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Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Scooby film gets go-ahead
Cover of Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invasion
21st century dog: Scooby-Doo has recently seen a revival
Work on a live-action film of cartoon series Scooby-Doo is to start in February in Australia, Warner Bros has announced.

Industry newspaper Variety reports that Raja Gosnell has been hired to direct the film, which has been in the pipeline for some time.

Gosnell's previous projects include Home Alone 3 and Drew Barrymore's comedy Never Been Kissed.

No announcements have been made about who will star in the film, although Welsh actor Rhys Ifans - who made his name as scruffy Spike in Notting Hill - has been linked with unkempt hero Shaggy.

Scooby first appeared in 1969
Austin Powers star Mike Myers had earlier been earmarked for the character, whose real name is Norville Rogers.

Made by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? first hit US TV screens in 1969, and, infamously, featured similar storylines in each of its 25 episodes.

Four youngsters - sporty Fred, glamourous Daphne, studious Velma and dishevelled Shaggy - arrive in their van, The Mystery Machine, with their Great Dane friend Scooby to be chased around by an apparent spirit - before rumbling the bad guy who spooked them in the first place.

Casey Kasem - host of 1980s music show America's Top 10 - was the voice of Shaggy, while late voice actor Don Messick provided Scooby's growl.

Scooby's nephew, Scrappy-Doo, joined the cast for a third series in 1979.

Despite its limited range of plotlines, the show has been a perennial favourite, and has recently seen a revival in the US thanks to repeats on cable channel Cartoon Network.

A new cartoon version, Scooby-Doo And The Alien Invaders, was released on video in the US recently.

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