Well, this is a story I never expected to write. Actor Dax Shepard continues forging his second career behind-the-camera, most notably with Hit and Run, Parenthood and About a Boy episodes and next year’s CHiPs remake under his growing resume. But his next project is … well, it’s an odd choice. He’ll co-direct a new animated Scooby-Doo movie with Tony Cervone, which will hit theaters on September 21, 2018.
Variety (via Slashfilm) covered the unexpected choice. In addition to sharing the director’s chair, Shepard will also co-write alongside Matt Lieberman. He got the position through Jesse Ehrman, whose overseeing this animated production. Ehrman oversaw Shepard’s CHiPs as well and saw the potential in the actor-writer-director and the material. After Shepard expressed interest in the property, Ehrman suggested the actor-director meet with executives regarding the new film. The studio envisioned two directors for the project from the start, according to reports.
Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, who produced the two live-action Scooby-Doo films from the early ’00s, will also collaborate on this new project. Family Guy‘s Dan Povenmire, meanwhile, will executive produce as well. This currently untitled Scooby-Doo film falls under the blossoming Warner Animation Group banner, which excelled with their first film, The Lego Movie, two years back. They have Storks coming at the end of the month, then release The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjango Movie next year. They also have Smallfoot, The Lego Movie Sequel and The Billion Brick Race in various levels of development.
I admire Shepard. Though I’m not super impressed with anything he’s done to date, I like his creative drive and I applaud his pull-through to make what became his next two films. He doesn’t seem like my first choice for the material, but hey, maybe it’ll work out. We’ll have to see in the years to come, I guess. WAG’s track record is pretty strong so far, so I would hate to see them stumble with this new film. Plus, we deserve one good theatrical Scooby-Doo movie. I hope it’s this one.