and wife Freddie Prinze Jr and Sarah Michelle Gellar are Fred’s parents and Velma’s mum is played by Linda Cardellini.

The Freaks and Geeks star singlehandedly turned Velma into a sex symbol.

Meanwhile, Daphne’s rich, socialite parents can be played by well-known actors from 80s/90s teen TV/movie stars (like Riverdale). For example, James Van Der Beek could be her dad.

One more thing, the colour of the gang should never be an issue as both Scoob and the live-action straight-to-DVD films have proven with Gina Rodriguez and Hayley Kiyoko playing Velma.

Finally, Frank Welker is voicing Scooby. Hopefully being on HBO Max instead of something like the CW is the CGI for Shaggy’s best friend will better.

Image via Warner Bros

Main Cast

Shaggy Rodgers

Image via Warner Bros

Shaggy and Scooby are the heartbeat of the gang and is the most important casting for the series. Character-wise, I’d be leaning to the adult and the fan rumour of being a pothead.

It wouldn’t be massively obvious just subtle hints like bong in the background, the continuous eating and make it for medical use only. Furthermore, design of Shaggy I would use the iconic look and blend it with the awesome Scooby Apocalypse look.

Image via DC Comics

Meanwhile, I think Miles Robbin would be brilliant. He was fantastic in Blockers and seems to have a steady career in front of him and with Lillard will be able to bring the classic voice to life but with a new spin.

The other that comes to mind is Alex Wolff, who’s becoming an up-and-coming actor to keep an eye on with performances in the Jumanji films, Hereditary, Bad Education and Patriots Day.

Daphne Blake

Image via Warner Bros

Daphne has been on a journey. Originally she was just the pretty girl-next-door of the team from a rich family, but slowly and surely being a key member using street smarts as a counter-balance to Velma’s book smarts.

Daphne is the now the badass of the team, while keeping her femininity, and would have the majority of the fight scenes in the series. She would be the action hero and defender of the gang.

The first actress that comes to mind due to her performance as Mia in the CW series Arrow is Katherine McNamara. She has the classic look and proven with Arrow and Shadowhunters that she’d be a decent Daphne.

Image via Jack Rowand/The CW Network

On the other hand, if they wanted to get eyes on the show is to cast a big name and there’s no bigger and up-and-coming then Zendaya.

The 23-year-old has made 2019 her year with Spider-Man: Far From Home, stealing every red carpet and multiple praises from critics and fans alike for Euphoria.

It’d also be awesome to see the talented actress go out a kick ass and is the crush of every man and woman alike.

The final name is someone I’m sure no one knowns as she’s only had a short career but one that should go on to great things and that’s Abigail Lawrie.

The name might be better known due to a TV series called Tin Star, but at this year’s London Film Festival she starred in one of my films of the festival, Our Ladies.

The Scottish actress could be a great get for the show and I believe can be either Daphne or Velma.

Fred Jones

Image via Warner Bros

Fred is the classic American boy-next-door heartthrob and kinda strange that as a high school student would be the Quarterback jock type but goes off to solve mysteries.

In recent years, he has become more of a dude who likes traps and his cowardice implied. So for this series, I’d return to the level-headed, stoic leader but also add a sense of recklessness to him during their adventures.

Again this would be a character to attach a big name to and Ansel Elgort would be a major get for the show.

Elgort is about to start filming on another HBO Max series called Tokyo Vice, which he’s leading so it wouldn’t be the craziest thing, if the creative team and script was up to his level, for him to be in the series.

If Elgort would turn it down then Nick Robinson would be next on the list.

The 24-year-old is becoming more of a name in Hollywood and starred in one of the best modern teen-comedies Love, Simon and, just like Elgort and the next bloke I’m going to pick.

The final person came to mind when watching the fantastic Blockers and that’s Graham Phillips. He didn’t have a major role but every time he was on screen I thought he’d be a decent Fred.

Honestly, the whole younger cast of Blockers would make a great Scooby film/series.

Velma Dinkley

Image via Warner Bros

The brains of the team. If it wasn’t for Velma, Mystery Inc would be crap at solving mysteries. Velma has also become (thanks again to Linda Cardellini) somewhat of a sex symbol and over the years become a bit of a gay icon to certain fans.

As stated above it doesn’t change anything with the actual character (just have her wear glasses), so I’d have her “finding herself” as her storyline in the series with her ultimately being either bi or a lesbian.

Additionally, I’d do my best to bring a woman of colour into the role but if HBO Max and the creative team were able to get a Hailee Steinfeld then that would be again a fantastic get for the show.

The first woman that came to mind is Zendaya’s Spider-Man: Homecoming co-star Laura Harrier. She’s stunning, talented and would be awesome in the role.

The issue is being 29 I don’t know if she’d sadly get away with playing a teenager again.

As the youngest actress picked for a role, 18-year-old Isabela Monor would be a get for the show as she’s an exciting up-and-comer who surprised everyone this year with Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

Then there’s Monor’s Let It Snow co-star Odeya Rush, who scarily looks like a younger Mila Kunis, and in the roles I’ve seen her in Goosebumps and Lady Bird it could the next step for the Israeli-American.

Creative Team

The creative team behind the series will be important and Michael Ryan who wrote 20 episodes of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated is a must and Caroline Farah, who penned four episodes of the most recent adaptation Scooby-Doo and Guess Who.

What’s lucky is both writers have worked on both shows so they know these character pretty well now.

JJ Abrams will likely have some input due to being the executive producer as his Bad Robot production company is handling the property.

Image via Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

If I was JJ, I’d do everything possible to bring in the fantastic Kay Cannon as the showrunner, co-writing and (if possible) director of the whole series.

I’ve said throughout this piece Blockers is brilliant and just looking at her IMDb she has been producer on some of the best US comedies like 30 Rock and New Girl.

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