Long-standing Hanna-Barbera creation Scooby-Doo began its run in 1969 with the cartoon TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, featuring the voice of Casey Kasem (who passed away just a couple days ago), among others. The property has since been revived, spun-off, and/or otherwise relaunched multiple times in animated form over the past 45 years; just last summer, in fact, it was revealed that yet another feature-length animated Scooby-Doo movie has begun moving down the pipeline. Now, however, for the first time, the property looks to be getting a reboot as a live-action brand.
Warner Bros. brought Scooby, Shaggy, and the other members of Mystery, Inc. to the big screen back in 2002 with Scooby-Doo, followed by the sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed in 2004. Neither film was as financially successful as such recent nostalgia-steeped cartoon turned live-action/CGI franchises as The Smurfs (which is getting a fully-animated movie reboot) and Alvin & the Chipmunks (the next Chipmunks installment arrives December 2016), but they nonetheless did well enough at the global box office – taking in close to $274 million and $181 million around the world, respectively – for WB to consider revisiting that well again, ten years after the last chapter was released in theaters.
Deadline is reporting that WB executives have decided to start afresh on the Scooby-Doo live-action films; so far, the lesser-known Randall Green has been recruited “to craft the new adventure,” but otherwise there are not any known filmmakers attached to the project at this point. Interestingly, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn started to make a name for himself by first writing both of the previous live-action Scooby-Doo movies (around the same time that he also scripted Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake). So who knows; if the Scooby-Doo reboot comes to pass, then maybe some of the people involved will likewise move onto making bigger and better things in the years to follow.
Before anyone gets too worked up about Hollywood attempting yet again to successfully realize the Scooby-Doo universe in a modernized live-action rendition, it’s best to remember that this reboot has only barely begun to take shape – and, for all we know, this project could wind up falling off the tracks, in the future. After all, we’ve been hearing rumors of a live-action Jetsons movie for years but as of right now, no actual film has resulted from all that talk. Besides, as mentioned before, the animated iteration of Scooby-Doo is still alive and well, so that might continue to be the only version we get in the near future.
Indeed, we have seen signs of late that contemporary animation treatments – not live-action/CGI adaptations – may be the way of the future, with regard to new takes on animated brands steeped in nostalgia (for most adults, that is). While the Jetsons film continues to flounder, the 3D animated Peanuts movie is being prepared for arrival in 2015 – and Adam McKay (one of the creative forces behind the new Peanuts film), is also backing a new animated Flintstones feature. Even The Smurfs, as mentioned above, is giving up on live-action for the time being.
We’ll keep you posted on any additional news concerning the Scooby-Doo reboot.