Tim Sheridan Interview Reveals New Details About Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island
Apologies this is a bit late, as news of this did break last week but I didn't have time to write up a post until today.
My good friend Mike Jozic over at A Podcast Named Scooby-Doo recently did an interview with Tim Sheridan (the writer who wrote both 13th Ghost and Gourmet Ghost), which has shed some interesting light on aspects of why Curse of the 13th Ghost was written the way it was. He also revealed some implied details about the upcoming Zombie Island sequel, supposedly set for release later this year.
A lot of fans were frustrated by the film's lack of Scrappy. Sheridan reveals in the podcast that WB directly told him that he could not include Scrappy or Flim Flam in the film at all.
"When we went into this, there were voices that said, you'll deem the parameters, but no Flim Flam, and no Scrappy." Sheridan tells us.
However, being a fan of the original series, Sheridan chose to override WB's initial warnings of including such a controversial character. While he attempted to include both Scrappy and Flim Flam, he found that during the writing process, only Flim Flam could be worked in within the strict parameters that WB gave him.
"I could not make Scrappy work with the story that I was telling. I felt strongly that I could do something to redeem Flim Flam and make him a little more of a compelling character. I would have loved to have make that work with Scrappy, but I'm not the guy to do it. Hopefully, you'll get that in another movie."
Additionally, Sheridan tackles another one of the biggest criticisms of the film in this podcast. Many fans were upset with this film not providing a clear ending to the original series.
"There have been a couple times where the ghosts were real. Traditionally in Scooby-Doo, the ghosts have not been real. That sort of overall question mark is what led us into this in the first place." Sheridan reveals.
In this interview, he clarifies that the ending was not intended to be a cop-out which was untrue to the original series. In fact, the ending was an attempt to satisfy both sides of the spectrum.
"If you are a person who believes ghosts are real in their universe, there's an argument to be made that things are real and it really happened. And if you're a skeptic, there are reasons included in this story that it could have all been a complete scam. I don't feel like that was a cop-out. We wanted to make sure everyone got a sequel to the series that they wanted."
You all are probably aware by now that a sequel to Zombie Island will be released for the 50th anniversary sometime this year. Many fans have expressed worries that the sequel might not stay true to the original, citing Curse of the 13th Ghost as failing to do this.
Though Sheridan didn't necessarily reassure fans about this, or even confirm the existence of the movie, he did strongly hint at it and gave us the lens WB will be most likely writing Return to Zombie Island from.
"Thematically, let's look at this like it's a sequel story to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" Sheridan hypothesizes. "We also included Zombie Island in that sort of pass...we needed to do that for other reasons."
So, this likely means that Return to Zombie Island will be written in this same style as Curse of the 13th Ghost was, as an extended Where Are You adventure. I'm presuming the focus on the original series here is because of the 50th anniversary.
Though I was initially frustrated with the way the movie ended, I'm quite a bit happier now with Tim Sheridan's explanation here. It sounds like there was a genuine effort made to make it close to the original as possible. I like that they chose to try to make both groups of fans happy by leaving the ending up for interpretation! It was a clever way to look at the film, and I'm glad to hear it wasn't just a "we can't think of an ending, let's make the ghost fake" type thing. I'm a bit nervous for Return to Zombie Island, however, as that series was far more mature than Where Are You, and that's one of the things that makes the film so popular. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
You can listen to Mike's full interview with Tim Sheridan, and also his interview with Grey Griffin, on A Podcast Named Scooby-Doo here.