April 2001
OK DEVELOPMENT FOLKS – STOP THERE – STOP RIGHT THERE! : A Lament for Scooby-Doo

Scott D. Southard (Los Angeles)

OK DEVELOPMENT FOLKS – STOP THERE – STOP RIGHT THERE! : A Lament for Scooby-Doo

I don’t ask much from Hollywood.

No, really I am very kind to Hollywood in general. Granted, I take the occasional swipe at bad film ideas (“American Pie 2”- C’mon people! What more did you have to know???), but I’ve never lost faith in the process. See, what I always have to fall back on are the few incredible films that come out each year. In a way, I view the yearlong movie going process as a voyage. And like Ulysses, first I have to deal with the monsters (“Big Momma’s House”) and the sirens (Anything with Angelina Jolie, no matter how bad) until I get to the true prize (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”)… Well, that was all the case until I saw something online today.

When I look back at my childhood, there are many things I cherish. But there are few that make my list of truly golden memories. You know what I mean, the video you can put into the VCR and immediately be transported back to being a kid. The song that brings back forty childhood memories all at once.

Well, people, one of those golden childhood memories is truly being destroyed by Hollywood. The implication of it can’t help but boggle the mind. And when Hollywood is done, chances are, your memory will forever be tarnished.

They are making a SCOOBY-DOO movie.

Yes, it’s true. It’s in production right now.

Ok, I know that sounds bad, but this is about to get worse so be prepared. It stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Matthew Lillard and Sarah Michelle Geller. Freddie plays Fred, Matthew plays Shaggy and Sarah plays Daphne. I just saw the picture of the full cast online. It’s scary, very scary.

Let’s start with Freddie Prinze, Jr. The only word I can use to describe his appearance, as Fred is “disturbing.” He is wearing this large blonde wig that makes him look like a 70’s disco nightmare. And, let’s be honest, he doesn’t have the build for Fred. Fred was always the guy you didn’t mind covering your back in case a monster came around the corner. Freddie Prinze, Jr. always looked to me like that kid in high school (and we all had one) who thought he was really cool and popular, but really people couldn’t stand him. You know, the one always following the popular kids around like a puppy. “Do you need a ride to football practice? I can get you a ride to football practice. Not a problem, not a problem. Sure you can borrow five dollars from me. Pay me back whenever, whenever is cool.”

I somewhat have respect for Matthew Lillard. Say what you will about some of his choices (“Wing Commander?”), he does like to experiment with his acting. But taking on Shaggy is just ridiculous. Even in the full cast picture, you can see in his eyes the question “Why am I doing this? I did Shakespeare just last year!”

I’m going to admit something here. I liked Sarah Michelle Geller in “Cruel Intentions” (Mostly, because I think Selma Blair is awesome and I have a hard time finding fault in productions she is in) and I occasionally watch “Buffy.” But what was she thinking taking this part? Didn’t she want to be a respected actress? What was her agent thinking? Does she think this will help her build an audience?

After being stunned by this evil picture (and all the horrendous implications that come with it), I did some further investigation. From what I can gather, Scooby will be computer generated (Great, in the footsteps of Jar Jar, that’s just what I want for a character I used to look forward to watching on Saturday morning). The script takes place years after their adventures and the team is reunited, however they don’t get along with each other (The mystery team arguing? Come on! How many episodes have you watched Mr. Scriptwriter? Shaggy and Scooby agreed to put themselves in danger dozens and dozens of times and never once argued. It’s not in their nature!). So they have to get over their differences to save the day and blah, blah, blah, blah….

So what’s next Hollywood? “Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood: The Movie- King Friday” gets framed for murder and its up to the rest of the neighborhood gang to clean his name?

And yet, as I rant a movie version of “Josie and the Pussycats” is set to hit the screen (Its actually rated PG-13! Figure that one out!), and a script is being written for a live action “Fat Albert…” Even though, I’m intrigued to see what Bill Cosby does with his group, I can’t help but be disgusted by what is going on with Scooby-Doo. It’s the worse thing to happen to poor Scooby since Scrappy-Doo first shouted “Puppy power!”