Recently, Warner Bros. announced the voice cast for their animated Scooby-Doo reboot, and Matthew Lillard was surprised to see he wasn’t a part of it. The Last Man on Earth star Will Forte will reportedly take over the role in the new movie, and Lillard found out at the same time as the rest of us when the news first hit the internet. Ever since original Shaggy voice actor Casey Kasem retired from performing the role in 2010, Lillard has been regularly voicing the hungry mystery-solver in every movie and TV appearance. Clearly disappointed in not even being approached to play Shaggy in the franchise’s return to the big screen, Lillard took to Twitter to say, “Well this sucks.” He adds that llearning about his recasting via Twitter was really a “crappy way to find out.”
Matthew Lillard first took on the role of Shaggy in the 2002 live-action Scooby Doo movie. In that movie, longtime collaborator Freddie Prinze Jr. co-starred as Fred, with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne and Linda Cardellini as Velma. Lillard reprised the role for the 2004 follow-up movie Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, forever becoming synonymous with the character. This planned animated movie will mark the franchise’s return to theaters since that movie, and it’s easy to see why Lillard would feel slighted about Warner Bros. leaving him out in the cold.
While Warner Bros. isn’t using Lillard for the new movie, longtime Scooby-Doo and Fred voice actor Frank Welker will return to provide the voice of Scooby. Other confirmed cast members include Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) as Captain Caveman and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) as Velma. Other names are expected to be announced soon, now that casting is under way. The plot will see Mystery Inc. teaming up with characters from other Hanna-Barbera cartoons to save the world from Dick Dastardly, but this time, “the threat is real.” Because this is a big theatrical release, it seems likely Warner Bros. will go all out in bringing in many prominent Hanna-Barbera characters, such as Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, and The Jetsons.
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Just recently, Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost was released directly to home video, featuring Lillard as Shaggy. Along with Welker, Lillard has also recorded lines for the new TV special Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, which is due to premiere on the Boomerang streaming service this year. While it seems probable he will voice the character again in other upcoming Scooby-Doo video game or home video releases as well, to be replaced specifically for the big Hollywood movie has to feel insulting for the actor.
Tony Cervone is directing, with Chris Columbus, Charles Roven, and Allison Abbate producing. The untitled movie has been set for a May 2020 release date. Will Forte is a talented actor and may do a fine job voicing Shaggy, but those who’ve been watching Scooby-Doo movies over the past decade will likely tell the difference from Lillard’s distinct voice. You can take a look at Lillard’s tweet about the movie’s announcement below.