Scooby-Doo? Where are you? Soon, the crime solving canine and his human pals will be back in multiplexes. At CinemaCon, Warner Brothers announced an updated Scooby-Doo movie entitled ‘S.C.O.O.B.’ Tony Cervone is attached to direct and representatives declared that this film was their “first shot at unlocking the whole Hanna-Barbera Universe.”
Warner Brothers recently released ‘Batman V Superman’, which officially kicked off their DC Expanded Universe with new movies based on DC Comics heroes and villains planned through 2020. (Both DC Comics and the Hanna-Barbera library are owned by Warner Brothers.) The studio also has ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ coming this Christmas, a continuation of the ‘Harry Potter’ brand, which WB hopes will also spawn numerous sequels.
Ever since the culmination of the first ‘Potter’ series, the studio has struggled to find another popular franchise to replace it. Two of last year’s biggest flops, ‘Jupiter Ascending’ and ‘Pan’ were intended to kick off franchises but obviously that’s not going to happen.
Unlike their DCEU, which WB had fully planned out before ‘Batman V Superman’ was released, it looks like the HB shared universe is a more tentative endeavor. They appear to be testing the waters with ‘S.C.O.O.B.’ before moving forward with additional films.
Tony Cervone has worked extensively with WB/Hanna-Barbera, having directed two direct-to-video ‘Scooby-Doo’ movies in addition to films starring ‘The Flintstones’ and ‘Tom and Jerry’ and ‘The Looney Tunes Show’. He has also served as the supervising producer of the criminally underrated series ‘Scooby-Doo! Mysteries Incorporated’ and about two dozen other HB movies and shows.
‘Scooby-Doo’ was the subject of two live action theatrical movies in the early 2000s, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini. The first film was a huge hit, while the second flopped. WB produced two additional live action movies for TV and home-video with a different cast.
Prior to that, WB released two live action films based on another HB property, ‘The Flintstones’. Once again, the first did well, but the second floundered. In 2010, the studio released ‘Yogi Bear’ which under-performed, but reportedly a sequel is still in the works.
In the cartoons, it was established that a large number of HB characters actually do exist in a shared universe, even disparate characters like Scooby and the gang, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Blue Falcon and Dyno-Mutt, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Quick-Draw McGraw, Grape Ape and more. In fact, on ‘Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics’ Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble are somehow shown as existing at the same TIME as the other characters. Is Bedrock just a strange anachronistic stone age town that exists in an otherwise modern time?
In addition, Batman and Robin appeared on the ‘Scooby-Doo’ cartoon and the current ‘Scooby-Doo Team-Up’ comic features tales in which the characters interact with the other DC Super Heroes. Does that mean ‘S.C.O.O.B.’ will connect the HB film universe to the DC universe? *Sigh* Not unless this is a REALLY dark take on ‘Scooby-Doo’.
Are you looking forward to a Hanna-Barbera shared universe? What other cartoons do you think would make great movies?
Source: Cinema Blend
Jason would LOVE to see a ‘Space Ghost’ or ‘Herculoids’ movie! You can follow him on Twitter.