How Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Levels Up The Pilgrim-Verse

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off

by Ben Travis |
Published on

The guitar-rocking Canadian has gone anime. We find out how the Pilgrim-verse is getting even wilder.

Read an extract of Empire's Scott Pilgrim Takes Off story from our November 2023 issue below, or see the full piece here.

How exactly does Scott Pilgrim level up yet again? Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels are 21st-century classics. Edgar Wright’s 2010 film adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a critically acclaimed cult favourite. Even the side-scrolling video-game is so beloved that it was resurrected on current consoles for its tenth anniversary. Now, he’s back in anime form. Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is bringing O’Malley’s world of evil exes, bass battles, and sleepytime tea back to the screen — this time with the boundless possibilities of animation.

“There’s an extended fight sequence in Episodes 2 and 3 that, if this was a live-action movie, would cost more than Avatar, raves co-writer BenDavid Grabinski, who’s adapted the material alongside O’Malley himself. “It would be so unbelievably big. And you don’t have to think that way. You’re not limited.” While the biggest challenge — and tallest triumph — of Wright’s film was translating Scott Pilgrim’s video-game-logic-infused comic-book-meets-anime style into live action, the subject matter proved a perfect fit for celebrated anime house Science SARU. “If you made a live-action movie of the show that we did, I think it would be the most expensive movie ever, and you’d be shooting for ten years,” Grabinski laughs. “It would be a total Hearts Of Darkness situation.”

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Empire Nov 23 Issue
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