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20 Years Later, James Gunn Would Like You to Know He’s Still Mad About ‘Scooby-Doo’

Gunn complained that his scripts for the live action films were watered down to procure a PG rating.

James Gunn

James Gunn

Getty Images

Years before he became one of Hollywood’s top superhero movie directors, James Gunn wrote two live-action “Scooby Doo” movies. “Scooby-Doo” and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” both starred Linda Cardellini, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, and Neil Fanning as the beloved Hanna-Barbera characters, with Raja Gosnell directing both movies. While the material might seem like a natural fit for Gunn’s comedic sensibilities, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director is not thrilled with how the finished products.

Gunn recently took to Twitter to air his grievances about what he saw as unnecessary interference from Warner Bros. on the films. When an official Netflix Twitter account announced that the films will be streaming on Netflix next month, Gunn responded by expressing his distaste for how the films turned out.

“Destroying mysteries 20 years later,” he wrote.

According to Gunn, the first movie was planned as a comedy aimed at a slightly older audience than the franchise normally pursues, with the production team targeting a PG-13 rating.

“The first Scooby-Doo was originally intended (by me, the producers & the director, Raja Gosnell) to be PG-13, but we never got a PG-13 rating,” Gunn wrote. “The first rating from the MPAA was R, & then a bunch of stuff was changed, & that cut ended up being rated PG.”

While Gunn is disappointed in the way those changes turned out, don’t expect to see the R-rated cut of the film released any time soon. When a fan asked if he would have any interest in using the original assets to complete the film, he replied “I’m sure they’re mostly all gone.”

This is not the first time Gunn has complained about being unable to realize his vision on the live-action “Scooby-Doo” films. In 2020, he revealed that he wanted to portray Linda Cardellini’s Velma as a lesbian character, but those plans had to be scrapped due to studio pushback.

“In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script,” he wrote. “But the studio just kept watering it down & watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version) & finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”

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