Millennials will remember that Hanna-Barbera’s classic supernatural cartoon series Scooby-Doo was adapted into two live-action movies in the early ‘00s. The movies had a meta sense of humor, middling CGI effects, and Matthew Lillard disappearing into the role of Shaggy.
There is a new Scooby-Doo movie on the way, but it’s not being shot in live-action. In fact, it will be the first-ever theatrically released animated movie based on the Scooby-Doo cartoons, which is certainly exciting for fans of the old series. So, ahead of its 2020 release, here is Everything We Know (So Far) About The Upcoming Animated Scooby-Doo Movie.
10 It’s called Scoob
For whatever legal reason, the new animated Scooby-Doo movie will be called Scoob. It was originally called S.C.O.O.B., suggesting a sci-fi angle, but this was later changed to just Scoob. The first film adaptation of the series, a live-action movie released in 2002, was called Scooby-Doo, while its 2004 sequel was called Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
So, either Hanna-Barbera can’t legally use the title of a movie that was already produced, registered, and released, or they simply want to give it a new title to differentiate it from those earlier movies and dismiss any expectations that the new movie will share similarities with the other films.
9 The movie is an origin story
According to Warner Bros., Scoob “reveals how [Scooby-Doo] and his best friend Shaggy became two of the world’s most beloved crime busters. The story takes us back to where it all began, when a young Scooby and Shaggy first meet, and team up with Daphne, Velma, and Fred to launch Mystery Incorporated.” So, it seems as though this will be an origin story that goes way, way back to the formation of Mystery, Inc.
The first movie adaptation of the show began with Mystery, Inc. breaking up, so this one looks like it could be totally different with the opposite setup.
8 It’ll be the first installment in the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe
Ever since Marvel found a way to get everyone in the world to show up to their movies three times a year by making them all connect with one another. After attempts at cinematic universes by DC Comics, Universal Monsters, Star Wars, and even Activision, the latest company to throw their hat into the cinematic universe ring is Hanna-Barbera, who will be developing an interconnected universe based on their classic cartoons.
Scoob will be the first one, but film adaptations of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Wacky Races will follow. In fact, Scoob will already introduce Dick Dastardly, Captain Caveman, Dee Dee Sykes, and Blue Falcon.
7 It has a tremendous voice cast
Frank Welker, who is famous for voicing both Scooby-Doo and Fred in the cartoons, will only be playing Scooby in the movie, because Zac Efron has been cast as Fred. Will Forte will be voicing Shaggy – with Young Sheldon star Iain Armitage playing a young Shaggy, presumably in a flashback sequence – while Amanda Seyfried is playing Daphne and Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez is playing Velma.
Some equally big stars are playing characters from the wider Hanna-Barbera universe: Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman; Kiersey Clemons as Dee Dee Sykes; Ken Jeong as Dynomutt, Dog Wonder; Jason Isaacs as Dick Dastardly; and Mark Wahlberg as Blue Falcon.
6 Dick Dastardly will be the main villain
Rather than Old Man Jenkins dressed up as a ghost, the main villain of the new Scooby-Doo movie will be Dick Dastardly from Wacky Races. It’s the kind of thing that will either work really well or fail miserably.
He’ll be played by Jason Isaacs, who is no stranger to villainous roles after playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise and the Inquisitor in Star Wars: Rebels. If he doesn’t say, “Drat, drat, and double drat!” or “Curses, foiled again!” or “Triple drat!” at some point in the movie, then a lot of Wacky Races fans are going to be bitterly disappointed.
5 The director of The Edge of Seventeen is working on the script
Kelly Fremon Craig, the writer and director of the excellent Hailee Steinfeld-led coming-of-age dramedy The Edge of Seventeen, is one of the four screenwriters who have a credit on the script for Scoob.
Craig has also performed uncredited rewrites on the critically acclaimed Transformers spin-off Bumblebee, which also starred Steinfeld, and she’s helming a film adaptation of the book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Matt Lieberman has also contributed to the screenplay. He’s the writer behind Netflix’s iffy The Christmas Chronicles, the upcoming stop-motion animated The Addams Family movie, and Ryan Reynolds’ meta video game action comedy Free Guy.
4 It was originally set to be released in 2018
A reboot of the Scooby-Doo film franchise was announced by Warner Bros. as far back as 2014. The first release date set for the movie was September 21, 2018. In some parallel universe, we all saw a very different version of this movie eight months ago.
The release date that Warner Bros. have finally settled on is May 15, 2020. So, it’s just less than a year away. Rather than bump the release date back a few months at a time until it eventually settled in 2020, Warner Bros. pushed it back the full two years to 2020 in one fell swoop in 2017.
3 Dax Shepard was originally set to co-direct
In the early stages of development, Dax Shepard was set to co-direct the film with Tony Cervone. However, before too long, Shepard left the project and Cervone will direct on his own. Although Cervone isn’t as recognizable a name as Shepard, the shake-up makes sense. Shepard has no previous experience with animation, whereas Cervone has been in the animation game for years.
He’s worked on Space Jam, Tom and Jerry, and even some Scooby-Doo projects, on all aspects of the animation production process: directing, writing, producing, storyboarding, design work, even voice acting. So, as sad as it is to see Shepard go, Cervone will probably do a better job with it.
2 This is the first theatrically released animated Scooby-Doo movie
One of the distinctions that puts Scoob head and shoulders above most of the glut of franchise reboots flooding theaters in the coming months is the fact that it’s the first ever theatrically released animated Scooby-Doo movie.
There have been animated made-for-TV movies based on Scooby-Doo before and we had those two live-action movies in 2002 and 2004, but this will be the first time a feature-length animated Scooby-Doo movie has been given a theatrical release. Warner Bros. seem to be leaning into this landmark in its marketing of the movie, since its official statement about the plot proudly advertised the film as “the first full-length, theatrical animated Scooby-Doo adventure.”
1 Scooby looks a lot slicker in the reboot
In the pair of live-action Scooby-Doo movies that were released in the early ‘00s, some viewers thought that Scooby looked creepier than the monsters. This was because CGI technology was still in its infancy, and so effects that looked great back then look like something from a PS2 game today.
The new reboot recently revealed the first look at its updated version of Scooby and it’s much slicker than the previous one. He has the classic look from the old cartoons, losing none of his personality, but the shading and fur look a lot more photorealistic. Maybe in 18 years, this one will look weird and terrible like the 2002 one. Computer technology is only getting better.