Filed Under: Interview
|Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera, left) does battle with an evil ex (Jason Schwartzman) in Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
In preparation for my interview with cast members and the director of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
, my first plan of action was to frantically read the source material six comic books by Bryan O'Malley
. In a conference room at the Ritz-Carlton, Michael Cera
sat two chairs down from me and said, in so few words, exactly how I felt about Edgar Wright
's adaptation. He practically whispered under his breath, "It's art imitating art
O'Malley and Wright agreed from the beginning that the film should complement the books instead of attempt to mirror all six; the film, Wright said, "had to become its own beast
." "Bryan was happy with it because everything was in the same kind of spirit," he said. "There are things he can do in the comic that we can't do in the film and vice versa. It's more concentrating on what we can do in the film that he can't do in the comic."
The story of Scott Pilgrim is equal parts action and romantic comedy the titular character's (Cera) goal is to fight
new love Ramona Flowers' (Mary Elizabeth Winstead
) seven evil exes (including future Captain America Chris Evans
and one-time Superman Brandon Routh
). Wright's version of the seven fight scenes one for each ex has actors flying through the air as the theme music from Street Fighter plays in the background not exactly something O'Malley could pull off on paper. But, even though he's clearly intrigued by the medium, Wright didn't simply want to copy video games like similarly-minded movies. "I thought that'd be an interesting aspect to takes bits of video games that all of the film versions leave behind," says Wright. "The thing that's weird with video game adaptations is most of the video games are based on films so when you get around to the film of the video game it feels like a weird Xerox."
That meant the filming of fight scenes beyond the experience of most of the young cast. Jason Schwartzman
, who plays the evilest of the exes and Anna Kendrick
, who plays Scott's constantly clued-in sister, elaborated:
The fight sequences were something I've always wanted to do. Wire-fighting was really a remarkable experience. It's terrifying because you fly up in the air a couple times and you look over and see how they're actually doing it. It's just a guy jumping off a ladder with rope and his body weight is propelling you and then he's got Nyquil in his back pocket
and you think is this really safe? Edgar had it all planned out and it was very safe. It took about three weeks to shoot it. In fact, the way it was scheduled, I got married in the middle of the fight scene.
: I got this image of Edgar when I was first cast. He was really excited about the idea of putting Chris Evans
in [the film] because he just liked the idea of getting young Hollywood and pitting them against each other in battle. So I got this image of him as the evil puppet master
just choosing all of these young actors and saying, 'Fight to the death it will amuse me.'
The comic was used as a storyboard and reference on set, so much so that fans of the books will recognize certain panels Wright chose to imitate. Even his actors are still amazed at the extent of his familiarity with the source material and how it inspired him to match dialogue with pre-planned choreography.
Edgar had been thinking about the movie for three years and writing it and storyboarding it and making it really tight. There were some sequences where the joke of the scene is how the thoughts cut together
. They're shot a very specific way. It's not like running a scene and knowing exactly what we're doing.
Usually when you make a movie you do a complete take of a scene from every different angle but in this one Edgar already knew which angles...
...It was like pre-edited
Yeah, so he'd be like were going to shoot this scene so all you need to do is turn and say that one line then we'll cut. This was like mega-super-hyper focused
because you're just doing a shot at time just getting the thing you need. I know I wish in the future, if I ever work again, that whatever that may be they would do a comic of it first.
But Wright didn't shy away from getting down and dirty with his cast. Cera elaborates...
Yeah, we did and Edgar joined us too. Every morning waking up and running and doing push ups, all sorts of disgusting stuff.
Except often you get to train in the morning with Superman and Captain America as well, putting us to shame.
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