BURBANK, CA, - Zoinks! "Scooby Doo" is going live in '02! The first-ever live-action adaptation of the beloved and long-running animated series "Scooby Doo," starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini and Rowan Atkinson, began production on February 12, 2001 at the Warner Roadshow Studios in Queensland, Australia, it was announced today by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, President of Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Raja Gosnell ("Big Momma's House," "Never Been Kissed,") is directing the comedy, which catches up with Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang as they meddle their way into a bona fide mystery that leads them into murky and possibly supernatural waters.
Though Scooby's whereabouts are currently unknown, his clever crime-solving cohorts are, as always, on the case. The gang, seen here for the first time in character: Freddie Prinze Jr. ("She's All That") as ringleader Fred; Sarah Michelle Gellar ("Cruel Intentions," TV's "Buffy The Vampire Slayer") as Daphne; Matthew Lillard ("Scream") as Shaggy; and Linda Cardellini (TV's "Freaks and Geeks") as Velma.
The film also features international comedy star Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") as Mondavarious, the mysterious owner of Spooky Island and procurer of the Mystery Inc. group's services.
"Scooby Doo" will film entirely on location in Queensland, Australia, with the support and assistance of the Queensland state government's Pacific Film and Television Commission. Queensland's Minister for the Arts, Mr. Matt Foley, said that he was delighted to welcome the "Scooby Doo" cast and crew to Queensland. "The production team couldn't have picked a better place to shoot this feature," Mr. Foley said. "The Gold Coast region of Queensland is vibrant, friendly and full of colorful characters, just like the original 'Scooby Doo' series. Our talented local crew and state of the art facilities will ensure that filming will be hassle free for the 'Scooby Doo' production, just as it has been for the countless international crews that have shot here in the past."
Based on the classic Hanna-Barbera characters, "Scooby Doo," a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of an Atlas Entertainment production of a Raja Gosnell film, is produced by Charles Roven ("Three Kings," "City Of Angels") from a screenplay written by James Gunn ("The Specials"). Richard Suckle, Robert Engelman ("Little Nicky"), Kelley Smith-Wait ("Three Kings"), Andrew Mason ("Red Planet") and William Hanna and Joseph Barbera are the executive producers.
Freddie Prinze Jr. first came to worldwide attention with his starring turn in the hit thriller "I Know What You Did Last Summer," and he reprised his role in the sequel "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer."
His previous starring roles include the romantic comedy "Head Over Heels" and the Miramax releases "Boys and Girls," "Down to You" and "She's All That," for which Prinze and his co-star Rachel Leigh Cook earned a 1999 MTV Movie Award nomination for Best On-Screen Duo.
Prinze made his screen debut in "To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday," followed by a role in the critically acclaimed ensemble drama "The House of Yes."
Sarah Michelle Gellar is known to television audiences worldwide as the eponymous star of The WB television network's hit series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." A working actor since she was six years old, Gellar was discovered at the age of four while eating in a restaurant. She went on to play the role of Kendall Hart Lang on ABC's long-running daytime drama "All My Children" from 1993-95. Gellar has also guest-starred on HBO's hit series "Sex and the City," the "Buffy" spin-off series "Angel," and Fox's animated TV series "King of the Hill."
Gellar's feature film credits include the blockbuster horror films "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Scream 2," as well as the romantic drama "Cruel Intentions." She also voiced a role in the Disney animated feature "Hercules."
Her upcoming film projects include "Harvard Man" with Eric Stoltz and Joey Lauren Adams and "The It Girl."
Rowan Atkinson first appeared onscreen in 1977, in "Monty Python Meets Beyond the Fringe," which he followed up with a three-year stint on the British television comedy "Not the Nine O'Clock News." Atkinson went on to star in the celebrated "Blackadder" series, including "Blackadder: The Cavalier Years," "Blackadder's Christmas Carol," "Blackadder Goes Forth" and most recently, "Blackadder Back and Forth."
In 1988, Atkinson starred in his own comedy special, "Live! From London," with the "Absolutely Fabulous" team of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. A second special, "Rowan Atkinson Live," was released in 1992. He went on to play "Mr. Bean" on the television series of the same name, and starred in the international hit feature film "Bean" in 1997.
Atkinson's additional film roles include his memorable turn in "Four Weddings and a Funeral," and "Hot Shots! Part Deux." He also provided the voice of Zazu in Disney's animated blockbuster "The Lion King." He will next be seen in "Rat Race."
Matthew Lillard made a major impression on audiences with his role as the manic killer Stuart in the 1996 mega-hit "Scream." Previously, Lillard appeared opposite Kathleen Turner in the horror comedy "Serial Mom." He went on to play roles in the critically lauded film "Without Limits," the comedy-drama "SLC Punk," as well as "Spanish Judges," "Wing Commander" and "Love's Labour's Lost."
Lillard has several movies opening in 2001, including two films from Warner Bros. Pictures: the romantic comedy "Summer Catch," with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel, and the remake of the classic 1960 horror film "13 Ghosts," with F. Murray Abraham.
Linda Cardellini is best known for her starring role in the widely acclaimed TV series "Freaks and Geeks." She has appeared on numerous television shows, including starring roles in "Bone Chillers" and "Guys Like Us"; recurring roles on "Pacific Palisades" and "Boy Meets World"; and guest spots on "3rd Rock from the Sun," "Step by Step" and "Promised Land." She has also been seen in the telefilms "Dying to Live" and "The Lot."
Cardellini's work in feature films include roles in "Dee Snider's StrangeLand" and "Dead Man on Campus." Cardellini will next be seen onscreen in "Legally Blonde" with Reese Witherspoon and "Sins of the Father."
"Scooby Doo" will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, an AOL Time Warner Company.