Scott Pilgrim is that prototypical, twentysomething slacker you all know and (mostly) tolerate. He spends too much time on your coach, indulges in a bit too much woe-is-me existential reflection, and yet he’s your pal and you love him to death.
The only difference is that the world he inhabits — the magical realistic confines of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” — overflows with pop-culture references come to life, from “Street Fighter” imagery to “Seinfeld” music to manga-influenced visuals. In the midst of this fantastical realm, Scott finds himself in a series of video game-style fights with the ex-flames of his one true love, Ramona Flowers. He must defeat them — and get his act together — if he’s to survive.
It’s a strange concept, to be sure, but one that fans of the graphic novels on which the flick is based have been drooling over for years. Here, director Edgar Wright has compressed Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six volumes into one 110-minute film. That was no easy task. Universal picked up the rights to the series back in 2005.
But now “Scott Pilgrim” is here, and so is MTV News. We’ve been tracking the project for years — each production update, inside look, cast interview and more. So we’ve gathered it all together: Check out MTV News’ cheat sheet for everything you need to know about “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”
Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
By the time we caught up with Wright in summer 2008, he’d already tapped Michael Cera to play Scott and Mary Elizabeth Winstead to play Ramona. But months would pass until the rest of the cast began to come together. In January ’09, Kieran Culkin signed on to play Scott’s roommate Wallace Wells, followed by Chris Evans and Brandon Routh as evil exes, Ellen Wong as Scott’s fling Knives Chau, Aubrey Plaza as ever-annoying Julie Powers, Mark Webber as guitarist Stephen Stills, Alison Pill as drummer Kim Pine and Johnny Simmons as band buddy Young Neil. Beck and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich came aboard as music supervisor.
With the ensemble cast in place, and after a bunch of pre-production teaser photos hit the Web, production kicked off in Toronto in late March. O’Malley quickly told us that, in comparison to his comic creations, the cast is “pretty spot-on.”
Of the visual-effects-heavy fight scenes, Webber told us: “The technology was totally out of my realm. I don’t even know what half this stuff is, but I get the sense that we’re all into something new, and it’s definitely [Wright’s] unique way of making a film.”
Though the cast scattered, going on to other projects, they continued to chat with MTV News about “Scott Pilgrim”: Evans talked about skateboard training, Jason Schwartzman walked us through a sword fight, Plaza revealed why her casting was “meant to be,” and Cera bragged about watching much of the film on Wright’s laptop.
The new year brought an official production still of Cera with a flaming sword in his hand. Fans ate it up, and those lucky enough to sneak into early screenings started comparing the flick to “Star Wars.”
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
MTV News swooped into San Diego Comic-Con in July and promptly delivered an exclusive new “Pilgrim” clip. We followed that up with a ton of cast and crew interviews. Cera laughed about his Con-going experience, Pill and Webber revealed how they trained to become big-screen musicians, and Wright answered one very important question: Just who is this Scott Pilgrim we’ve been hearing so much about?
“Bryan Lee O’Malley, who wrote the books, once described the character as the hero of the movie inside his own head — and this, essentially, is the movie,” he explained. “So it’s kind of a daydream for people who’ve been brought up on Saturday morning cartoons and video games and too many sugary products.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”
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