Warner Bros. has had some good luck in the animation department lately, most notably with The LEGO Movie. So, they are diving head first into some other well-known properties, like Scooby-Doo. Their latest animated feature centered around Scooby and the gang has just taken a big step forward, as they have brought on Parenthood star Dax Shepard to co-direct the movie.
Variety broke the news on Friday afternoon, stating that Shepard will be directing the latest Scooby Doo movie along with Space Jam animation director Tony Cervone. Charles Roven and Richard Suckle will produce the movie. The pair also produced the last two live-action Scooby-Doo movies, which were written by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. Shepard will also be co-writing the screenplay with for the movie alongside Matt Lieberman, per the report.
Shepard doesn't have a ton of experience directing, but that seems to be the direction he is heading. He directed the small 2012 movie Hit and Run, which featured his now wife Kristen Bell. But it seems to be his good relationship with Warner Bros. that is putting him in the director's chair as of late. He is also directing and starring in the studio's adaptation of the 70s cop TV show CHiPs, which also features Michael Pena and Vincent D'Onofrio and is due out next year.
Thanks to Marvel Studios, cinematic universes are all the rage right now in Hollywood, and Warner Bros. is hoping to start another one set in the Hanna-Barbera universe, starting with this new animated Scooby-Doo universe. At CinemaCon this year it was revealed that Warner Bros. has planned to title this new Scooby-Doo movie S.C.O.O.B. and that they would be working on several other Hanna-Barbera inspired animated movies that would interweave with one another. We haven't heard much about this since so we don't know if that is still the plan or if that is still going to be the title of the upcoming Scooby-Doo movie.
The original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?! animated series debuted in 1969 and the property has gone through a lot of iterations since. As far as a theatrical release of any kind is concerned, the property has been dormant since the 2004 live-action Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed. The new animated Scooby-Doo movie is set for release on September 21, 2018.