Velma was announced by HBO Max in February as an adult-oriented comedy. Mindy Kaling revealed the first look for Velma, her adult animated re-imagining of Scooby-Doo. This week’s Warner Bros. TV upfronts gave us our first glimpse at Velma.
Fans of Scooby-Doo were outraged when Kaling was chosen as an East Asian version of Velma, despite the fact that she had been associated with the project since the beginning. Naturally, the character has already been played as Asian, most prominently by Haley Kiyoko in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009) and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010). This will, however, be the first time she is portrayed as East Asian.
Kaling revealed the first look for Scooby-Doo spinoff Velma
Velma discovers the mangled body of a young girl in a locker room, as nude spectators gaze on in horror, during Warner Bros. Discovery’s upfronts event. Suzanna Makkos, HBO Max Executive Vice President of Comedy and Adult Animation, commented, “It is a tremendous privilege to build on the 100-year-plus legacy of ‘cartoons’ at this company. 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.”
— Variety (@Variety) May 18, 2022
The fact that Kaling is portraying Velma as a woman of color in this version has raised a great fuss. The writer/actor/producer/comedian was outspoken in her support for the decision: “Hopefully you noticed my Velma is South Asian. If people freak out about that, I don’t care.” She also stated that if Scooby-Doo had a talking dog capable of solving crimes, her Velma “can be brown.”
Velma has yet to be given a release date, but the spin-off series is in the works. The series will be available exclusively on HBO Max when it is released.