June 18, 2020
HBO Max is flexing its content muscle in the streaming wars.
The Warner Bros. animated feature Scoob! will have its exclusive U.S. SVOD premiere on HBO Max June 26 — almost a month before its July 21 disc release and a little over a month after its premium VOD debut May 15 because of the pandemic.
HBO Max, which debuted May 27, is the direct-to-consumer offering of the studio’s parent company WarnerMedia.
Scoob! was set to be the first “Scooby-Doo!” animated feature film released theatrically May 15, but with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down theaters it was instead released through premium VOD and digital sellthrough. Its release on SVOD before disc breaks longstanding windows between the two formats in which disc release typically has preceded streaming.
The film, which will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, recounts the meeting of Scooby-Doo and his best pal Shaggy, and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to form Mystery Inc. Now, after hundreds of adventures, Scooby and the gang encounter the larger world of the Hanna-Barbera universe, teaming with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt to stop Dick Dasterdly from unleashing the legendary ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. The voice cast includes Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan, Simon Cowell and Frank Welker.
“HBO Max is the perfect home for these ‘meddling kids’ and their dog,’” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer for HBO Max, and president of TNT, TBS and TruTV, said in a statement. “Scoob! tells the backstory of how these beloved friends met and formed Mystery Inc. It’s a perfect addition to our kids and family offering and will sit alongside beloved original Scooby-Doo episodes.”
HBO Max also released a clip for the much-anticipated streaming debut of director Zack Synder’s director’s cut of Justice League. WarnerMedia May 20 announced its streaming debut in 2021.
In a boost to HBO Max’s unscripted lineup, the service announced an agreement to a two-year, first-look overall deal with showrunner and executive producer Sam Dean (Netflix’s “Love Is Blind”). In addition to Dean’s future assignments as showrunner for HBO Max projects, her deal includes first-look rights on all her owned or controlled concepts for her unscripted programming for all platforms. She recently wrapped production as showrunner for the upcoming HBO Max unscripted series “12 Dates of Christmas,” which will debut later this year.
“Sam is an outstanding unscripted storyteller and a top-tier showrunner,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original nonfiction and kids programming, said in a statement. “After working with Sam on our reality rom-com, ‘12 Dates of Christmas,’ it was clear that her ability to tell stories with heart, humor and a wink to the audience made her a perfect fit for HBO Max. We count ourselves lucky to be in business with a producer of her caliber.”
“I am really looking forward to working with HBO Max; it’s a new and ambitious platform with an unlimited appetite to create fresh and innovative content, yet it also brings with it WarnerMedia’s history of excellence that has continually kept them at the forefront of creativity and storytelling,” Dean said in a statement. “It’s a great time to get involved as an unscripted producer. I feel blessed to be joining an incredibly strong and talented team, who I admire greatly and have loved collaborating with on ’12 Dates of Christmas.’ I am excited to get started on new projects.”
Dean has produced a variety of unscripted genre content, including social experiments, dating and competition formats. In addition to Netflix’s “Love Is Blind,” she’s worked on ABC’s “The Taste” and multiple series of “Married at First Sight” and various spin off shows within that franchise.