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Jinkies! Linda Cardeillini approves of Velma being confirmed as gay in 'Scooby-Doo' canon
"I think it's been hinted at so many times, and I think it's great that it's finally out there."
Last month, the latest animated feature centered around the Mystery, Inc. gang — Trick or Treat Scooby (now on sale from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment) — confirmed that Velma Dinkley is gay within the canon of the long-running franchise. Linda Cardellini, Velma's live-action counterpart on the big screen, approved the decision while recently sitting down with Entertainment Weekly.
"Velma has been around since 1969; I just went trick or treating with my daughter and there were a lot of Velmas out there, so I love that she still has this place in culture that is sort of always active for decades," Cardellini said. "And I love — you know, I think it's been hinted at so many times, and I think it's great that it's finally out there."
The actress portrayed the orange turtleneck-wearing (usually) character in a pair of feature films written by a pre-Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn and directed by Raja Gosnell. Released in 2002 and 2004 respectively, the movies unmasked nearly $460 million at the worldwide box office. Matthew Lillard (Shaggy), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Daphne), and Freddie Prinze Jr. (Fred) co-starred. Scooby, of course, was brought to life with CGI.
Despite Gunn's desire to pen a third entry (whose ending would have turned the classic Scooby-Doo! formula on its head), Warner Bros. Pictures opted not to close out the trilogy. Who knows, now that the filmmaker is running the show at DC Films — which is owned by WB — perhaps another chapter in the Mystery, Inc. saga could be in the cards. When asked about whether she'd consider playing the role again, Cardellini exclaimed, "Oh God, yeah!" while joking that she's "probably too old."
Interestingly, Velma was originally written as queer in Gunn's script for the 2002 original, but was changed by the studio, which "just kept watering it down and watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version) and finally having a boyfriend (the sequel)," he revealed on Twitter in the summer of 2020.
Before production began, there was some talk about modernizing Velma's fashion choices from the late 1960s and early '70s, which Cardellini pushed back against. "I really wanted her to be old-fashioned," the actress said in a behind-the-scenes interview from the time. "I think all the cute stuff is for Daphne and I told Raja, 'The frumpier the better' ... I really wanted her to have the helmet hairdo, which, of course, I'd like everybody to know is my real hair. A lot of people think it's a wig, but I've had long hair all my life and I finally cut it off to be Velma. And it does make me feel more like Velma."
Looking for a groovy mystery? The Lost Symbol is now streaming on Peacock.