Over 20 years after its release, 2002’s Scooby-Doo remains a beloved fantasy-comedy. The big-screen adaptation, which was written by James Gunn and directed by Raja Gosnell, arguably endeared itself to audiences through its playful tone and reverence to its cartoon roots. But one of its biggest highlights, however, is its impeccable cast, which includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred Jones. Though many people love Prinze in the role of Mystery Inc.’s leader, the actor himself apparently has “regret” over doing the movie and its 2004 sequel, Monsters Unleashed. However, while explaining that remorse, he also revealed the moment that he truly came to appreciate the two flicks.
If there’s anything you need to know about Freddie Prinze Jr., it’s that he doesn’t mince words when it comes to his experiences in Hollywood. That includes his time working on Warner Bros.’ big-screen Scooby-Doo duology. The fan-favorite actor was recently asked if he’d consider doing an adult-skewing third movie in the series. Alas, fans may be sad to hear that Prinze isn’t interested, and he attributes that to his dealings with the studio back in the day:
I have zero interest, it was tricky. … It wouldn't be for me, man. There was too much bait-and-switch on the first one. The studio was not honest with me in any way, shape or form. They were not straightforward. It wasn’t the best. I've been on two jobs where I had regret doing it, and Scooby was one of them.
The I Know What You Did Last Summer icon later reasoned that even though decades have passed, some of the same execs are probably still at the studio. And as he also explained during the interview with TooFab, after someone lies to him once, they’re “dead to me.” So it would seem that the leading man has a “fool me once…” sort of mentality when it comes to his business dealings. Though it’s sad to hear that he wouldn’t reconsider playing Fred again, one can definitely understand his feelings on the matter.
On a more heartwarming note though, Freddie Prinze Jr.’s view of the movies themselves has changed for the better over the years. The 47-year-old actor explained that this is due to his sweet encounters with fans:
I didn’t fully appreciate [Scooby-Doo] until it was seen, and children came up to me and would be like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ And then when I was able to appreciate the experience through their souls… Then, all of a sudden, I was like, 'Hey man, we did good. There are legit millions of people that love this movie. It's not the movie I wanted to make, but I appreciate that. And it made me change my outlook on it.
There’s definitely a lot of nostalgia wrapped around those Scooby-Doo movies, which have trended on Netflix off and on over the years. In that time, the cast and crew have also shared details about the first film’s original tone, which was more so geared towards adults. James Gunn previously revealed that Velma was gay in his OG script. Daphne actress (and Freddie Prinze Jr.'s loving wife) Sarah Michelle Gellar recently revealed a deleted line directed at Fred’s sexuality. In addition, Gellar recently shared thoughts on a third movie and doesn’t seem to think it’ll happen since WB is mostly focusing on animated Mystery Inc. fare these days.
Though another installment doesn’t seem to be in the cards, the first two are sure to remain in the hearts and minds of fans for years to come. And I’d certainly agree with Freddie Prinze Jr. when he says that he, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard and co. “did good.”
Those who’d like to revisit Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed can do so by streaming them for free on Tubi.