Daphne and Velma — the two female members of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang — are getting their own origin story in a live-action feature-length film, according to a report by Variety.
The film will be done under Jennifer and Ashley Tisdale’s production banner, Blondie Girl Productions, and Warner Bros. Television Group, Blue Ribbon Content digital studio.
There’s already casting announcements too: Sarah Jeffery (Shades of Blue, Wayward Pines) will be playing Daphne and Sarah Gilman (Last Man Standing) will be Velma.
Deadline has also released an official synopsis of the film. “Before their eventual team-up with Scooby and the gang,” the logline reads, “bright and optimistic Daphne and whip-smart and analytical Velma are both mystery-solving teens who are best friends but have only met online — until now. Daphne has just transferred to Velma’s school, Ridge Valley High, a tech-savvy institute with all the latest gadgets provided by the school’s benefactor, tech billionaire Tobias Bloom.
“And while competition is fierce among the students for a coveted internship at Bloom Innovative,” it continues, “Daphne and Velma dig beyond all the gadgets and tech to investigate what is causing some of the brightest students in school to disappear — only to emerge again in a zombie-fied state.”
The film is currently undergoing shooting in Atlanta and will be released by Warner Bros. in 2018. There’s no word, as of yet, whether the distribution will feature a theatrical run or if this will go straight to television/streaming/DVD/what have you.
“Blondie Girl is committed to telling stories from a female perspective and we could not be more thrilled to give Daphne and Velma their own story,” Ashley and Jennifer Tisdale said in a statement to Variety. “It’s so exciting to partner with Warner Home Entertainment and Blue Ribbon Content to introduce a new generation to the smart, charismatic, fearless females that we all know and love.”
Warner Bros. also offered a statement from Peter Girardi. “We wanted to give the audience a new take on these two familiar faces,” he said, “who are fan favorites in the Scooby-Doo universe. Daphne and Velma are two iconic and strong female characters, and this latest adventure of theirs will be both inspiring and entertaining for the audience.”
While we’re certainly not against strong female protagonists, this move seems….odd. A Scooby-Doo movie without Scooby-Doo? Velma and Daphne were fine characters in their own right in the 1969 cartoon, but this comes across more as a desperate move to try and set up an extended universe rather than promote quality filmmaking.
Whatever the case may be, we’ll have to wait until 2018 to see where this thing lands and how it turns out. Let us know, in the comments below, whether this news of a live-action Daphne and Velma spinoff without Scooby-Doo does anything for you.