Velma Creator Mindy Kaling Credits Rick and Morty, Harley Quinn for Adult Scooby-Doo Reimagining

While many elements of the Scooby-Doo franchise have reached the point of being iconic, some adaptations haven't been afraid to remix the world of Mystery, Inc. One of the most radical reinventions yet will be Velma, an HBO Max-exclusive adult animated series recounting the origin story of Velma Dinkley (Mindy Kaling). While the idea of Scooby-Doo getting an R-rated treatment can (and has) baffled some fans, it sounds like recent trends in adult animation have helped turn the tide towards it happening. During Velma's panel at New York Comic Con, Kaling cited Rick and Morty and Harley Quinn as precursors for what Velma would ultimately become.

"It just felt like it hadn't been done before," Kaling explained. "There's so many adult cartoons that Charlie and I love — Rick and Morty, Harley Quinn, which are such great shows. And we just thought these characters... lended themselves so well to an adult version."

Velma is an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and under appreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. This original and humorous spin unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America's most beloved mystery solvers.

In addition to voicing Velma, Kailing executive produces the series, which is showrun by Charlie Grandy. As was announced on Thursday afternoon, the cast of the series will also include Crazy Rich Asians' Constance Wu as Daphne, Detroiters' Sam Richardson as Shaggy, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Glenn Howerton as Fred. Additional cast members for the series will include Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Russell Peters, Melissa Fumero, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Ken Leung, Cherry Jones, Frank Welker, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Fortune Feimster, Yvonne Orji, Sarayu Blue, Nicole Byer, Ming-Na Wen, Shay Mitchell, Debby Ryan, Kulap Vilaysak, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Velma trailer arrives after what has already been a major week for fans of the character, as the animated film Trick-or-Treat, Scooby-Doo! confirmed longstanding fan theories that she is, in fact, a lesbian. Clips from the film, which hit the direct-to-video market this week, show Velma becoming smitten about Coco Diablo, a fashion designer who reluctantly works with the Scooby Gang. Later on, Velma confesses her crush to Daphne, leading her to joke that she "didn't know convicted felons were [her] type." This came after years of fans speculating that Velma might be bisexual or lesbian — and various attempts from previous Scooby-Doo! contributors to make the subtext text. This include James Gunn, who wrote the franchise's live-action films of the 2000s, and who tweeted in 2020 that he "tried" to make Linda Cardellini's Velma clearly a lesbian.

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As mentioned above, Velma will debut on HBO Max sometime in 2023.