Director James Gunn said that Warner Bros. 'watered down' Velma's queerness in 'Scooby-Doo'
- "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn tweeted that he originally tried to make Velma gay in the 2002 live-action "Scooby-Doo" movie but Warner Bros. wouldn't let him.
- Gunn, who wrote the film and its 2004 sequel, tweeted: "In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script."
- "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)," Gunn wrote.
James Gunn, who wrote the live-action 2002 "Scooby-Doo" movie and its 2004 sequel, said that Warner Bros. wouldn't let him make Velma gay in either film.
A fan tweeted the "Guardians of the Galaxy" director on Monday asking him to "make our live-action lesbian Velma dreams come true."
Gunn replied, confirming that it was his plan to make Velma "explicitly gay" in his "Scooby-Doo" script, but Warner Bros. resisted his attempts and slowly got rid of all mentions of Velma's queerness.
Gunn wrote: "I tried! In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script. 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)."
Insider has contacted Warner Bros. for comment.
—James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 13, 2020
The films starred Linda Cardellini as Velma, while Matthew Lillard played Shaggy, Freddie Prinze Jr. played Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar played Daphne, and Neil Fanning voiced Scooby. Rowan Atkinson played the first movie's villain.
"Scooby-Doo" was met with negative reviews, and currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 30% with the critical consensus reading: "Though Lillard is uncannily spot-on as Shaggy, Scooby-Doo is a tired live-action update, filled with lame jokes." However, the movie did gross a massive $275.7 million worldwide against an $84 million budget.
The sequel fared even worse, however, with a 22% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus reads: "Only the very young will get the most out of this silly trifle." Against a budget between $25 million and $80 million, "Monsters Unleashed" grossed $181.5 million worldwide, $90 million less than its predecessor.
The poor performance of the second movie resulted in the cancellation of a third movie, which Gunn was set to direct as well as write.
The animated reboot of the franchise, "Scoob!" was originally set for a theatrical run, but was instead given a VOD release due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Scoob!" stars Gina Rodriguez as Velma, who isn't gay in the movie, Zac Efron as Fred, Amanda Seyfried as Daphne, and Will Forte as Shaggy.
Gunn has gone to direct "Guardians of the Galaxy" and its sequel for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, two of the most acclaimed movies in the MCU. He was initially fired by Disney for controversial tweets, but was later rehired to direct a third "Guardians" movie, while he is also helming DC's "The Suicide Squad."
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