HBO Max’s Velma Is Set to Release in 2023

Official teaser for HBO Max’s Velma. | via HBO Max

by | Dec 9, 2022

HBO Max is set to bring back one of the most beloved animated classics, and the spotlight has shifted this time around. The original Scooby-Doo animated series debuted in 1969 and went on to receive a number of reiterations, ranging from live-action movies to games. Each version had a different take on the Hannah-Barbera classic. And that’s exactly what you can expect from Velma, focusing on the brains of the Scooby-Doo squad: Velma Dinkley.

Velma is targeted at a more mature audience

Velma will be HBO Max's animated series focusing on the iconic character from Scooby Doo.

HBO Max’s Velma will feature gore, murder, and profanity. | via HBO Max

The first trailer for Velma features an animation style similar to HBO Max’s Harley Quinn (2019-2022). The trailer debuted at the New York Comic Con, and it is certainly meant to appeal to a more mature audience.

Voiced by Mindy Kaling, the show presents you with the original story of its titular character – Velma, set before the Scooby-Doo party ever teamed up to solve “supernatural mysteries.”

The trailer beings with HBO Max’s quirky take on the outrage they received regarding their announcement of the Jetsons spin-off, featuring Judy Jetson.

As Velma expresses her disappointment by sending a criticizing text to the streamer, she gets a Scream-style mysterious phone call. The call is from a serial killer inside the house, an obvious reference, and the teaser ends with blood splatter on Velma’s window accompanied by a scream.

Obviously, the series does not progress with Velma’s murder being introduced. Nonetheless, a preview with profanity and murder certainly means that the show is not meant for kids.

An exclusive preview of Velma

HBO Max also shared a sneak peek of the series’ first episode at its New York Comic Con panel, one that was not shared online. According to IGN’s Matt Kim, the preview showed “a grizzly murder, profanity, and some butts.”

The preview begins with a voiceover from Mindy Kaling as Velma, telling the audience about the events that led to the formation of the greatest mystery-solving team ever. An obvious indication that the show will also feature the rest of the Scooby-Doo squad.

The preview begins in the girl’s locker room (“Sex sells,” according to Velma in the preview) where Daphne (Constance Wu) and Velma are there together when a body falls out of one of the lockers. The corpse turns out to be another student named Brenda who is missing her brain.

The mystery to find Brenda’s killer will unite crime-loving Velma with Daphne, who was Brenda’s ex-best friend. Daphne’s parents, who are cops, interrogate the two girls and give Velma 24 hours to solve the murder.

– via IGN

The preview also gave us a peek at a vain Fred, with Shaggy introduced as the final friend.

Velma is gay, but not according to the HBO Max series

Back in October, it was confirmed that Velma is gay. This fact has been obvious for a while now, but it was never made official. Clips from the new movie “Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!” show how Velma becomes enticed by costume designer Coco Diablo at first glance.

The scene beings with Velma bringing a box of Scooby snacks to the beloved Great Dane, walking past Fred and Daphne. That’s when Velma first lays her eyes on a woman with “Incredible Glasses!”, an “Amazing Turtleneck!”, the “Obviously Brilliant!” hairstyle with bangs, and an animal lover. The clip has already been viewed millions of times on Twitter, and fans are overjoyed with the official confirmation of Velma being lesbian.

Velma being lesbian is no big news. Previous Scooby-Doo writers and producers have even tried to depict her as such in the past. Tony Cervone, a producer for the 2010-2013 animated series “Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated” shared an image of Velma in 2020.

The image showed Velma beside Marcie, a friend and formal rival of Velma. The duo is present in front of the Pride flag, and Tony Cervone stated:

I obviously don’t represent every version of Velma Dinkley, but I am one of the key people that represents this one. We made our intentions as clear as we could ten years ago. Most of our fans got it. To those that didn’t, I suggest you look closer. There’s no new news here.

Sometime later, James Gunn, who wrote the live-action adaptation of Scooby-Doo (2002) and its sequel, tweeted how he had written Velma as “explicitly gay in my initial script.” Gunn mentioned how his idea received some backlash from Warner Bros.

“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),” Gunn said in the now-deleted tweet.

Despite creators finally embracing this fact, it seems like HBO Max did not get the memo, or maybe it got lost somewhere during development. In promotional material for the upcoming show, it is mentioned that Velma has a “secret crush” on Fred, who is dating Daphne.

Tweeted by the character’s official Twitter account, the post reads: “My secret crush on Fred has everything to do with Glenn Howerton’s casting.”

Of course, this does not set things in stone. Maybe the series will portray Velma as still exploring her sexuality.

Mindy Kaling leads an amazing cast

We have known since the show’s official announcement that Mindy Kaling will be bringing the unsung brains of the Scooby-Doo squad to life. Already known for her comedic endeavors in The Office and The Mindy Project, Kaling certainly brings a certain charm to the character’s voice.

The rest of the gang will also play a significant role in the series, and will be voiced by the following:

  • Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Fred
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off The Boat) as Daphne
  • Sam Richardson (Hocus Pocus 2) as Shaggy
  • Frank Welker as Scooby

The show also boasts an impressive cast of supporting characters, consisting of Debbie Ryan, Melissa Fumero, Ming-Na Wen, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, Ken Leung, Jane Lynch, Shay Mitchell, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Sarayu Blue, Nicole Byer, Wanda Sykes, Fortune Feimster, Yvonne Orji, Russell Peters, Kulap Vilaysack, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Cameron Hales.

The first season of Velma will consist of 10 episodes, and the series is scheduled to air sometime in 2023. Stay tuned to receive more updates!