Cult filmmaker Edgar Wright did double-duty last night at Entertainment Weekly‘s CapeTown Film Fest, showing off his zombie romcom Shaun of the Dead and his romantic rock-gamer odyssey Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. (Wright also sharedsome footage for his upcoming projects, including an eye-popping test reel for Ant-Man.) Before the Pilgrim screening, Wright brought some friends onstage: actors Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brandon Routh, and Satya Bhabha, and Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley. Below, the coolest tidbits from their chat:
As you might imagine, it was difficult to describe the movie. Edgar Wright recalled the quick line he used to describe the look of the film while he was developing it: “It’s kind of a cross between Amelie and Kung Fu Hustle.” The director laughed. “You can imagine some executives saying, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The first song in the film is essentially a single jam session by Beck. “The song at the start of the movie is the demo he did in his garage,” explained Wright. “There are no overdubs. He literally jammed that opening. We sweetened it a little bit, but that’s Beck playing in his garage.”
Bhabha pretended to be an American to get the part. The British-born actor who plays evil ex Matthew Patel heard some disturbing news when he was preparing to audition for the movie. “I had heard through a very kindly casting director that Edgar had decided he didn’t want any Brits in the film. So even though Edgar and I live around the corner from each other in Islington, the whole audition process, I [used] an American accent.”
Everyone is wearing black in the movie. Or at least all of the extras are.”All of the hipsters in the clubs are all wearing black,” explained Wright. “And as it goes on, especially in the last club, they’re all wearing the same thing, they’ve all got the same Converses on. So Scott Pilgrim with his yellow t-shirt in the first fight, and Patel in his striped shirt, really pops out because everyone else in the club is wearing dark clothes.”
About that ending… Scott Pilgrim originally ended much differently (ALTERNA-SPOILER ALERT) with Scott ending up with original girlfriend Knives Chau instead of neon-haired Ramona Flowers. “The way that we’d originally written it, which wasn’t quite right, is we were trying to do a Graduate or Heartbreak Kid-style ending. To tell the honest truth, Ellen Wong [who plays Knives] was so lovely and so charming that it just made me feel horrible even doing that ending. So the ending we did have was neither here nor there.” After arguments at test screenings broke out about the original ending, a new ending was written by Wright, his Pilgrim co-writer Michael Bacall, and O’Malley. In a nice twist, the last line by Knives Chau in the film, which doesn’t appear in the comic, was written by O’Malley, the creator of the whole shebang.
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