James Gunn Would Make an R-Rated Scooby-Doo Movie If He Had the Time

An R-rated Scooby-Doo movie is not outside the realm of possibility according to a filmmaker with direct involvement in the franchise. Back in 2002, the first live-action Scooby-Doo movie was released in theaters by director Raja Gosnell and screenwriter James Gunn. Gosnell would also return to helm 2004’s Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed with Gunn also penning the sequel’s script. There had been tentative plans for Gunn to write and direct the third installment, but the film never came to fruition.

In subsequent years, Gunn has kept particularly busy with his work in superhero movie franchises. He is currently gearing up for the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to close out the Marvel Cinematic Universe trilogy following the great success of the first two films. Over at Warner Bros., Gunn has also found success with last year’s release of The Suicide Squad along with its HBO Max spinoff series, Peacemaker, which has a second season in the works.


With so much keeping him busy lately, Gunn does not have the time to commit to another major project right now. Apparently, that’s also the only thing that’s keeping him from pursuing a new live-action Scooby-Doo movie that brings back the original cast but with a twist by making the film R-rated. After Scooby-Doo 1 & 2 star Freddie Prinze Jr. tweeted that Warner Bros. would never release such a film, Gunn disagreed, but stated he just didn’t have time to make it.

“Rightly or wrongly they don’t have the guts to make that movie,” Prinze said.

“I think they’d do it if we asked,” Gunn tweeted back. “I just don’t think I have the time right now!”

Related: Velma: Everything We Know About the Scooby-Doo Spinoff Series

Scooby-Doo Will Present a More Adult Take on the Franchise With Velma

Perhaps James Gunn is onto something, as Warner Bros. has given Mindy Kaling some leeway with putting an adult spin on Scooby-Doo. She is currently working on Velma, a reimagining that will focus on Velma solving mysteries without the help of Scooby or the Mystery Machine. The HBO Max series is geared for mature Scooby-Doo fans, as a first look image had Velma coming across a mutilated corpse. Kaling has also revealed how this Velma just happens to be of Indian descent, which sparked some social media backlash at the time of the announcement.

“She’s such a great character, she’s so smart, and I just couldn’t understand how people couldn’t imagine a really smart nerdy girl with terrible eyesight who loved to solve mysteries could not be Indian,” Kaling said on Late Night with Seth Meyers. “Like, there are Indian nerds. It shouldn’t be a surprise to people, but people are like, ‘No, no, no.’ By the way, this is a small percentage of people, but it really made me think, ‘Okay, we’ve got to be really careful with this character.’ Which we will be, because we love her, and we’ll have great adventures.”

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