“Scooby-Doo” writer James Gunn would’ve gotten away with making Velma Dinkley “explicitly gay” in the live-action films if it weren’t for those meddling studio executives.
When the beloved cartoon hit the big screen in the early 2000s, Gunn initially intended to update it as a more mature film geared toward adults who’d grown up with Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby, with the gang played by, respectively, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard and Neil Fanning.
Part of his vision, he has revealed, was to make Velma gay in his films ― the LGBTQ community has long claimed the bespectacled detective as one of their own ― until Warner Bros. intervened.
Responding to a fan who via Twitter on Sunday called for Gunn to make their “live-action lesbian Velma dreams come true,” the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director revealed it was his plan all along.
“I tried! In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script,” Gunn answered. “But the studio just kept watering it down and watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version), and finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”
In the critically panned 2004 follow-up, “Monsters Unleashed,” Velma falls for museum creator Patrick, prompting her to undergo a Daphne-assisted makeover that sees Cardellini ditching her signature turtleneck for an orange-leather catsuit.
Gunn went onto add in a separate tweet that deleted scenes from the first film hint at what he was trying to accomplish with Velma’s character in the original script before the studio stepped in.
On the 15th anniversary of the first film back in 2017, he detailed how Warner Bros turned his screenplay into a “clean-cut children’s film,” noting that the first pass of the movie was rated R.
“I had loved the character of Scooby-Doo since I was a kid and was excited at the prospect of making a live action film with 2002′s cutting CGI technology,” the 53-year-old Gunn wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. “Yes, it was not exactly what we planned going out ― I had written an edgier film geared toward older kids and adults, and the studio ended pushing it into a clean-cut children’s film. And, yes, the rumors are true ― the first cut was rated R by the MPAA, and the female stars’ cleavage was CGI’d away so as not to offend.”
And while a third film in the franchise was cancelled after the sequel underperformed, that hasn’t stopped Gunn from cooking up some ideas for future adventures.
Earlier this year, Gunn revealed he would’ve taken the Mystery Inc. sleuths on a wild ride in the third film that would’ve forced the gang to come to terms “with their own prejudices & narrow belief systems.”