“Scooby-Doo” star Freddie Prinze Jr. told Esquire he was asked to take a pay cut for the sequel.
He said that Warner Bros. asked him to take the cut after his costars asked for a raise.
“My ego was so angry,” Prinze Jr. said in the interview.
Freddie Prinze Jr. said that he felt “so angry” when Warner Bros. asked him to take a pay cut for 2004’s “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” in order for his costars to receive a raise.
Prinze Jr. starred in the two early-2000s “Scooby-Doo” live-action films alongside his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, and Matthew Lillard.
In a new interview with Esquire, Prinze Jr. shared his frustrations about filming the franchise, including being asked to take a pay cut.
The actor told Esquire that after the first film, released in 2002, was successful, he was asked to take a pay cut because the rest of the cast wanted a raise for the second film.
“I remember thinking, ‘Hold up, who’s giving them the raise? Me or y’all?'” he said. “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.”
According to Prinze Jr., the studio allegedly released his salary in a magazine to persuade him to take the pay cut. He said this made him want to quit the franchise after the second film.
“My ego was so angry,” he said.
Insider has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.
Prinze Jr. told Esquire that he later started to appreciate the “Scooby-Doo” franchise when he saw fans’ appreciation of the movies on social media.
“All these people that had grown up loving those movies started reaching out,” he said. “And then I got what I felt was a more accurate perspective on what that movie meant to people because I was no longer viewing it through the lenses of the studio.”
Prinze Jr. mentioned that his other frustration with the first “Scooby-Doo” movie was that the end product was not the script he signed up for.
While the actor didn’t go into details about what changes were made, the writer behind the two films, James Gunn, said last year that he made plans to make Velma “explicitly gay” in his script but Warner Bros. played down her queerness.
“In 2001, Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script,” Gunn wrote last year in a since-deleted tweet. “But the studio just kept watering it down and watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version), and finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”
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