23 wild facts about the Scooby-Doo movies we bet you didn’t know
11 September 2020, 11:41 | Updated: 11 September 2020, 11:45
The original cast for Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed was almost completely different.
True fans of cinema know that Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed are two of the greatest films of all time.
The animated series raised an entire generation and the live-action films raised another. First things first, they were perfectly cast (Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard and Neil Fanning did THAT!). Secondly, they had iconic settings (someone still needs to make a real Spooky Island). And, if that weren't enough, they were hilarious.
How well do you ACTUALLY know both films though? Like all great franchises, there are many secrets and wild facts about the Scooby-Doo movies and we've collated all the most shocking ones in one place for you to lose your mind over.
1) The first live-action movie initially went into development in 1994.
Yes. A live-action Scooby-Doo was in the works for a long time. Producer Charles Roven began developing it in 1994. Many casts and scripts were considered but it was only in October 2001 that Warner Bros. Pictures gave the film the green light and hired Raja Gosnell to direct it.
2) Jim Carrey was originally signed on to play Shaggy.
In 1996, Jim Carrey was attached to play the iconic role of Shaggy. Following production delays, he left the project and Mike Myers was in the running before Matthew Lillis was cast. We have no doubt that Jim would have been great but no one can play Shaggy like Matthew.
3) Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Isla Fisher were all considered to play Daphne.
Before Sarah Michelle Gellar became Daphne as we know her, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Isla Fisher were all up for the part. Raja eventually decided that Sarah was the best fit but he loved Isla so much that he cast her as Mary Jane.
4) Alyssa Milano, Carla Gugino and Christina Ricci were all considered to play Velma.
Just like Sarah Michelle Gellar with Daphne, Linda Cardellini wasn't the only actress shortlisted to play Velma. Linda beat out Charmed's Alyssa Milano, Spy Kids' Carla Gugino and The Adamms Family's Christina Ricci during the audition process.
5) The first movie was shot in Queensland, Australia.
Scooby-Doo may be a key piece of American culture but the first live-action film was shot in and around Queensland, Australia on a budget of $84 million.
6) The movie was shot in an actual theme park.
While Spooky Island doesn't actually exist, Scooby-Doo did use a real theme park as a set. All of the Spooky Island scenes were filmed in Warner Bros. Movie World theme park's Tangalooma Island Resort in Queensland, Australia.
7) There is a real-life Spooky Island rollercoaster.
While Scooby-Doo was being filmed, Warner Bros. Movie World constructed their own Spooky Island rollercoaster inspired by the castle in the film. Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster is still open to visitors today. It was revamped in 2018 but still stays true to the movie.
8) Velma was written as gay in the original script for the first movie.
In 2020, a fan asked Scooby-Doo writer James Gunn to "make our live-action lesbian Velma dreams come true." He replied: "I tried! In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script. 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)."
What could have been!
READ MORE: Scooby-Doo producer confirms Velma is gay
I tried! In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script. 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). 😐 https://t.co/Pxho6Ju1oQ— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 13, 2020
9) Velma and Daphne were supposed to kiss.
In 2002, Sarah Michelle Gellar revealed to Sci-Fi Wire that a Velma and Daphne kissing scene was sadly cut from the film. "It wasn’t just, like, for fun. Initially in the soul-swapping, Velma and Daphne could not seem to get their souls back together in the woods. And so the way they found was to kiss and the souls went back into proper alignment."
In 2020, James Gunn tweeted: "The movie was originally meant to be PG-13 & was cut down to PG after like 3 parents were outraged at a test screening in Sacramento. The studio decided to go a more family friendly route. Language and jokes and sexual situations were removed, including a kiss between Daphne and Velma."
Language and jokes and sexual situations were removed, including a kiss between Daphne and Velma. Cleavage was CGI’d over. But, thankfully, the farting remained.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 31, 2020
10) Shaggy was initially supposed to be a stoner.
In keeping with the film originally being more adult, Shaggy was supposed to be a stoner. While it's not mentioned in the live action movie, there are many references that allude to it. For example, Shaggy says that he's "toasted" in one scene and his love interest Mary Jane is literally named after marijuana.
11) Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. are a couple in real life.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Daphne) and Freddie Prinze Jr. (Fred) fans will already know this but the two stars are a couple. They met while filming I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997 and started dating in 2000. They got engaged in April 2001, married in September 2002 and they've been inseparable ever since. They have two children together.
Despite being together, neither of them knew they were both reading for Scooby-Doo when they were first sent the script.
12) Freddie Prinze Jr. didn’t want to play Fred initially but Sarah Michelle Gellar talked him into it.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was concerned about whether or not the movie would do justice to the animated series and almost turned it down. However, Sarah persuaded him to take part and the rest is history. Director Raja Gosnell was also keen that Fred and Daphne were played by a real life couple.
13) Freddie Prinze Jr. had to shave his hair after filming the first movie because the dye ruined his hair.
Even blockbuster actors have to make sacrifices for their art.
14) Sarah Michelle Gellar had to wear a wig as Daphne because she was filming Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the same time.
In other hair-related news, Sarah Michelle Gellar was wearing a red wig throughout the entire film due to her commitments to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Seeing as Buffy is blonde, Sarah wasn't able to dye her hair. In fact, Warner Bros. were so keen to have Sarah as Daphne that they arranged filming around her Buffy the Vampire Slayer schedule.
15) Neil Fanning who voiced Scooby was on set every day.
Despite only being a voice actor for Scooby, Neil Fanning was on set of the film every day so that he could build a genuine rapport with the cast. During filming, he and Matthew Lillard became really close just like Scooby and Shaggy.
16) The airport scene in the first movie initially included Fred, Velma and Daphne flashbacks.
In the airport scene where Mystery Inc. reunite, Fred, Velma and Daphne explain exactly what they've been doing since they split up. Fred says he's become a best-selling author, Velma brags that she works for NASA and Daphne claims that she is an expert in martial arts ("I have transformed my body into a dangerous weapon").
Initially, there were flashbacks to show how true these statements actually were. Fred didn't sell many books, Velma was in therapy and Daphne hadn't mastered martial arts. Raja Gosnell decided to cut them due to time but he released them as deleted scenes when the movie came out on video and DVD.
17) The Luna Ghost was originally supposed to be the main villain in Scooby-Doo.
Mystery Inc. may catch the Luna Ghost in the opening of the movie but the Luna Ghost was originally supposed to be the mastermind behind Spooky Island too. In the end, James Gunn decided that Scrappy-Doo was a better fit for the main villain.
18) Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed was released on the 35th anniversary of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
The sequel came out exactly 35 years after the first episode of the animated series aired on TV.
19) Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed was filmed in Vancouver, Canada.
Trading in Australia for Canada, all of Scooby-Doo 2 was filmed in Vancouver. In other words, everything you see, including the gang's hometown of Coolsville and the iconic Coolsonian Criminology Museum, was in Canada. A little under the first, the film was shot on a budget of $80 million.
20) All the actors did their own stunts in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
Every single one of them. Freddie Prinze Jr, in particular, was keen to do all of his motorbike stunts.
21) Scooby-Doo’s voice actor makes a cameo appearance in Monsters Unleashed.
When the gang are at the Faux Ghost, Scooby spits an egg into the cup of an intimidating man next to him. The unnamed character is Scooby-Doo's voice actor Neil Fanning making a cameo appearance in the film.
22) Matthew Lillard has voiced Shaggy in almost every cartoon since the films.
Ever since the live-action films came out, Matthew Lillard has been the go-to actor to voice Shaggy. However, in spite of his legacy, he wasn't approached to voice Shaggy in the 2020 film Scoob!. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Matthew said: "About Scoob, I don’t have a lot of nice things to say. I wish them well, I hope the movie does really well."
He added: "It was a drag. And I was surprised that happened. I like playing the part. I like having a legacy and a career that I’ve spent 30 years doing. So I like the fact that I was that part, and it was a bummer that it went a different way."
23) A third film was approved but later cancelled.
During filming of the second movie, Warner Bros. Pictures approved production for a third film, however, it never actually led to anything. In an Instagram Q&A in 2020, James Gunn said: "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."
As for the plot, he later tweeted: "The Mystery Ink gang are hired by a town in Scotland who complain they’re being plagued by monsters but we discover throughout the film the monsters are actually the victims & Scooby & Shaggy have to come to terms with their own prejudices & narrow belief systems. (Yes, Really!)".
The Mystery Ink gang are hired by a town in Scotland who complain they’re being plagued by monsters but we discover throughout the film the monsters are actually the victims & Scooby & Shaggy have to come to terms with their own prejudices & narrow belief systems. (Yes, Really!)— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 1, 2020
Who do we have to call to make Scooby-Doo 3 with the original cast finally happen?