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James Gunn’s $275M Scooby-Doo Movie Originally Cast Jim Carrey as Shaggy, Was Rated R

james gunn, jim carrey and scooby doo

It is either scandalous or side-stitch-inducing hilarious – there is no in-between with the king of comedy, Jim Carrey. The actor who brought us two of the most classic characters in cinematic history: the Mask and the Grinch had almost secured a role in Scooby-Doo, yet another cult classic in the early 2000s. But The Truman Show star wasn’t the ubiquitous name that he is without cause and reason. Carrey essentially dominated Hollywood in the 90s and as such, what could have easily steered him toward another industry-defining and audience-acclaimed role ended up getting passed on to a much lesser-known star from the same era.

Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey

Also read: Jim Carrey Movies That Are Everyone’s Secret Guilty Pleasure 

Jim Carrey Fails to Lock Down the Scooby Doo Gang

The mysteries of Scooby-Doo and his band of human friends-cum-detectives who regularly roll out in their infamous Mystery Machine to solve supernatural crimes all around the globe is well-known mythology by now. The adventures of the cowardly canine who somehow always comes to the rescue, be it shivering or howling, is one that never fails to fascinate the people for the past half a century, and with time, the tale only keeps getting more creative, bold, non-conformist, and defiant in the face of the shifting socio-cultural era.

Matthew Lillard as Shaggy in the live-action Scooby-Doo film
Matthew Lillard as Shaggy in the live-action Scooby-Doo film

Also read: ‘They’re butchering all the Scooby-Doo characters’: Velma’s HBO Max Debut Sparks Heated Debate, Fans Label It “Just Another Generic Cartoon”

One of the last live-action Scooby-Doo films that rank up there among the greats and the classics happens to be the 2002 film, Scooby-Doo written by James Gunn and directed by Raja Gosnell. The film was the first in a set of live-action series that had launched in the early Noughties and was famously rumored to hire Jim Carrey in the role of Shaggy. But throughout the 90s, the star’s never-ending schedule that kept conflicting with the filming of Scooby-Doo led Carrey to step down permanently from the Warner Bros. production.

Scooby-Doo: A Forgotten James Gunn Classic From the ’00s

The 2002 film, Scooby-Doo, that originally planned to feature Jim Carrey in the role of Shaggy had been proposed an R-rating by the studio since the actor’s presence would essentially steer the script and inspire the screenwriter along a different tangent altogether. However, the film later qualified for a PG rating with the studio limiting a lot of the material that Gunn had originally come up with. The current DC Chief at the time had complained about an overbearing studio interference from WB.

Scooby-Doo (2002)
Scooby-Doo (2002)

Also read: ‘Why are they making children property R-Rated?’: James Gunn Reveals An Adult Scooby-Doo 3 is Prime For Return, Divides the Internet As Fans Defend the Original Fanbase Has Grown Up

Made on a budget of $84M, Scooby-Doo went on to gross $275.6 million in worldwide earnings and spawned a sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed that came out in 2004. The film featured an iconic cast comprising Freddie Prinze Jr. (Fred), Sarah Michelle Geller (Daphne), Matthew Lillard (Shaggy), Linda Cardellini (Velma), and comedians Isla Fisher and Rowan Atkinson in supporting roles.

Source: Collider

Written by Diya Majumdar

Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has more than 1200 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists