Over the past decade, the comic book store has become a lucrative location for Hollywood to mine for ideas. With more “Batman,” “Superman” and “Spiderman” adaptations well under way, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood ripped more characters from the panels of your favorite comics.
Recently, many major studios have started turning more obscure comics into films and television shows. In the past year, the film “Kick-Ass,” the television series “The Walking Dead” and, in this particular case, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” have all been adapted to live-action.
Based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is the simple story of boy meets girl – only this girl has seven evil exes who are ready to finish the boy off in a driving musical number.
“Scott Pilgrim” may sound like a typical romantic comedy, but how many romantic comedies feature fight scenes that look like a battle from the last level of your favorite Nintendo game?
Directed by Edgar Wright, the man behind cult hits “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” amounts to more than your average comic adaptation.
If you are familiar with Wright’s work, you know he has a knack for taking simple, clichd concepts and making them original. He is the perfect choice to adapt O’Malley’s comics, and that is what piqued the interest of Universal Studios.
“It was definitely one of the things that was irresistible to me in making this film, because I felt like nothing quite like it really existed,” Wright said during a conference call with student journalists on Nov. 1.
Wright – like his directorial influences John Carpenter, Sam Raimi and John Landis – has achieved great success in taking risks with film. It is this sensibility that he believes is missing amongst many North American movies.
“You know, a lot of western films don’t break the rules quite as much, and I think that was what was kind of fun to me,” he said. “The idea of making something that wasn’t completely bound to any reality.”
Universal released “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” for Blu-Ray and DVD on Nov. 19 with comprehensive special features including commentaries with many key members of the cast and crew – like actor Michael Cera, who plays Scott Pilgrim, and cinematographer Bill Pope.
The DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Wright’s previous films were packed with in-depth documentaries and discussions. “Scott Pilgrim” is no different.
“When we did our first DVD, and we put extras on, we were aware that the fans really responded to it and appreciated it,” Wright said. “We realized that you can never go into enough detail.”
Wright and his crew have documented the making of the film thoroughly, providing strong insight into the creation of a movie.
Wright’s fear that all the “making-of” footage was going to be lost forever should no longer keep him awake at night. However, it is worth noting that the majority of these excellent special features are only available on Blu-Ray, which also includes a DVD copy of the film.
Though the film did not become a blockbuster hit, outspoken fans, like acclaimed directors Guillermo Del Toro and Quentin Tarantino, and continued midnight screenings at theaters across the world have secured the film’s cult status.