James Gunn Says Studio Shot Down Gay Velma in 2002 ‘Scooby-Doo’ Movie

“In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script. But the studio just kept watering it down,” Gunn says

Photo: Warner Bros.

Everyone’s favorite orange turtleneck-wearing, book-toting crime solver Velma Dinkley was supposed to be openly lesbian in James Gunn’s script for the 2002 “Scooby-Doo” feature film, but Gunn said Warner Bros. repeatedly shot the idea down and eventually wrote Velma as having a boyfriend.

Responding to fans on Twitter calling for a “Scooby-Doo 3” movie, Gunn was asked if he would make fans’ “live-action lesbian Velma dreams come true.” Gunn 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).”

Gunn added that the studio even filmed some scenes where Velma was openly gay, but the scenes were cut. Piggybacking off the recent #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fan movement that eventually got Zack Snyder’s edit of “Justice League” enough momentum to become a full-fledged release, fans on Twitter are now calling on the studio to #ReleaseTheGunnCut of “Scooby-Doo.” (Note: Gunn was a writer on the 2002 film and its 2004 sequel before going on to direct hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Suicide Squad.”)

Warner Bros. produced the 2002 “Scooby-Doo” movie, which stars Linda Cardellini as Velma. Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Fred, while Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Daphne. Matthew Lillard took the role of Shaggy, with Neil Fanning voicing the titular Great Dane, Scooby-Doo. WarnerMedia did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Gunn’s remarks.

The producer of animated series “Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated” Tony Cervone also said he had plans to reveal Velma was queer throughout the show’s 2010-2013 run, but the show was canceled before Velma’s character could develop a relationship with her fellow female sleuth, Marcie Fleach. Cervone, who also recently directed “Scoob!” for Warner Bros., responded to a fan in June who asked about Velma’s sexuality and said, “I’ve said this before, but Velma in Mystery Incorporated is not bi. She’s gay.” Cervone posted a pride-themed graphic with Velma and Marcie pictured together in June, which kicked off the debate.

Throughout “Mystery Incorporated” show’s run, Velma does date Shaggy, but the relationship was incredibly awkward, a decision that was intentional on Cervone’s part, he said, because the show had plans to have Velma officially come out later in the series. “We always planned on Velma acting a little off and out of character while she was dating Shaggy because that relationship was wrong for her and she had unspoken difficulty with the why,” Cervone said.

See Gunn’s tweet below: