Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter dropped the news that filling out Mystery Inc. are Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Fred, Sam Richardson (Hocus Pocus 2) as Norville (aka Shaggy), and Constance Wu (Hustlers) as Daphne. Kaling and showrunner Charlie Grandy will executive produce.
Here’s the trailer for the HBO Max release unveiled at NYCC 2022, which Mindy Kaling introduced at the con by exclaiming, “It starts with a murder, bitch!”
io9’s Linda Codega was at the panel and got to see the pilot episode, which follows the early days of characters before they become the iconic gang. We discover that Velma gets her moment to carry big main character energy that Kaling described as a “truth teller:” she speaks her mind and kind of also has anxiety induced spooky hallucinations when trying to solve mysteries. She openly flirts with rich kid Fred—who’s kinda a jerk, and maybe flirts with Daphne, too. (Though there was no confirmation of whether or not this version of Velma will be queer, like she is in the just-released Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo Halloween special, we do learn that Daphne has lesbian moms.) The show was pitched as a “love quadrangle.” Norville/Shaggy, who has a crush on Velma, also gets a major change: he’s very anti-drugs—but Kaling and company shared that it doesn’t mean it will stay that way. The character’s “shift from straight edge to burnout will be earned,” according to executive producer Grandy. Alas, there’ll be no Scooby, as Warner Bros. did not permit the use of the beloved mascot as the show’s very adult tone focuses more on raunchy hijinks and violence.
Official first looks at Fred, Daphne, and Norville were revealed as well ahead of the panel.
Additional cast includes Melissa Fumero, Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Ken Leung, Russell Peters, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Cherry Jones, Weird Al Yankovic, Fortune Feimster, Yvonne Orji, Sarayu Blue, Nicole Byer, Ming-Na Wen, Shay Mitchell, Debby Ryan, Kulap Vilaysak, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Frank Welker (voice of the original Fred and Scooby) as Fred’s dad (whose an absolute DILF).
The show’s synopsis as described by HBO Max reveals that, “Velma is an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. An original and humorous spin that unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers.”
Velma is set for streaming on HBO Max in 2023.
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