Here is everything we know about Velma, HBO Max’s upcoming adult-oriented Scooby-Doo spinoff. The mystery-solving crew of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup is back — but this time, their adventures aren’t for kids. The HBO Max series will reimagine the team of supernatural sleuths with Mindy Kaling at the helm, both executive producing and starring in the upcoming animated series as the voice of the titular Velma.
Velma Dinkley has been a fixture of Scooby-Doo since its introduction in 1969. She is known as the brains of the operations behind Mystery Inc., pulling from her wealth of knowledge or spotting the essential clue to discover the truth behind their ghostly counterparts. Known for losing her glasses and her iconic “Jinkies!” catchphrase, Velma is frequently underappreciated by the other members of Mystery Inc. and audiences alike. Velma has also long been embraced as an LGBTQ+ icon, though her sexuality wasn’t explicitly stated until creators — such as Mystery Incorporated producer Tony Cervone and live-action Scooby-Doo writer James Gunn — stepped forward to confirm and embrace Velma being gay in recent years. While Velma was never the most glamorous member of Mystery Inc., Velma will finally give her the limelight she deserves.
Velma is far from being the first Scooby-Doo spinoff. Over the years, the Scooby-Doo franchise has expanded to include various animated movies, animated series, live-action movies, and more. Various actors have portrayed Velma in Scooby-Doo and its many adaptations, whether in live-action or as voice actors, including Hayley Kiyoko, Linda Cardellini, and the original voice of Velma, Nicole Jaffe. Now, Kaling will step forward to be the voice of Velma in the latest adaptation. Here’s everything we know about the Velma spinoff.
First looks at HBO Max’s Velma reveal that this spinoff is certainly not one for the kids. In the adult animated series, Velma will be investigating more mature crimes than the simple holograms and real estate scams revealed in Scooby-Doo‘s past endings. The first look, which was presented at Warner Bros Discovery Upfront, proves that the animated spinoff will be far gorier than what is typical for Scooby-Doo, showing Velma standing over a victim whose head had been cut open to remove their brain, with visible brain matter littering the crime scene.
So far, only the voice behind Velma — The Office star Mindy Kaling — has been announced. Kaling has been open about the fact that her Velma will be of South Asian descent, telling the crowd at the Discovery Upfront presentation that if a dog can solve crimes, her Velma “can be brown.” Despite facing some backlash regarding the character change, Kaling has remained steadfast. Announcements regarding further cast members are expected to be released ahead of the spinoff’s premiere.
Not much has been released about the plot of Velma, but the series is expected to explore Velma’s origin story, but with major deviations from the Scooby-Doo most have grown up with. Statements from Warner Bros. executive Tom Ascheim at the TV Kids Summer Festival have revealed that there will be “no dog and no van,” but that the series will follow the human members of Scooby-Doo—Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and, of course, Velma — if they lived in a “different world.” Though any Scooby-Doo project would be different without the franchise’s titular crime-solving pup, the Velma series will allow creators to further develop the gang while giving Velma the chance to be the group’s main detective.
HBO Max first announced the Scooby-Doo spinoff in February 2021. So far, an exact release date has not been announced. Looking at the series’ timeline, however, and since work has already started on it Velma can be expected to hit HBO Max by late 2022. At the very least, an early 2023 release can likely be expected.