When animated reboot Scoob! reaches theaters, it will be the first time in about 16 years that Mystery Incorporated have made the jump to the big screen. The first two times were the duo of live-action Scooby-Doo movies that released in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Scooby fans who grew up with the films remember them very fondly, in no small part due to the script from future Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn.
Unfortunately, Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed didn’t earn enough at the box office to get a third installment greenlit. But if it had, Gunn would have been the one to direct it, taking over from Raja Gosnell, who did the first two. The filmmaker revealed this news during an Instagram Q&A over the weekend. When asked why Scooby-Doo 3 never happened, Gunn explained:
“I made a deal to write and direct #3 back in 2004 but the second one, although it did well, didn’t do well enough to warrant a third, so the movie was never made.”
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While that must have been a disappointment at the time, Gunn is still grateful for that experience when looking back. He revealed that he learned the directing ropes on those movies, which is what prepared him to return to franchise filmmaking many years later for Guardians.
“That said it was because I apprenticed as a director on those films I was ready and able to take on Guardians when the time came,”
The Scooby-Doo duology starred Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini and Matthew Lillard as the ghost-busting foursome. Gunn has previously revealed that he originally intended for his first script to be an adult-oriented effort, but the studio eventually cut more and more of the risque material until it was family-friendly. One of Gunn’s initial plans was for Velma to be portrayed as a lesbian.
As for Scoob!, a new all-star cast has been lined up for that, including Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried and Mark Wahlberg. It’s scheduled for May 15th, but that could well change given the current health crisis.