Netflix's Scooby-Doo show has a challenging road ahead if it wants to stand out in this day and age

With so many Scooby-Doo copycats over the years and various animated versions, the new series needs to embrace being unique.
Specials -- “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now!” -- Image Number: SDRfg_0001 -- Pictured (L - R): Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, Daphne, Velma, and Fred -- Photo: Abominable Pictures/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Specials -- “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now!” -- Image Number: SDRfg_0001 -- Pictured (L - R): Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, Daphne, Velma, and Fred -- Photo: Abominable Pictures/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

A live-action Scooby-Doo television series is rumored to be in the works at Netflix and if the deal is finalized it will be a script-to-series commitment, meaning the show will get produced and bypass the pilot stage, which is standard for Netflix fare. Plot details are being kept under wraps but the series would reportedly be an hour-long drama.

Variety reports that Warner Bros. Television will produce alongside Berlanti Productions, who have an overall WBTV deal. WBTV has produced several series for Netflix already, most recently their supernatural horror show Dead Boy Detectives, based on Neil Gaiman's comic book series and set in the same universe as The Sandman, another WBTV show.

Funnily enough, Dead Boy Detectives features a character who loves Scooby-Doo and there's even a scene where she is shown watching it! Also worth noting is that Max recently scrapped a planned animated Scooby-Doo movie called Scoob! Holiday Haunt as part of its cost-cutting measures.

Velma streaming Jan. 12 on HBO Max /

Netflix will need to create a unique vibe to be successful with Scooby-Doo

But if Netflix wants to make a successful live-action television series based on the iconic Hanna-Barbera cartoon they'll have to find a unique direction to take it in because if the show is too similar in vibe to other Berlanti Productions like Nancy Drew and Riverdale, both of which have been compared to Scooby-Doo or featured Scooby-Doo shoutouts, then it might as well be a retread of the other darker, edgier, teen drama adaptations we've seen in recent years.

The writing team tapped for the series does appear game to take things in a different, more actionized direction. Josh Appelbaum previously wrote for the Prime Video series Citadel and worked on both live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. Neither is exactly a shining recommendation, but to his credit he also co-wrote the script to the acclaimed Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, so there's hope yet.

His partner on the potential Scooby Netflix show is Scott Rosenberg, co-creator and co-writer of CBS series Zoo, plus the live-action Jumanji movies and Venom. I think it's a good thing neither of these guys have done writing on teen series before because it shows this show might make the main cast adults, therefore emulating the live-action and beloved Scooby-Doo films from the early 2000s starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard, and Freddie Prinze Jr.

If Netflix leans into the action-comedy with adult characters it would definitely make this version stand out (or they could really shake things up and go full mature, adult horror, which I also wouldn't complain about!). I'm also curious to see how Netflix will tackle Scooby in this iteration. Hopefully, they give the series a budget to make a CGI dog that looks decent.

It should be noted that neither Netflix nor WBTV have officially confirmed the Scooby-Doo series rumors yet, but Variety is generally a reliable source. Per the outlet, the series would be written and executive produced by Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg.

They will produce under André Nemec and Jeff Pinkner's Midnight Radio banner. Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti, Leigh London Redman, Jonathan Gabay, and Adrienne Erickson will also co-executive producer for Berlanti Productions.

The latest iteration of Scooby is in the adult animated series Velma currently on Max with Mindy Kaling voicing the lead role.

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