×

WB’s ‘Scooby’ gets live-action greenlight

NEW YORK — Warner Bros. has set a February start date for “Scooby-Doo,” the live-action adaptation of the cartoon series, with Raja Gosnell signed to direct. Pic, which will cast up quickly, will shoot in Australia.

The film, about a band of ghost-chasing sleuths and the cowardly dog who often stumbles into the pertinent clue, is based on a script by James Gunn, with Chuck Roven producing.

The series has been a long-running hit revived by the Cartoon Network, a marvel considering that the plotline of every episode is the same: the kids — Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy– and canine Scooby arrive in their van, get chased around by a supposed spook, then unmask the baddie pretending to be the spirit, werewolf or whatever. The predictable finale of each episode was parodied by Mike Myers in “Wayne’s World,” and Myers once intended to play Shaggy in the movie, though that has gone by the wayside. Meanwhile, animated pic “Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders” was just released in direct-to-video fashion.

Gosnell, who directed “Home Alone 3” and the Drew Barrymore comedy “Never Been Kissed,” had been courted for “Scooby” duty as well as a “Fantastic Four” film at Fox. Late last week, he chose the WB pic, which is viewed by the studio as a potential feature franchise. It’s being shepherded by exec veep Rob Guralnick.

FROM ‘RINGER’ TO ‘WHORE’: Conundrum Entertainment, which recently landed Barry Blaustein to direct the Ricky Blitt script “The Ringer” — about two guys who conspire to fix the Special Olympics, with one posing as a participant — are continuing in the irreverent Blitt business. Conundrum partners Bobby and Peter Farrelly and Bradley Thomas have made a mid- against high-six figures deal with Fox for the Blitt-pitched comedy “Whore Out of Water.”

Though the plotline of the comedy’s being kept a closely guarded secret, the title conveys that a sexier version of “Splash” may be in the offing. The Conundrum troika will produce, while John Jacobs will exec produce. Blitt was repped by ICM’s Nick Reed and Nicole Clemens. Fox’s Hutch Parker and Josie Rosen will supervise the project.

SEGA’S ZOMBIES GO BIGSCREEN: Mindfire Entertainment is conspiring with Sega to turn its topselling videogame and arcade series “The House of the Dead” into a zombie-laden live-action feature with a young cast, squarely aiming for the “Scream” crowd.

Deal, confirmed by Mindfire CEO Dan Bates, puts another big vidgame into the Hollywood pipeline, following Paramount’s screen version of “Tomb Raider,” starring Angelina Jolie. The film “House of the Dead” will follow the game’s setup, where genetic research leads to the creation of zombies who imperil the future of the human race. “There is an incredible international brand awareness for this title, and coupled with its compelling storyline and amazing visuals, ‘The House of the Dead’ has a built-in audience for a live action feature,” Bates said.

Pic, to be scripted by Dave Parker and Mark Altman, will be produced by Mindfire Millennium, a division to be devoted to turning vidgames and comics into features and TV. Mindfire produced the Rob Lowe starrer “The Specials” and “Free Enterprise.”

MORE ‘DUNE’: Robert Gottlieb’s Trident Media Group has made a seven-figure publishing deal with Tor Books for Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson to hatch a three-book prequel to “Dune,” the novel series written by Brian’s late father, Frank Herbert. Gottlieb repped the writers and the estate in the new deal (the duo just delivered the third book in the first installment of the prequels) and will sell foreign rights at Frankfurt. Generating momentum for the series is the Sci Fi Channel’s mini adaptation of “Dune.”

More Voices

  • America Ferrera'Superstore' TV show photocall, Comic

    America Ferrera Blasts 'Send Her Back' Chant: 'Embarrassing and Shameful'

    America Ferrera has been a longtime political activist who has focused a large part of her work on immigrant rights. She’s now speaking out about the chant of “send her back” targeting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that was shouted at a President Donald Trump rally earlier this week. “It’s devastating and shocking and embarrassing and [...]

  • Game of Thrones

    HBO's Return to Emmy Nomination Dominance May Be Short-Lived (Column)

    As Hollywood braces for the coming streaming wars, HBO’s huge Emmy nomination haul this week sent a new salvo Netflix’s way: The streamer may have the volume, but HBO still has the goods. At least this year. HBO’s record-breaking 137 nominations came on the strength of just 23 programs — led, of course, by “Game [...]

  • Deadwood HBO

    Netflix, HBO Get Ready to Rumble as Emmy Nominations and Phase 2 of Voting Loom

    Last year, Netflix ended HBO’s 17-year Emmy-nomination domination, posting 112 nods overall (to HBO’s 108), continuing the service’s miraculous rise. Now comes the next goal, which may be in reach this year: Surpassing HBO’s all-time record. HBO earned 126 nominations in 2015, its all-time best and a number that Netflix could hit this year. It’s [...]

  • Ellen Sitcom Original TV Show

    GLAAD Chief: Hollywood Needs to Continue Playing a Role in LGBTQ Progress

    This Pride Month is not only about celebrating — it’s also about reflecting how far LGBTQ acceptance has come since the Stonewall riots catalyzed the LGBTQ movement 50 years ago, and about honoring the trailblazers and leaders who propelled LGBTQ visibility and issues forward in what many social justice experts describe as relatively lightning speed.   [...]

  • Matthew Shepard MOth Judy LGBT Activist

    Matthew Shepard's Mother: Why Hate Crime Is Only Conquered When We Speak Up

    In January, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett reported a violent attack at the hands of two men outside his Chicago apartment building. Local police and prosecutors said Smollett fabricated the event, which the actor still vehemently denies. More than a dozen criminal charges, including falsifying a police report, were filed and later dropped by state attorneys. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content