Scooby-Doo fans will have to wait an extra two years before seeing the dog's next cinematic adventure. Scooby, Shaggy and co. first came to prominence thanks to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon airing in the sixties and the show quickly gathered a strong and loyal following. Scooby's popularity had endured remarkably well over the years and the Mystery Machine is still alive and well, thanks to updated versions of the cartoon such as What's New, Scooby-Doo? and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
The franchise also attempted a live-action movie outing back in 2002 starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and an animated Scooby and a sequel followed two years later. The movies certainly had their merits, for example Matthew Lillard's pitch perfect Shaggy and the reveal that Scrappy-Doo was the villain (spoiler alert by the way) but largely, the films weren't particularly well-received.
Warner Bros. are now attempting another big screen adaptation of Scooby-Doo, this time in animated form. Alas, according to Variety, the project has been pushed back by two years to May 15th 2020. The movie was announced in 2015 under the title Scooby with Dax Shepherd and Tony Cervone directing and was previously slated for release on September 21st 2018. The production duo of Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, who worked on the live-action Scooby-Doo movies, will be returning alongside a team of recognized figures in the world of animation.
After the live-action version of Scooby-Doo failed to ignite imaginations to the same degree as the television show, it's perhaps a wise move to revert back to animated fare for the hound's next cinematic offering. Although the delay may be frustrating for some, Warner Bros. know that Scooby's popularity will not dip in the next two years and can safely delay the project without concern about losing their audience. If the move gives the studio more time to refine the animation and line up the right voice cast, it'll be worthwhile in the long run.
It's easy to be skeptical about another Scooby-Doo movie. Although the 2002 and 2004 live-action films weren't terrible, many felt that they failed to capture the true spirit of the franchise - arguably something that is impossible to translate effectively using real actors and sets.
However, there is plenty of cause to be optimistic about this new project. The movie will be released as part of the Warner Animation Group, which has recently had massive success with The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie. Those films took a hugely popular and long-standing franchise and successfully updated it for a modern film-going audience. Perhaps they can turn a similar trick with Scoob.
- Scooby (2020) release date: May 15, 2020