The salary negotiation that killed Scooby Doo 3

Scooby Doo
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Freddie Prinze Jr opens up about the salary chat that led to him walking away from the Scooby Doo movies, taking Scooby Doo 3 down.

If you’re looking to see some of the earlier screen work of James Gunn – now heading up the world of DC Entertainment films, of course – then dig out the two Scooby Doo movies of the early 2000s that he either wrote or co-wrote (Raja Gosnell directed them).

The first one’s not particularly great, but the second – Monsters Unleashed – is a significant upgrade. Both films certainly did well enough, so much so that Warner Bros went looking for a Scooby Doo 3. Monsters Unleashed hadn’t done quite the business of the first though, so the studio clearly decided that some savings needed to be made. It thus took its collecting tin round to its ensemble.

Freddie Prinze Jr took on the role of Fred in those films, and he’s just given an extensive interview to Esquire. And he’s revealed as part of that that the studio’s way of balancing the books on the third film was to ask him to take a pay cut, so that his co-stars could take a pay rise.

Prinze Jr did not take this well, questioning whether it was supposed to be him or the studio that gave people a pay rise. “Like we made you guys three-quarters of a billion dollars, you can’t afford to pay them what I’m making on this? Screw that”, he said.

Warner Bros responded by leaking his salary to try and force his hand, but that meant that Prinze Jr simply wasn’t having any of it. He walked away, and was not a happy Freddie. Scooby Doo 3 thus never a thing, and we’d never see Freddie’s Fred again.

You can read the full interview with him here.

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