It's been announced that NYCC will feature several Scooby related events. (The full New York Comic Con schedule can be found here.) A special screening of Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo will take place on Friday, October 7 at New York Comic Con at 5:15pm. Here's the official press release snippet:
Don your Halloween costume and celebrate the spooky season with Scooby and the Mystery Inc. crew! Join us for an exclusive Scoobtober treat (no tricks, we promise) – the premiere screening of the all-new animated adventure, “Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!” Enjoy games, goodies, giveaways and more!
In addition, a panel will take place featuring Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy, along with some other special guests in which they will give the audience a sneak peak at the first episode of Velma. Here's the official press snippet:
From Warner Bros. Animation, Velma is an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. An original and humorous spin that unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers. Join executive producer Mindy Kaling who voices Velma along with showrunner Charlie Grandy and special guests for a sneak peek at the first episode.
There has been some recent speculation that the Velma series will be cancelled due to WB-Discovery's new CEO David Zaslav's cancellation of Scoob! Holiday Haunt, as well as a trademark site listing that the name had been abandoned. However, a tweet by animation revisionist Fernando Caire seems to hint that the series may be going ahead after all!
"This fall I will be starting my very first animation gig as a revisionist on Velma at Warner Brothers!" Fernando said in the tweet. "It's been a long journey and I'm so thankful to all my mentors and friends who kept pushing me forward!"
It seems we'll have to stay tuned for more info, but looks like we shouldn't count Velma out yet!
After last week's news that the trademark for Velma had been abandoned, most fans assumed that the show was dead. However, Deadline reported that an email sent out to WB employees mentioned Velma as if it was still happening. Here's the exact quote from the email:
Suzanna Makkos will now report into Amy Gravitt, Head of Comedy and EVP, Programming for HBO. Suzanna has led an incredibly successful comedy slate for Max Originals, punctuated by the acclaimed, Emmy-winning series Hacks, as well as The Sex Lives of College Girls, Rap S**t, and Julia, and also animated series including the upcoming Velma and Young Love. This transition will align our scripted comedy slate under one powerhouse, genre-redefining team; and by unifying this department under Amy, we’ll be able to maximize our effectiveness in continuing to build out our slate across both the HBO and Max Originals brand.
Based on this, it seems like Velma may not have been cancelled after all. It still doesn't explain the trademark news from last week, but it's exciting to know that Holiday Haunt may be the only Scooby production that is not moving forward at the moment. Credit goes to Hippyboy86 for posting this news on the ScoobyAddicts forum.
According to Trademarkia.com, a site housing legal trademarks and legal registrations, the trademark for the Velma series has been abandoned. The original trademark was registered on the day the series was first announced, February 10, 2021, but Trademarkia lists that on July 11, 2022, Jeanene Jobst of Warner Brothers officially filed to abandon the trademark. This means that Warner Brothers is no longer interested in the series. It doesn't necessarily mean that other networks will not pick up the series, but it presumably means that the series will not happen and will likely be cancelled soon.
A member of the ScoobyAddicts forum with an associate that has a connection within Hanna-Barbera Studios also shared what seems to be an internal record from a different site, which confirms the same information about the abandoned trademark. (This can be seen above)
While there has been no official announcement that the series is cancelled, this seems to imply that Velma is no longer moving forward.
Thank you to Hippyboy86 and Dizagaox from the ScoobyAddicts forum for sharing this information!
Warner Brothers shared a bit more information about the upcoming Velma series today at the Annecy Festival in France. According to Variety, some more images were revealed at the festival that showed more of the supernatural elements in this series. One image apparently shows a woman transforming into a monster with a long neck, and another showed Velma's face being completely enveloped in the arms of a snake-like creature. In addition, it was revealed a major focus point of the series will be Velma investigating the overarching mystery of her mother's disappearance.
The Executive Vice President of alternative programming at Warner Brothers Animation, Peter Girardi, shared that “we’ve seen these characters in preschool and 6-11 shows, but now evolving them into an adult animation space has been something we’ve been working on for a long time."
None of these images have been released to the general public yet.
After the first look at Velma yesterday was revealed, including a nude woman and someone with their head cracked open, series creator Mindy Kaling took to Twitter to clarify some backlash the series was receiving about being too edgy. Mindy explained that the plots revolve around "legit scary mystery stories where [Velma]'s the protagonist" to ensure the audience that Velma would not be put in overly inappropriate situations just for the sake of doing it. Mindy also assured everyone that the story is intended to be authentic to high school life and that she is a real teen, presumably responding to criticisms that Velma would only be a one-dimensional racial stereotype rather than a real three-dimensional person. Mindy additionally shared that "her past isn't troubled, it's sPooOoKy!" A screenshot of her tweets have been posted above.
WARNING: The image at the top of this post may be NSFW due to violence and implied nudity.
According to Deadline, at the Warner Brothers Discovery Upfront today, our first look at Velma was revealed in the image above. The image shows the design for Velma, and demonstrates that the series may be a bit graphic. The concept of the series has received considerable backlash online due to how much it differs from the previous library of Scooby-Doo media. However, Mindy Kaling, the series creator and executive producer, was upfront those criticizing the show at the upfront today.
“Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don’t care.” Mindy says.
Mindy had also previously addressed those criticizing the show in her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
"When it was announced that I was going to do the voice of Velma, people were very supportive and happy on Twitter. And so I felt great,” Mindy informed. “Then it was announced a month ago that the Velma character would be reimagined as South Asian. And people were not happy. There was a lot of, like, ‘So not Velma!’ Those kind of tweets. ‘Not the classic Velma that I’m always thinking about.'”
This encouraged Mindy to be careful when taking on the role of the classic character she will be voicing, and ensure she was not portraying Velma with any stereotypes of how people of Asian descent are supposed to be "nerdy." but she also was critical of people challenging Velma's race when they know little about the show. She argues that if a talking dog can solve mysteries, then Velma can be brown.
There's still no date announced for this origin story for Velma, but the fact that it was shown at the Warner Brothers Discovery Upfront potentially hints it may be coming within the next year or so.
According to Tyler Turett on Instagram, the series Velma is in production now! It's not clear if the picture above is the animation for the series, but I'm leaning towards assuming it is not. Hopefully this means we'll get more info about the series soon!
The lead character designer, Adam Fay, also posted on Instagram confirming that production began for the show on June 1. Adam confirmed that the image on his post wasn't the official animation of the show, so I would presume the other one is not the official animation either.
Update: There's also this post on LinkedIn stating that WB is hiring for a storyboard artist on Velma, meaning they must be in a very early production stage!
The WarnerMedia Keynote speech from the TV Kids Summer Festival 2021 has given us a little more info on the new Velma series! Velma will be of East Asian decent in the show, and the show is taking place in "a different world" where there's no van. Scooby will also not appear at all in the show, though Shaggy, Daphne and Fred will appear. All this information is at the 21 minute mark of the video here.
Thanks so much to B for sharing this info with me! :)
HBO Max has just announced the release of a new Scooby-Doo series for adults, titled "Velma" via Deadline. The series will tell the origin story of Velma Dinkley, with Velma to be voiced by Mindy Kaling. Executive producing the show will be Sam Register, Howard Klein and Charlie Grandy. The show will be produced by Warner Brothers Animation. Sam Register has also worked as an executive on many of the recent Scooby-Doo series. The series will reportedly have adult themes and will not be appropriate for all audiences. No further info about release date is available at this time.
Update: The first season will be 10 episodes long. It was also described as "a humorous spin" on the classic by Warner Brothers Press. Mindy Kaling also posted on Instagram about the series, saying that it will follow "the pitfalls of high school, her budding sexuality, and a serial killer intent on murdering every popular kid in town."