HBO Max is already home to the adult animation Harley Quinn and has more on the way, including royalty-based sitcom The Prince and a revival of The Boondocks. Now the streamer is adding further to this slate, having recently announced a reboot of the classic MTV show Clone High, and a spinoff of Scooby-Doo focusing on resident nerd Velma Dinkley, simply titled Velma.
“It is a tremendous privilege to build on the 100-year-plus legacy of ‘cartoons’ at this company,” said Suzanna Makkos, HBO Max’s excutive vice president of Original Comedy and Adult Animation. “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.”
Clone High and Velma are the tip of HBO Max’s animated iceberg. Also in development is an existential workplace comedy, Fired On Mars, from Nate Sherman and Nick Vokey, and JG Quintel’s animated comedy Close Enough has been renewed for two further seasons.
Clone High, set at a high school for clones of historical figures, is perhaps not so much a reboot as a continuation of the original 2002 show. It’s being developed by MTV Entertainment Studios and has creators and stars Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Bill Lawrence attached as executive producers and writer Erica Rivinoja returning as showrunner.
Meanwhile, Velma is a prequel series exploring the character’s unknown origins, with executive producer Mindy Kaling voicing the title character. Also attached as executive producers are Charlie Grandy, Howard Klein and Sam Register.
The marketing material describes Velma as ‘the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang’ – and yet one wonders what show they were watching, since Velma was always very clearly the MVP. Scooby-Doo as a show has always been slightly too gentle to use Fred as the muscle, and Daphne’s status as the looks has been left in jeopardy by evolving beauty standards. Put it like this: if Velma was really so unsung, she wouldn’t be getting her own show. It’s only her Achilles’ heel-like tendency of losing her glasses that keeps her from solving all the mysteries herself while Shaggy and Scooby raid the fridge off in the background.
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