Mindy Kaling is teaming up with HBO Max to develop an animated series about Velma from Scooby-Doo. The show has been given a straight-to-series order by the streamer along with multiple other adult animated series. Kaling is on board to executive produce the series in addition to providing the voice of Velma in the Scooby-Doo spinoff.
Although it's inspired by a popular children's cartoon series, Velma is described as an "adult-focused" animated comedy, suggesting the show will likely be developed for more mature Scooby-Doo fans. The series serves as an origin story of the "bespectacled and underappreciated brain in the Scooby gang," offering a look at the "complex and colorful past of one of Scooby-Doo's beloved mystery solvers."
Velma stems from an overall deal between Mindy Kaling and Warner Bros. TV to produce multiple original shows for the studio. Executive producing Velma alongside Kaling are longtime collaborator Charlie Grandy, 3 Arts' Howard Klein, and Sam Register.
Velma Dinkley has been appearing in the Scooby-Doo franchise since the original cartoon series premiered in 1969, originally voiced by Nicole Jaffe. She most recently appeared in last year's computer-animated movie Scoob!, this time played by Gina Rodriguez. In the live-action Scooby-Doo movie and its sequel, Linda Cardellini portrayed a live-action version of Velma. She has since reprised the role in various animated parodies for Robot Chicken.
Other Scooby-Doo prequels have also been developed in years past. The 2018 direct-to-video movie Daphne & Velma also served as a bit of an origin story for Velma, following Velma (Sarah Gilman) and Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffery) as high school students in the days before joining Mystery Inc. with Fred, Scooby, and Shaggy. The animated series A Pup Named Scooby-Doo also reimagined the gang solving mysteries as children with Christina Lange voicing Velma.
Along with Kaling's Velma series, HBO Max is increasing their offering of adult animated comedies with several other titles. Also in the works is an update of Clone High, described as a refresh on the original series that's set in a high school for clones of historical figures. An animated workplace comedy series called Fired on Mars is also in development with Pete Davidson tapped for the lead role. Additionally, the streamer has also ordered another two seasons of the animated comedy Close Enough.
"It is a tremendous privilege to build on the 100-year plus legacy of 'cartoons' at this company," HBO Max said in a statement. "We can draw a straight line from our hundreds of childhood hours spent watching Bugs outwit Elmer to the current slate of adult animated projects we are building here at HBO Max and we think fans will agree. We are proud to introduce this distinctive group of series from a wide range of diverse creators that will form a first stop destination for animation lovers everywhere."
Other animated projects in development at HBO that have previously been announced include new takes on Gremlins and The Boondocks along with more episodes of the Kaley Cuoco series Harley Quinn. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.