If you grew up in the 90s, Scooby-Doo would probably be one of your staple cartoon series. So when the live-action film was said to be released in 2002, everyone was excited about a fun family film, but did you know that it was initially not intended for a younger audience?
The Scooby-Doo movie that was released in 2002 was initially intended for a more mature audience. The first cut of the film was Rated-R by the MPAA. As a result, Daphne and Velma’s cleavage had to be digitally removed to bring the rating down to a PG.
Was the Plot of the Initial Film Changed?
The short answer to this question is no. The plot remained the same; it was just less edgy than what the writers expected. If James Gunn had his way, the film would have been far from the classic mystery series we all know and love.
I had written an edgier film geared toward older kids and adults, and the studio ended pushing it into an clean cut children’s film. The first cut was rated R by the MPAA, and the female stars’ cleavage was CGI’d away so as not to offend. But, you know, such is life. I had a lot of fun making this movie, regardless of all that. And I was also able to eat, buy a car, and a house because of it.James Gunn
Gunn also clarified that the initial R-rating was not because of the adult plot lines but rather the misinterpretation of a single line. He said that the MPAA thought the line referred to oral sex. (Source: Vanity Fair)
Why Did James Gunn Aim for a More Adult Version of the Kids’ Show?
In other interviews, Gunn shared his fascination with playing out the original story’s aspects to entertain an older audience. Some examples of this are; teasing Shaggy’s apparent pothead habits and taking a poke at Velma’s sexuality.
Some scenes and lines were removed from the first cut of the film due to the adult nature of the content. For example, Velma was staring at Daphne in the script, and the pair would later kiss. But since this was beyond a PG-rating, the studio decided to cut them off.
Gunn’s dream of a more mature version of Scooby-Doo never materialized, but the film helped start his career. (Source: Vulture)
What Other Films Did James Gunn Make?
James Gunn had been writing screenplays since the 90s, but he was truly recognized for the Scooby-Doo film even if it did not come out exactly how he wanted it to.
He later wrote the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad script, which earned billions after being released. Some of his other works include Thirteen Ghost and Super.
Today he still makes movies and TV series. He has three films in the pre-production phase while a few are still filming. (Source: IMDB)
Are the Sequels and Prequels Written by James Gunn?
A sequel to the film was released in 2004, and a two-part prequel was released in 2009 and 2010. James Gunn has taken part in the production of all these films. However, he didn’t have any involvement in Daphne and Velma’s spin-off film, which was released in 2018. (Source: IMDB)