Mindy Kaling's Velma series on HBO Max will apparently re-imagine the Scooby-Doo character as a girl of East Asian descent. Velma will also be skipping over some big franchise connections like the Mystery Machine or Scooby-Doo himself. WanerMedia's Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, gave a keynote address about the upcoming slate, and shared first details about Kaling's vision for Velma: "Not for children, but we have a Mindy Kaling project called 'Velma' because she was excited to re-imagine what Scooby-Doo would be like if Velma were of East Asian descent and lived in a different world."
Ascheim continued by saying that in Velma "There's no dog, and there's no van, but we have our four key characters through a different lens. And I think it's great. So allowing our creators to play with our IP is super powerful."
The "four key characters" that Ascheim is referring to are Velma Dinkley, Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, and Shaggy Rogers, who form a mystery-solving detective crew, aided (and often tripped-up by) their talking Great Dane dog, Scooby. As Ascheim made clear, Kaling's version of the mythos won't feature Scooby (at least at first?), and the mystery crew presumably won't yet be fully established.
Naturally, that premise has a lot of Scooby-Doo fans asking themselves: does Velma even qualify as part of the Scooby-Doo IP? On the other hand, some fans are down to see where Kaling's series takes things...
Not My Velma
Well she's not Velma then is she https://t.co/vAPwVkxUwS— Bolverk (@Bolverk15) June 10, 2021
I didn't take Twitter long to start up with the #NotMyVelma uproar...prevnext
velma's not real, sis https://t.co/QcuO6FISOz— DJ Jellybean 🏳️🌈 (@MagsVisaggs) June 10, 2021
An important reminder. ?prevnext
Why Not A New Character?
Why not just make a brand new character then?— Pfft.. yeah, maybe in your kookie ass world dude.. (@Boglinfanatic) June 8, 2021
This close-cousin of 'diverse re-imagining of popular characters is not MY version of said character' soon reared its ugly head, as well.prevnext
She Can Be Whatever
velma is way too much of a blank state character for y’all to be crying over a reimagining https://t.co/XjxvCSuu2P— dill (@thankuquinn) June 10, 2021
idk why so many people are mad about this, velma’s race literally doesn’t affect her character https://t.co/YZUINA9x9J— melanie (@melcchristine) June 10, 2021
Just about everything in Velma's "character" is vague and superficial - "brainy, geeky, glasses, orange sweater, red skirt, dress shoes." Beyond that, there's a lot of filling in you can do.prevnext
Velma BEEN Asian
Yes because Velma surely can’t be Asian. pic.twitter.com/tAClXcBFnS— TheGreatBurg (@TheZBurg) June 10, 2021
Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron) played Velma in the live-action Scooby-Doo movies, however actress Hayley Kiyoko (who is part Japanese) played Velma in the Scooby-Doo TV movies The Mystery Begins (2009) and Curse of the Lake Monster (2010). So technically, having an Asian Velma in a Scooby-Doo origin story has already been done.prevnext
Mike Tyson Did It Better
so basically this pic.twitter.com/p5JqnKT4yt— Leif "El Prieto Humungosaurio" Erikson (@AverageMexGuy) June 8, 2021
I'm super stanning Mindy Kaling having Velma be East Asian, but what I really want to talk about how underrated Mike Tyson's Mysteries is. pic.twitter.com/cLSVLJFbOy— Aubry Andrews (@AubryAndrews) June 10, 2021
One more reason people should be checking out the slept-on Mike Tyson Mysteries animated series - which already gives Scooby-Doo a more colorful re-imagining, in every way.prevnext
Oh Velma Is Trending...
Me: "Oh neat, Velma is trending, this must either be something wholesome or just porn"
Me: "... oh she's trending because there's a remake where she's not white and our fellow white people are going ballistic."
Me: "why couldn't it have just been porn? why, lord, why?" https://t.co/xnzZWNpSnA— Cadera Spindrift, Trans Bi Lesbian Virago (@caderaspindrift) June 10, 2021
People saw "Velma" trending and knew it could be bad. They just never figured it would be this absurd.prevnext
So Many Ways To Velma
There is no single way to Velma. pic.twitter.com/cYqZLctKnT— ᴀʜᴍᴀᴅ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇss (@AhmadChildress) June 10, 2021
Let Mindy Kaling do her thing. The Scooby-Doo franchise has already set the precedent.prev