Mindy Kaling's Velma: Release Date, Cast, And More

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Jinkies! Scooby-Doo's brainy buddy Velma Dinkley is getting her own show thanks to acclaimed actress, comedian, writer, and producer Mindy Kaling. However, this isn't the same bespectacled super sleuth with an affinity for orange we've come to know and love since her first appearance in "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" from 1969. Inspired by the blockbuster animated movie "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," Kaling has reimagined Velma's origins for a modern audience with her adult-oriented take on the beloved Hanna-Barbera character and the rest of the Mystery, Inc. gang.

But before the series premieres next year, let's look at all the clues and figure out how they can help us solve the mystery surrounding the upcoming show "Velma."

Velma release date and where to watch it

Just before the 2022 Christmas holiday kicks into full gear, HBO (via Variety) announced that Mindy Kaling's "Velma" will premiere on January 12, 2023. The series featuring the star of "The Office" and "The Mindy Project" will drop on the company's streamer, HBO Max. According to TVLine, rather than dropping all at once, the first season consisting of 10 episodes will be released weekly.

Here's what Velma is about

Details about the plot of "Velma" are currently being kept under wraps, but the series will be set prior to the gang's glory days of traveling in a van and solving mysteries with their lovable dog. In fact, Warner Bros. President of Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics, Tom Ascheim, previously noted at the TV Kids Summer Festival that Scooby will not be appearing in the new show. Probably for the best since they're targeting the "Harley Quinn" and "Rick and Morty" crowd rather than children. Instead, Mindy Kaling has reinterpreted the characters of this universe, starting with making the titular protagonist South Asian. Although, she'll still be the same highly intelligent and frequently overlooked young lady that is all about seeking the truth because, as Kaling said (via Fandom Wireandom Wire), "no one on [Scooby-Doo] is defined by their whiteness — except Fred is extremely white."

In terms of the other Scooby Gang members, they will definitely appear in this untold chapter of Velma's life. Though they're very different people at this point in their lives, they team up with one another before officially establishing Mystery, Inc. to solve a murder when a corpse is found in their high school. According to the show's New York Comic Con panel (via Gizmodo), Fred is a jerky rich kid that emerges as the prime suspect of the previously mentioned murder, Norville AKA Shaggy is Velma's straight-edge best friend that has a crush on her, and Daphne was Velma's childhood friend until they had a falling out. On top of that, with the added complication of a "love quadrangle," don't expect the gang to be the well-oiled Mystery Machine that fans are used to seeing. 

The cast and crew of Velma

Joining Mindy Kaling as Velma will be an all-star ensemble of talent, starting with Constance Wu, Glenn Howerton, and Sam Richardson lending their voices to leads Daphne Blake, Fred Jones, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers.

As for the supporting roles, there are a number of heavy hitters on the call sheet. Kaling (as Velma) revealed the roles in a lengthy Twitter thread, starting with the Scooby Gang's parents. Jane Lynch and Wanda Sykes play Donna and Linda, Daphne's police officer moms. Legendary comedian Russell Peters lends his voice to Velma's father Aman, who is dating Melissa Fumero's character Sophie, while Velma's mother Diya is played by Sarayu Blue. Stephen Root makes his way from another corner of the HBO universe (aka "Barry") to voice Crystal Cove's top lawman (and Donna and Linda's boss), Sheriff Cogburn. Root's "Office Space" co-star Gary Cole plays therapist Lamont Rogers, who is presumably Norville's dad. His mom Blythe is voiced by the incomparable Nicole Byer. Fred's parents William and Victoria Jones are played by Cherry Jones and Frank Welker. If Welker's name sounds familiar, that's because he originated the role of Fred in the OG cartoon.

Filling out the world around Scooby's crew are Shay Mitchell, Fortune Feimster, and Yvonne Orji as popular girls Brenda, Olive, and Gigi, along with NBA superstar Karl-Anthony Towns as Jacques Beau the Handsome Jock. Ken Leung, Ming-Na Wen, Kulap Vilaysack, and Debby Ryan round out the cast in roles that are currently unknown. Oh, and apparently "Weird Al" Yankovic voices a character named Dandruff Tuba.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, frequent Kaling collaborator and award-winning writer on "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live" Charlie Grandy serves as the showrunner for the upcoming series. He's joined by Howard Klein, Sam Register, and Kaling as executive producers.

Velma trailer and synopsis

Here's the official synopsis of "Velma" from HBO Max:

"Velma" is an adult animated comedy series telling the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. This original and humorous spin unmasks the complex and colorful past of one of America's most beloved mystery solvers.