THEY DON’T MAKE MOVIES LIKE 2010’s anymore—but then again, they never did. Based on a series of graphic novels by Canadian writer-artist Bryan Lee O’Malley, this box office bomb–turned– beloved cult classic is—deep breath—a superhero film, martial-arts epic, coming-of-age comedy, rock musical, exercise in magical realism, and love letter to vintage videogames. The story revolves around Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), bassist for fictitious Toronto band Sex Bob-omb, who dumps his high-schoolstudent girlfriend Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) for a Rollerblading Amazon courier named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The problem? Ramona’s most recent partner, Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman), has formed the League of Evil Exes with Ramona’s other former beaux, many of whom Scott battles in fantastical fights. Directed by up-and-coming British filmmaker Edgar Wright the $60 million-plus Universal Studios-backed movie adaptation was shot in Toronto with a cast full of notable young talent: Chris Evans played one of the Evil Exes, action-movie star Lucas Lee, while another future Marvel Cinematic Universe hero, Brie Larson, portrayed Scott’s former girlfriend, rocker Envy Adams. Other future stars included Kieran Culkin, Mae Whitman, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Pill, and more. “Imagine doing a gym class all together with [these actors],”says Wright. “It was extraordinary.” Scott Pilgrim vs. the World CASTING THE — Wright considered a huge number of young actors for the film, including several soon-to-be-big stars. “Beyond the cast that’s in [the movie],” says Wright, “are all the people who auditioned for it, from Rooney Mara to Betty Gilpin to Zoe Kazan. Tons of people I would kill to work with now.” EDGAR WRIGHT (DIRECTOR AND COWRITER) had just come out, and [Universal’s then president of production] Donna Langley suggested Seth Rogen be Scott Pilgrim. I love Seth, but I couldn’t get my head around that. Knocked Up (Shaun of the Dead), MICHAEL CERA (SCOTT PILGRIM) Edgar was a big fan of Arrested Development. Michael Cera was the only person who came to mind. I loved he’s Canadian, he’s scrawny, he plays guitar, and the idea of Michael as a Romeo is just inherently amusing. WRIGHT Arrested Development, MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD (RAMONA When came out, I was hanging around with Quentin Tarantino and his circle for a while. Edgar was a part of that. Death Proof FLOWERS) CERA, WONG: KERRY HAYES/UNIVERSAL PICTURES (2); EVANS: UNIVERSAL PICTURES; WINSTEAD: DOUBLE NEGATIVE; BECK: RODIN ECKENROTH/GETTY IMAGES
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