Mindy Kaling’s HBO Max series Velma is taking shape, and new first-look images from the adult animated series show a diverse Mystery Inc. gang, including a Black version of Shaggy.
The remainder of the series’ main cast has been announced, with Sam Richardson playing Norville (aka Shaggy), Glenn Howerton as Fred and Constance Wu as Daphne. Combined with Kaling playing a South Asian version of Velma, the cast now reflects the diversity of today.
The entire cast appeared on stage at New York Comic Con, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Other members of the cast include Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Russell Peters, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Melissa Fumero, Gary Cole, Cherry Jones, Stephen Root, Nicole Byer, Ming-Na Wen, Fortune Feimster, Sarayu Blue, Yvonne Orji, Shay Mitchell, Kulap Vilaysak, Debby Ryan and NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns.
Frank Welker is also a part of the voice acting cast, having voiced Fred in almost every animated Scooby-Doo project since the original 1969 series.
Welker is not voicing Fred this time around, but as a voice acting veteran, Welker has been in a wide range of roles in animated projects and has also begun voicing Scooby-Doo in newer adaptations.
As for the reimagined versions of the Scooby gang, no other descriptions of the characters has been given except for the first look images.
While Fred remains largely unchanged, Daphne appears to be Asian while Norville is a lanky Black teen with dreads. The character’s name change is also a departure from the traditional depictions of Shaggy–in the Scooby-Doo canon, Shaggy’s real name is actually Norville, but he usually answers to only his nickname instead. The decision to name this iteration of Shaggy by his real name suggests a way to further delineate Norville as his own character.
Richardson tweeted about the news in probably the most appropriate way possible, by writing, "Zoinks!," one of Shaggy's catchphrases from the original series.
Velma, which promises to be a more adult take on the classic Scooby-Doo characters. It will debut in 2023 on HBO Max.
Watch the teaser below: