Long before writing and directing the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and finding himself steering the Marvel Cosmic Universe, James Gunn worked on the screenplay for the two live-action Scooby-Doo films. The first of those, 2002’s Scooby-Doo: The Movie, is now 15 years old. It was notable at the time for attracting terrible reviews, but doing well enough to generate a sequel two years later.
Reflecting on the first film now, Gunn confirmed the rumor that it was originally given an R rating by the MPAA. As he recalled in a Facebook post commemorating the movie’s release, “I had written an edgier film geared toward older kids and adults, and the studio ended pushing it into a clean cut children’s film.”
He continued, “And, yes, the rumors are true — the first cut was rated R by the MPAA, and the female stars’ cleavage was CGI’d away so as not to offend. But, you know, such is life. I had a lot of fun making this movie, regardless of all that. And I was also able to eat, buy a car, and a house because of it.”
Gunn also revealed that he read every single review he could find of the movie, which wasn’t his happiest moment — only to learn the next morning that it had made $18 million on its opening day and that his life was going to change as a result. And it did — although he was offered the likes of The Jetsons and Captain Caveman thanks to Scooby-Doo‘s success, he chose instead to write the screenplay for Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead. Shrewd intuition there, Mr. Gunn…