By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The Los Angeles Film Festival attracts major filmmakers to come speak to the aspiring filmmakers and movie buffs. Edgar Wright gave a talk, hosted by J.J. Abrams, where he described his entire career from experimental home movies through BBC TV and feature films. He ended with a preview of his latest, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World!
Wright on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
“In Spaced we had a lot of fantasy sequences and dream sequences,” Wright said. “Scott Pilgrim felt like the dream scene that never ends. I was really just kind of hooked on the first book and thought it would be amazing to try and do it as a film because it would be an interesting level of reality to doing a comedy and it starts in a naturalistic place but flowers into magical realism and insanity.”
Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, who has to fight the seven evil ex-boyfriends of his new girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). “I had sort of Jackie Chan style fights. We weren’t going to do a lot of slo-mo sort of Matrix style stuff. So it’s going back to doing like ‘80s Jackie Chan stuff and a lot of the team are from Jackie Chan’s fight school. The tricky thing with this is that unlike a superhero film, you kind of have to hide in plain sight because nobody has masks. So there’s obviously some trickery going on and some sort of stunt doubles but Michael Cera does more than you would think as all the actors do.”
The seven battles will escalate in scope and intensity. “A lot of the Hong Kong action films are structured in exactly the same way as musicals. A lot of the fight scenes in those films are like production numbers. You’ll have two people fighting is like a duet. Then there’ll be a big number which is lots of people fighting. It was interesting when you look at the Jackie Chan films, Jackie Chan is very inspired by Gene Kelly. John Woo’s favorite film is West Side Story and in a strange way, with the fight scenes in this, we tried to make them almost more dancey in a way.”
Maybe Scott Pilgrim could become a franchise action hero who continue to fight in new adventures. Wright was only thinking of one movie though. He’s packed it all into this. “I guess especially with this, we might only get [to do one]. You get a lot of films now, a lot of comic book kind of films that can get publicized and people are already talking about part two. The press tour is like, ‘What’s going to happen in the second and third one?’ I think very early on, it’s the thing of we’re going to get the chance to do this film. I guess in my head, as somebody who is old enough to remember Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, when they had one and a half films and then they never finished it which traumatized me as a child, that there was no second half of Lord of the Rings. I’m thinking, ‘We better make one great film and see how that goes.’”
Scott Pilgrim vs The World opens to theaters on August 13th.