James Gunn Reflects On His Work On The Then R-Rated Scooby-Doo, & How It Changed His Life

– by Seth McDonald

Moving onto the third Guardians of the Galaxy film with the first two movies being massive successes, director James Gunn took to Facebook to reminisce about his first studio script. That script was the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie. Gunn says he originally wrote a movie made for older audiences, and that the studio had a hand in shaping the, for the most part, disappointing film.

“I had loved the character of Scooby-Doo since I was a kid and was excited at the prospect of making a live action film with 2002's cutting CGI technology(!!). Yes, it was not exactly what we planned going out - 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. And, yes, the rumors are true - the first cut was rated R by the MPAA, and the female stars' cleavage was CGI'd away so as not to offend.”

Considering the time Scooby-Doo’s original run, the movie might have been better received had it been geared toward an older crowd as Gunn had intended. Perhaps an R rating would have been a bit too far, but PG-13 would have been a nice compromise. Gunn goes on to talk about reading the reviews for Scooby-Doo.

“I remember being bummed out that the reviews were pretty terrible. These days I might glance at the occasional review (admittedly, mostly only good ones), but back then I read EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I also read everything written about the movie online, by, like, anybody, including bulletin board folks. It was a kind of film-self-involvement I've learned to avoid since, but needless to say it was not an exceptionally good day. But it was followed by, honestly, one of the best days of my life.”


The movie itself wasn't great, but for someone like him, it was a film that could prove whether or not he could make it as a writer in the industry. Would this relatively high profile property crash and burn in front of him?

From extreme lows to extreme high’s, Gunn explains the emotional turnaround.

“At about 5:30 Saturday morning opening weekend Lorenzo DiBonaventura - the head of production at Warners, and one of the people who gave me my start - called me and woke me up at home to tell me we made 18 million the Friday before. Now that doesn't seem to be all that much today - Guardians will make around that on a Thursday night alone - but back then it was enough to make the movie the biggest June opening ever. Until that moment, I thought if the movie came out and didn't do well I'd be able to continue getting writing jobs, and my life was going to be the same. But in that one single moment I knew everything had changed.”
“And it did. I was offered every movie you can imagine. Like, uh, the Jabberjaw movie, and The Jetsons movie, and the Captain Caveman movie. I was offered tons of money to do all of these things. So, of course, me being me, I chose to write Dawn of the Dead. Go figure out my brain, who knows.”

Gunn ended his post with a thank you to Scoob himself:

“So I raise my morning cafe au lait to toast Scooby-Doo! Thanks for the memories, pal,” he said.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you have preferred to see an R-rated Scooby-Doo? Could you have possibly imagined that this guy would go on to helm the mammothly successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Facebook

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