News broke this week that Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma will all be featured in a new animated movie to be released in September 2018. The press release states the the “film marks a reintroduction of Hanna-Barbera animated favorites to moviegoers everywhere” which might make some fans nervous. The release doesn’t state if Warner Bros. would focus on the traditional-looking characters and personalities or the new version of the upcoming Be Cool Scooby-Doo! TV series that will debut on Boomerang this fall. (The style of the artwork and story-telling will be significantly different than what we are used to and looks similar to the animated Family Guy series, that is anything but family-friendly.) The Boomerang series was initially to be shown on Cartoon Network.
The new film is said to reunite Oscar-nominated producers Charles Roven and Richard Suckle who worked on the last two Scooby-Doo movies which were live-action and CGI animated and became a disappointment to fans. But the good news is that the pair will be joined by producer Allison Abbate who worked on The Iron Giant and the Oscar-nominated Fantastic Mr. Fox. (She did also produce Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie, but we can let that slide for now.)
The new film will be directed by Tony Cervone, a multiple Emmy Award nominee and was fully involved in the previous Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated series, which is probably the best version of Scooby and his friends to date, so that’s good. However, the “visionary” Dan Povenmire (Phineas and Ferb and the aforementioned Family Guy) is said to bring his “creative sensibilities” to the film as well. Finally, the screenplay is written by Matt Lieberman who was responsible for Dr. Dolitle: Tail to the Chief, a film that nobody has ever heard of.
So, does this movie have a change to be any good? Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development seems to thinks so. “Like countless fans, I have always loved the Hanna-Barbera cast of characters,” he acknowledges in the press release. “As one of their most famous brand ambassadors, Scooby-Doo will take the lead in re-introducing this pantheon of enduringly popular animated stars on a grand scale with an exciting new movie.” Dan Fellman, President of Domesic Distribution agreed saying, “It’s always a treat to see Scooby-Doo on the big screen and to share his larger-than-life adventures with audiences. As anticipation grows throughout production, the movie’s mid-September release date should start the fall season with a burst of fun.” Finally, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, Preident of Worldwide Distribution had this to say: “Scooby-Doo and his friends have the kind of universal appeal that reaches across cultures as well as generations. We expect this new take on the franchise to generate even more fans around the world.”
That last comment makes me the most nervous. Why do we need a “new take” of the Scooby-Doo brand? Still, I don’t want to judge book by its cover or a movie by its poster. This could be great. It could. We’ll see.