October 12, 2005 7:51am EST
After more than four years of wrangling, the movie that has been in talks since 1996 has finally been made. Scooby-Doo, starring Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred and Linda Cardellini as Velma, is slated for release June 16, 2002.
Rumors have been flying about this movie since its inception, and everything from the cast to the script and especially the Great Dane has been grist for the mill.
Some of the rumors are pretty tantalizing.
Zoinks..we've landed on Spooky Island
Fans will reportedly find out why there is a flower painted on the side of the Mystery Machine (which reportedly comes equipped with a barbecue grill and a bean bag chair) and why Fred wears that orange ascot around his neck.
There has also been talk about the story line. While the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon relied on the four teens stumbling on to a mystery only to uncover the rubber-masked villain at the end, the story here will attempt more character development and explore personal conflicts. Daphne, for example, grows tired of always being the damsel in distress, while Velma gets sick of always being typecast as the brainy one.
The basic plot has the gang heading off in the Mystery Machine to Spooky Island, a hot resort for college students on spring break, to solve the latest mystery.
Scooby-Doo has had its fair share of negative publicity, which seemed to surround the picture from the start. Changes in directors, screenwriters and cast members, which are often seen as an omen in the entertainment industry, didn't help things. And they might have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those meddling kids.
Despite all the mayhem, the film began shooting last February in Australia and wrapped in June.
During production, Warner Bros. invited nine movie-news Web sites to Australia to visit the film set and get a glimpse at some of the characters in full costume (Hollywood.com was not one of them). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the visits, courtesy of WB, were meant to dispel negative buzz about the movie. It seems to have worked.
Let's split up. Daphne and I will go this way...
Sporting a blonde 'do, Prinze bragged about the casting for Scooby-Doo in an interview with Hollywood.com. "We have the best casting you've ever seen for a movie period. [Sarah] is Daphne-and she's in love with Fred."
That would explain why Fred and Daphne spend so much time together in the Mystery Machine.
"Matthew Lillard does the best Shaggy you've ever seen. He even does the voice crack," he laughs. "Casey Kasem on his best day wishes he could do Shaggy as well as Matt. Linda Cardellini also does [Velma] well. It's sick; it's uncanny! I don't know how they do it."
Rowan Atkinson plays the villain, Mondavarious. Scott Innes, who has voiced Scooby-Doo in the last five movies, will continue the tradition for this new installment, this time as a CGI creation.
Like, it's old pumpkin' puss
The buxom Jennifer Love Hewitt had originally been offered the role of Daphne with The Addams Family's Christina Ricci as Velma. Of course much ado was made about who would play the role of Shaggy, with Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) once at the top of the list. Eventually, the right cast was rounded up. If they'd only figured that out sooner, they would have been halfway towards solving this mystery!
A number of directors were also attached to the movie before Raja Gosnell (Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House) chose to helm the project, including Kevin Smith and Tim Burton. The gig was apparently a toss up for Gosnell, who at the time was also considering directing the sci-fi, action-adventure flick Fantastic Four.
The final script was penned by Craig Titley, Andrew Gunn and John August, but went through its own chain of tumultuous changes. Mike Myers, of Wayne's World and Austin Powers fame, reportedly wrote a script that was so terrible it was actually turned down. Gulp! Myers was also supposed to play one of the villains in the film.
Ree hee hee! It looks like Scooby-Doo fans will undoubtedly have something to look forward to next summer.