Friday, December 2, 2022

Mindy Kaling, Charlie Grandy, and More Preview HBO Max’s ‘Velma’ at New York Comic Con

CONVENTIONSMindy Kaling, Charlie Grandy, and More Preview HBO Max’s ‘Velma’ at New...

A new iteration of Velma Dinkley is coming soon from HBO Max, and the series had the chance to shine at this year’s New York Comic Con. Titled Velma, the show focuses on the origin story of one of the most beloved Scooby-Doo characters. Per HBO Max, “this original and humorous spin unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers.” Where other versions of the character were more family-friendly, this new series is specifically catered to an adult audience.

Executive producer/star Mindy Kaling (Velma), Sam Richardson (Norville/Shaggy), Constance Wu (Daphne), Glenn Howerton (Fred), and executive producer/showrunner Charlie Grandy were on site to preview the series. They discussed the show in general, delved into the characters, and more.

Before the panel started, some Velma cosplayers were brought up onstage. All sported the classic Velma colors and glasses, and a couple had their own slight variations on the character. The audience had a chance to learn a bit about each cosplayer and hype them up before the main portion began.

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Ahead of the cast coming on stage, fans had the chance to watch the very first episode of the series. It was a blast not only to watch the actual episode but to hear everyone else’s reaction. It seemed the consensus was that the episode was hilarious and overall entertaining, with fans enthusiastically cheering afterward. (Can confirm the episode was fantastic.)

Grandy and Kaling shared their excitement to work together again, as Grandy has previously worked with Kaling on shows like The Office, The Mindy Project, and The Sex Lives of College Girls. They are also aware of the outrage in some corners of social media about making Velma an Indian-American character. However, Kaling shared that she was ultimately surprised (in a good way) about the response the show has created, especially as other young Indian-American women can see themselves more explicitly in this new version. She loves the diversity of the show’s characters and creating something for people who look like the characters on-screen. Wu and Richardson echoed this sentiment as they shared their earliest memories of seeing themselves in media.

Diversity behind the screen was important, too, and the writers’ room reflects that. As Grandy spoke about that, he also acknowledged his own privilege as a white man. Continuing with general story aspects of the show, it was important to the team to find the right animation style. They wanted something that could balance the comedy and horror present throughout the series. Grandy added that he also wanted the show to be serialized to better reflect the trend of teen drama (like Riverdale, for example). He and the others were interested in bringing teens from all walks of life together.

As the panel wrapped up, the cast shared which characters they believe they’re most like. Kaling cited Velma (of course), Howerton said Shaggy, Richardson viewed himself as Fred, and Wu also named her character Daphne. The time ended as fans got to watch the first teaser for the show prior to its public release.

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Velma debuts on HBO Max in 2023. In the meantime, keep up with our ongoing updates for the show here.

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