Mystery Inc.’s brainiest member, Velma Dinkley, will be heading to HBO Max next month as part of her own standalone adult animated series, Velma. Velma — the famous orange-sweater-wearing character hailing from the long-running Scooby-Doo franchise — will be voiced by Mindy Kaling and the show is set to premiere on the platform on January 12, according to TVLine.
Velma will focus on the spectacle-sporting protagonist’s origin story — before she and Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, and Daphne assemble the “Scooby gang.” With a healthy dose of adult humor, the television series will attempt to “unmask the complex and colorful past of one of America’s most beloved mystery solvers,” per the outlet. Kaling, who is credited as co-creator of Velma along with Charlie Grandy, is best known for playing Kelly Kapoor in the American version of The Office. Velma is interestingly not Kaling’s first stint as a voice actor; however, as she voiced Taffyta Muttonfudge in 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph and Disgust in 2015’s Inside Out.
Fans won’t go without seeing other mystery gang members on Velma, either. Veep’s Sam Richardson was cast as the always starving Shaggy, Glenn Howerton of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame voices the perpetually cool Fred and Crazy Rich Asians’ Constance Wu is the popular and beautiful Daphne. Several other notable actors and entertainers are part of the new HBO Max series, including musical artist “Weird Al” Yankovic, Glee’s Jane Lynch, Office Space’s Gary Cole, Monster-in-Law’s Wanda Sykes and veteran Scooby-Doo voice actor Frank Welker.
HBO Max released a teaser trailer in October which shows Velma at home sending a heated text message to the platform about its intention “to make a genre-bending comedic origin story of Judy Jetson from The Jetsons. She throws out her patented “jinkies” after complaining to HBO Max about their decision to change Judy’s character. “If there is one thing the internet agrees on is that you should never change anything, ever,” Velma says in the message, seemingly illuminating the platform’s decision to have Velma as a South Asian character instead of Caucasian. She then receives a phone call from an “unknown caller” who has snuck into her house. And after Velma shares a few witty lines, the trailer ends with the hooded figure pulling out a knife and blood splattering across a window.
Velma premieres on HBO Max on January 12 with ten episodes.