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How Velma is expanding its inclusion in the ‘Scooby-Doo’ franchise – The Hollywood Reporter

In early October, two weeks before the hard disk release of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on October 18 Trick or treat Scooby-Doo!The animated feature has created a wave of attention online.

While watching the digital premiere live on video, eager fans know that the film has done what only a few previous creators in the world have done. Scooby-Doo universe has even openly attempted to do so in the franchise’s five-decade history. Director Audie Harrison gave Velma a female love affair with Coco Diablo, a woman of color and the fashionista behind all you love. Scooby-Doo villain.

“Creating Coco Diablo was originally just a nice way to streamline some of the ideas in the story, but we quickly realized the dramatic and comedic potential of Velma falling in love with a villain, “Harrison talks about the creative mechanics behind Velma’s homosexuality and her love interest. “The sinister head of the masquerade and Velma’s lover are two different people, but as soon as we combined them into one, we realized that a comedic yellow spot could emerge from a complex such a dilemma.”

with Trick or Treat In the film, the iconic character is portrayed not only as a romantic interest in someone — a rarity for a nerdy teen detective — but also someone else. other more than one man. Aside from the film deftly toying with the franchise’s age-old treatment with Fred as its frontman and Daphne as the prostitute, Velma’s plot is driven by the director’s desire to explore the “potential humor of these classic characters” and inspired by the live-action comedy from Plane! and nude gun.

“Put Velma on an emotional roller coaster while trying to woo her while also protecting Coco’s suspicious activities from the rest of Mystery Inc. Scooby-Doo universe also includes animation for Scooby-Doo live-action 2: Monsters unleashed.

Fred, Daphne, Coco Diablo and Velma in 'Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo'

Fred, Daphne, Coco Diablo and Velma in ‘Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo’

Warner Bros.

The film, which premiered directly to fans a few days later at New York Comic Con, will see its historic moment quickly followed by another: a first look at the animated series HBO Max video led by Mindy Kaling velvet.

Debuting to an excited audience at the country’s largest entertainment and pop culture convention, fans have been enjoying watching the upcoming adult comedy-animated film that plans to tackle the Velma version. How first in Southeast Asia. It was a move based on Kaling’s own love for the character and his personal belief that “there is no way gangs are defined by their innocence, except for Fred” – a notion that has gained traction. cheers from the audience.

Kaling and executive producer Charlie Grandy will also reveal during the 30-minute Q&A that their series will explore Velma’s sexuality. While the duo remained tight-lipped about how that would play out, voice actress Velma and the EP ended up referring to the “love quadrangle” in the room after the first episode aired. .

“I don’t want to divulge any details but a lot of the characters have sexual tension with Velma, which is interesting,” she said. “Her journey of self-discovery is what really drew us to this story and character. So we wanted to honor other interpretations of what we consider truly modern.”

When it comes to the extent to which the show intends to focus on those identity-based elements in a narrative way, Grandy notes that there will be “cultural differences but with a really light touch.” “.

“We don’t deal with the big issues of race. We don’t deal with big issues of gender identity,” he added. “I think it was largely down to us deciding, ‘Okay, we have this really aggressive mystery and we want to serve this. How can we do all this?’”

Despite its historical significance, Harrison, Kaling, and Grandy’s Velmas isn’t the first or only instance of the franchise portraying a character’s racial or gender identity as something other than white or straight or off-screen.

Theatrical release 2020 Tiger! saw her voiced by Golden Globe winner and Puerto Rican actress Gina Rodriguez. And in the late 2000s, actress and singer Hayley Kiyoko, who is half Japanese and has since publicly identified herself as a lesbian, played the teenage detective in two films. live animation for television, Scooby-Doo! The mystery begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the lake monster.

Velma’s gender identity is also of interest to James Gunn, who wrote the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo film directed by Raja Gosnell. Gunn has repeatedly pointed out his own unsuccessful attempts – acknowledged at the time the film was first released – to turn Linda Cardellini’s Velma into an eminently lesbian on screen. And in the 2010s Scooby Doo: Mysterious CombinationAccording to TV series producer Tony Cervone, Velma was written as an on-screen sentimental lesbian.

Linda Cardellini as Velma

Linda Cardellini as Velma in ‘Scooby-Doo’

Still, both the Halloween movie and the upcoming streaming series are the clearest signs that the long-running series considers diversity and inclusion tied to its continuation in some way. It also points to Velma’s strength, in particular, as one of the best means of doing so.

“I think Velma gets along very well with a lot of different people because she’s the only one in the group who isn’t objectively ‘cool’,” says Harrison. “Fred is confident and handsome. Daphne is bold and beautiful. Shaggy and Scooby are a cool, laid-back couple (when they’re not afraid of monsters). But Velma is a bit eccentric. She can be overthinking and obsessive about things, socially awkward, shy, and always losing her glasses.”

“Velma is also a genius in what she does and completely owns who she is,” he continued. “So in many ways, she’s the most real and admirable character in the group.”

During the NYCC panel, Kaling explained how Mystery Inc. how lacking cultural specificity — as a group defined more by their traits and roles than anything else — she was able to see herself more in the character.

“When I was growing up, I always identified with Velma. She’s cute but not traditionally hot — [she was] Super smart [with] Kaling said. “I think most Asian-American girls can see this cynical, hard-working, and unappreciated personality and they can identify with her.”

For Grandy, Velma’s trait is “the most defined one,” but not in a creatively restrained way.

“I watched the original and there were some classics, but they reinvented it. So it’s not like you’re doing Batman. That gave us some freedom, velvet EP said. “And I think everyone has the feeling, ‘I’m the one doing all the work. I’m smart, but I’m not in the front seat. Fred and Daphne sat in the front seat. I’m sitting in the back seat with Shaggy and the dog.’ It’s not just aspiration. It is related.

Although Velma is a character that all three admit is very easy to impose on themselves, it is her personality and role in the group along with her sense of humor that also makes her so attractive in the series. story.

“From a comedy standpoint, it’s a great character. Velma is the smartest person in the room, but not to be trusted either way,” Grandy explained. “So what would it be like to do an origin story about that person when they were still pretty rough, before everyone in this gang got to work, when they could still make mistakes from time to time and could a little. shortcoming?

While Harrison admits there is a danger in “interfering” with his “magic formula”. Scooby-Doo too much, he notes that the franchise and Velma’s cross-generational and cross-cultural viability can be tied to IP’s growth potential.

“It may not be possible to pinpoint exactly what makes up the characters of Scooby-Doo really durable. Maybe that’s the appeal of their character design. Maybe it’s their lovable personality. Or maybe it’s the right combination of fun and spooky. Or that it’s all just too hot,” he said CHEAP. Whatever it is, I think these characters are so ingrained in our culture that the only way to keep them fresh and interesting is to watch them evolve through interpretations. difference.”




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