James Gunn is one of the most prolific directors of the 21st century. It is amazing that many people know him only for his works in the MCU. Yes, he is one of the reasons why Phase 3 of the MCU was so successful and he wrote and directed both Guardians of the Galaxy films. However, he was making excellent movies and interesting side projects way before that.
One of his potentially great projects was Scooby-Doo the movie. He wrote both films in the franchise and made them iconic for many fans. While movies were not financially successful to the degree of warranting more sequels, they are still adored by many moviegoers. At the beginning of the 2000s, Gunn was hired to write the screenplay for the upcoming Scooby-Doo movie. The animated TV show was incredibly popular at that time and ruining the script was not an option. The studio still risked trusting the writing to a relatively unknown James Gunn.
He wrote the script and the movie was a huge success collecting over $270 million in the box office. While the iron was hot, the studio ordered a sequel and again hired James Gunn to write the script. Again, the movie was relatively successful but less than its predecessor. After that, James Gunn decided to explore other options and his story with the Scooby-Doo franchise was mostly over.
As of right now, the director is staying in self-isolation amidst the SARS Cov-2 outbreak and entertains fans with irregular jokes and even Twitter Q&A sessions. During one of such, the director answered the question related to the possible screenplay of the third Scooby-Doo movie. In his response, the Suicide Squad 2 director said that it was centered on testing the beliefs and prejudices of the titular character and his friend Shaggy.
The main story was supposed to be set in Scotland where locals are complaining about mysterious monsters terrorizing the vicinity of the town and scaring children. However, the investigation by Scooby and his friends lead to the conclusion that monsters are actually bullied and repressed by locals. The team has to deal with the sudden change of the situation and accept that they too have prejudices and biases that need to be addressed.
What is also quite interesting about the Scooby-Doo 3 project is that James Gunn could have directed it if the studio greenlit the sequel. Sadly, the second film was a box office disappointment and did not live up to high expectations. It is highly unlikely that we will ever see the third movie. The reboot is a far more promising prospect for the Scooby-Doo franchise. Can James Gunn make it happen?
Quite honestly, highly unlikely due to a variety of reasons. First of all, Gunn is already busy with several huge projects including the third installment in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and finalizing the postproduction on Suicide Squad 2. He is also very expensive right now and won’t spend his precious time on small time projects like Scooby-Doo. The famous animated TV show has lost most of its charm recently. It is not as big of a brand as it used to be two decades ago.
Kevin Feige also hinted at the possibility of working on Phase 4 together with James Gunn. It was rumored that he was consulting the MCU team even when he was fired from the job of the director of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. Many people believe that James Gunn and Kevin Feige are actually the main creative minds of Phase 3 of the MCU.
No, we will never see a Scooby-Doo movie made by James Gunn. However, we can still try to imagine what it would have been like if he was actually allowed to make his concept a reality!