Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Information

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a 2010 American comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, based on the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The film is about Scott Pilgrim, a young Canadian musician, meeting the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, an American delivery girl. In order to win Ramona, Scott learns that he must defeat Ramona's "seven evil exes", who are coming to kill him.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was planned as a film after the first volume of the comic was released. Wright became attached to the project and filming began in March 2009 in Toronto. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World premiered after a panel discussion at the San Diego Comic-Con International on July 22, 2010. It received a wide release in North America on August 13, 2010, in 2,818 theaters. The film finished fifth on its first weekend of release with a total of $10.5 million. The film received generally positive reviews by critics and fans of the graphic novel, but it failed to recoup its production budget during its release in theaters, grossing $31.5 million in North America and $16 million overseas. However, the film has fared better on home video, becoming the top-selling Blu-ray Disc on during the first day it was available and has since gained a cult following.


In Toronto, Scott Pilgrim, the bass guitarist for the band "Sex Bob-omb", begins dating high schooler Knives Chau, much to the disapproval of his friends. Scott meets an American girl, Ramona Flowers, who has been appearing in his dreams, and becomes obsessed with her, losing interest in Knives. While playing in a battle of the bands sponsored by one "G-Man Graves" for a record deal, Scott is attacked by Matthew Patel, who introduces himself as the first of Ramona's "evil exes". Scott defeats Patel and learns that, in order for them to date, he must defeat all seven of her evil exes.

Scott breaks up with Knives, who blames Ramona for taking Scott from her and begins trying to win him back. Scott battles Ramona's second evil ex, popular actor and skateboarder Lucas Lee, who he defeats by tricking him into performing a dangerous skateboard grind that causes him to combust. Scott later encounters the third evil ex, Todd Ingram, who is dating Scott's ex-girlfriend, Natalie "Envy" Adams. Todd initially overpowers Scott using his psychic vegan abilities, but is stripped of his powers by the Vegan Police after Scott tricks him into drinking coffee with half and half cream, allowing Scott to defeat him.

Scott begins to grow upset with Ramona over her dating history by the defeat of the fourth ex, Roxy Richter. During the second round of the battle of the bands, Sex Bob-omb faces off against the fifth and sixth evil exes, twin Katayanagi brothers Kyle and Ken, earning Scott an extra life upon their defeat. During the battle, Scott sees Ramona together with her seventh evil ex, Gideon, who turns out to be G-Man Graves. The members of Sex Bob-omb accept Gideon's record deal, except for Scott, who leaves the band.

Upon returning home, Scott receives a phone call invitation from Gideon to his newly opened Chaos Theater where Sex Bob-omb is playing, claiming there to be "no hard feelings". Scott arrives and challenges Gideon to a fight, professing his love for Ramona and gaining a sword called the "Power of Love", which Gideon easily destroys. Knives then crashes the scene to fight Ramona over Scott. Scott goes to break up the girls' fight, only to accidentally reveal that he cheated on them with each other before he is killed by Gideon.

Ramona visits Scott in Limbo and apologizes for getting him involved in her affairs, revealing that Gideon had planted a mind control device in the back of her head. Scott realizes he still has an extra life and uses it to return to life at the moment in time when Gideon first called him. Scott reenters the Chaos Theater where he makes peace with his friends and challenges Gideon again, stating he is fighting for himself and gaining the much stronger "Power of Self-Respect" sword with which he strikes down Gideon. He then apologizes to Ramona and Knives for cheating on them, but Gideon interferes and knocks down Ramona, leading Scott and Knives to team up and defeat him. Free from Gideon's control, Ramona prepares to leave, but Knives accepts that her relationship with Scott is over and encourages him to follow Ramona. He does, and the two start their relationship anew.


Main characters
  • Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, a 22-year-old Canadian, who falls in love with Ramona Flowers. He is the bass guitarist of the band Sex Bob-omb as well as a hyper-competent martial artist of some unknown, yet effective anime-style fighting technique.
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers, a mysterious American delivery girl with a dating history that drives the plot of the film.
  • Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Scott's 25-year-old gay roommate and close friend.
  • Ellen Wong as Knives Chau, a 17-year-old high school girl whom Scott dates before meeting Ramona.
  • Alison Pill as Kim Pine, the 23-year-old drummer of Sex Bob-omb and one of Scott's ex-girlfriends.
  • Mark Webber as Stephen Stills, the 22-year-old lead singer and "talent" of Sex Bob-omb.
  • Johnny Simmons as "Young" Neil Nordegraf, a 20-year-old fan of Sex Bob-omb and Scott's replacement after he leaves the band.
  • Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim, Scott's 18-year-old sister; she refers to Scott as her "little brother", this may be because she is notably wiser and more intelligent than her older brother.
  • Brie Larson as Natalie "Envy" Adams, one of Scott's ex-girlfriends who went on to become the singer of the successful band The Clash at Demonhead.
  • Aubrey Plaza as Julie Powers, Stephen's obnoxious ex-girlfriend.
The League of Evil Exes, in numerical order
  1. Satya Bhabha as Matthew Patel, who has mystical powers, such as fireballs and levitation
  2. Chris Evans as Lucas Lee, a "pretty good" skateboarder turned "pretty good" action movie star.
  3. Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram, the bassist for The Clash at Demonhead who possesses telekinetic powers as a result of his veganism; he is the boyfriend of Scott's ex-girlfriend Envy Adams.
  4. Mae Whitman as Roxanne "Roxy" Richter, a self-conscious lesbian half-ninja.
  5. Shota Saito as Kyle Katayanagi, twin and popular Japanese musician.
  6. Keita Saito as Ken Katayanagi, twin and popular Japanese musician.
  7. Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Gordon Graves, owner of the Chaos Theatre and the mastermind behind the League of Evil Exes.
Other characters
  • Kjartan Hewitt as Jimmy, Stacey's boyfriend; Wallace stole him and the two kiss as Ramona leaves the first round of the Battle of the Bands at the "Rockit"; from Stacey's reaction, it is implied that Wallace has done this before
  • Ben Lewis as Other Scott, another one of Wallace's boyfriends
  • Nelson Franklin as Michael Comeau, one of Scott's friends who "knows everybody"
  • Christine Watson as Matthew Patel's Demon Hipster Chicks
  • Chantelle Chung as Tamara Chen, Knives' best friend
  • Don McKellar as Director, the director of the Lucas Lee film
  • Emily Kassie as Winifred Hailey, a 16-year-old actress who was due to star in a film with Lucas Lee before he was defeated by Scott; she briefly appears on the film set at the Casa Loma
  • John Patrick Amedori as the Chaos Theatre's bouncer
  • Tennessee Thomas as Lynette Guycott, drummer for The Clash at Demonhead.
  • Erik Knudsen as Luke "Crash" Wilson, singer and guitarist of the band Crash and the Boys who competes in the battle of the bands.
  • Maurie W. Kaufmann as Joel, a member of Crash and the Boys
  • Abigail Chu as Trisha "Trasha" Ha, the 8-year-old drummer of Crash and the Boys
  • Kristina Pesic and Ingrid Haas as Sandra and Monique, two popular girls at Julie's party
Thomas Jane and Clifton Collins, Jr. appear uncredited as the Vegan Policemen. The author, Bryan Lee O'Malley, and his wife, Hope Larson, also appear uncredited as Lee's Palace bar patrons. Reuben Langdon (known for being the voices of Ken in Street Fighter IV and Dante in the Devil May Cry series) has a cameo as one of Lucas Lee's stunt doubles. Bill Hader provides the video-game inspired voiceover.



After artist Bryan Lee O'Malley completed the first volume of Scott Pilgrim, his publisher Oni Press contacted producer Marc Platt with the proposition for a film version. Universal Studios contracted Edgar Wright who had just finished his last film, Shaun of the Dead, to adapt the Scott Pilgrim comics. O'Malley originally had mixed feelings about a film adaptation, stating that he "expected them to turn it into a full-on action comedy with some actor that I hated" [but ultimately] "didn't even care. I was a starving artist, and I was like, 'Please, just give me some money.'"

In May 2005, the studio signed Michael Bacall to write the screenplay adaptation. Bacall said that he wanted to write the Scott Pilgrim film because he "felt strongly" about the story and "empathized" with Scott Pilgrim's characters. By January 2009, filmmakers rounded out its cast for the film, now titled Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Edgar Wright noted that O'Malley was "very involved" with the script of the film from the start, and even contributed lines to and "polished" certain scenes in the film. Likewise, due to the long development process, several lines from the various scripts written by Wright and Bacall ended up in books four and five as well.

O'Malley confirmed that no material from Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, the sixth Scott Pilgrim volume, would appear in the film, as production had already begun. While he had given ideas and suggestions for the final act of the film, he admitted to that some of those plans might change throughout the writing process and ultimately stated that "Their ending is their ending". O'Malley gave Wright and Bacall his notes for the sixth book while filming took place.

Casting of the principal characters began in June 2008. Principal photography began in March 2009 in Toronto and wrapped as scheduled in August. In the film's original ending, written before the release of the final Scott Pilgrim book, Scott ultimately gets back together with Knives. After the final book in the series was released, in which Scott and Ramona get back together, and negative audience reaction to the ending during testing, a new ending was filmed to match the books, with Scott and Ramona getting back together.

The film was given a production budget of $85"90 million, an amount offset by tax rebates that resulted in a final cost around $60 million. Universal fronted $60 million of the pre-rebate budget.

O'Malley's commentary track was recorded on August 14, 2010, one day after the film's theatrical release.


Miles Dale, one of the producers, said that the film is "the biggest movie ever identifiably set in Toronto." The film features Casa Loma, St. Michael's College School, Sonic Boom, the Toronto Public Library Wychwood Library, a Goodwill location on St. Clair West, a Second Cup, and a Pizza Pizza. The developers planned to set the series in Toronto because, in Dale's words, "the books are super-specific in their local details" and director Edgar Wright wanted to use the imagery from the books, so Universal Studios had no plans to alter the setting. Dale stated that "Bathurst Street is practically the cerebral cortex of Scott Pilgrim".


Director Wright felt confident with his casting in the film. Wright stated that "Like with Hot Fuzz how we had great people in every single tiny part, it's the same with this. What's great with this is that there's people you know, like with Michael [Cera] and Jason [Schwartzman], and then we have people who are up and coming, like Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza and Brie Larson, and then there's complete unknowns as well". There was no studio interference with casting more unknowns, as Wright stated that "Universal never really gave me any problems about casting bigger people, because in a way Michael [Cera] has starred in two $100 million-plus movies, and also a lot of the other people, though they're not the biggest names, people certainly know who they are." Wright planned on casting Cera while writing Hot Fuzz after watching episodes of Arrested Development. Wright said he needed an actor that "audiences will still follow even when the character is being a bit of an ass." Edgar Wright ran all his casting decisions by O'Malley during the casting session. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was Wright's choice for Ramona Flowers two years before filming had started, because "she has a very sunny disposition as a person, so it was interesting to get her to play a version of herself that was broken inside. She's great in the film because she causes a lot of chaos but remains supernaturally grounded." Ellen Wong, a Toronto actress known mostly from a role in This Is Wonderland, auditioned for the part of Knives Chau three times. On her second audition, Wright learned that Wong has a green belt in tae kwon do, and says he found himself intrigued by this "sweet-faced young lady being a secret badass".


Main article: List of Scott Pilgrim soundtracks
Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Cornelius, Dan the Automator, Kid Koala, and David Campbell all contributed to the film's soundtrack. Beck wrote and composed the music played by Sex Bob-omb in the film, and two unreleased songs can also be heard in the teaser trailer. Cast members Mark Webber, Alison Pill and Johnny Simmons all had to learn to play their respective instruments, and spent time rehearsing as a band with Michael Cera (who already played bass) and Beck before filming began. The actors also perform on the movie soundtrack. Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene wrote all the songs for Crash and the Boys. The tracks were sung by actor Erik Knudsen, who plays Crash in the film. Drew stated that the reason behind this was that "[he] knew that [Knudsen] didn't need to be a singer to pull [it] off" because the songs were "so quick and punk and fast" and "it needed to be the character's voice." Metric is the inspiration for the film's fictional band, the Clash at Demonhead, and contributed the song "Black Sheep" to the film. The clothing of Metric's lead singer, Emily Haines, is also the basis for the clothing of the lead singer of Clash at Demonhead. Brie Larson provides the vocals for "Black Sheep" in the film, while the soundtrack features a version of the song with Haines as lead singer. Chris Murphy of the band Sloan was the guitar coach for the actors in the film. Music from The Legend of Zelda video game series is used in a dream sequence in the film. To get permission to use the music, Edgar Wright sent a clip of the film and wrote a letter to Nintendo that described the music as "like nursery rhymes to a generation."

Title sequence

The opening title sequence was designed by Richard Kenworthy of Shynola, and was inspired by the drawn-on-film animation work of Len Lye, Oskar Fischinger, Stan Brakhage, and Norman McLaren.


A Scott Pilgrim vs. the World panel featured at the San Diego Comic-Con International held on July 22, 2010. After the panel Edgar Wright invited selected members of the audience for a screening of the film which was followed by a performance by Metric. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was also shown at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 27, 2010 and was also featured at the Movie-Con III in London, England on August 15, 2010.

The film premiered in Japan during the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival on February 26, 2011 as an official selection. It was released to the rest of the country on April 29, 2011.


On March 25, 2010, the first teaser trailer for the film was released.

A second trailer featuring music by The Ting Tings, LCD Soundsystem, Be Your Own Pet, Cornelius, Blood Red Shoes, and The Prodigy was released May 31, 2010.

At the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, the first clip was released featuring Scott Pilgrim facing Lucas Lee in battle. The actors playing Lucas Lee's stunt doubles are the actual stunt doubles for Chris Evans. Alison Pill who plays Kim Pine in the film stated that her character's past relationship with Scott will be explored in other media stating that "There will be a little something-something that will air on Adult Swim". The animated short, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation, produced by Titmouse Inc., adapts the opening prologue of the second Scott Pilgrim book and was aired on Adult Swim on August 12, 2010, later being released on their website. Michael Cera stated that he felt the film was "a tricky one to sell. I don't know how you convey that movie in a marketing campaign. I can see it being something that people are slow to discover. In honesty, I was slow to find Shaun of the Dead".

Video game

Main article: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game
A video game was produced based on the series. It was released for PlayStation Network on August 10, 2010 and on Xbox Live Arcade on August 25, being met with mostly positive reviews. The game is published by Ubisoft and developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Chengdu, featuring animation by Paul Robertson and original music by Anamanaguchi.

Home media

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in North America on November 9, 2010 and in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2010.

The DVD features include four audio commentaries: (director Wright, co-writer Bacall, and author O'Malley; Wright and director of photography Pope; Cera, Schwartzman, Winstead, Wong, and Routh; and Kendrick, Plaza, Culkin, and Webber), 21 deleted, extended, and alternate scenes including the original ending (where Scott ends up with Knives) with commentary, bloopers, photo galleries, and a trivia track.

The Blu-ray Disc release includes all DVD features, plus alternate footage, six featurettes, production blogs, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation, trailers and TV spots, storyboard picture-in-picture, a DVD copy, and a digital copy. The "Ultimate Japan Version" Blu-ray Disc includes a commentary track that features Wright and Shinya Arino. It also includes footage of Wright and Michael Cera's publicity tour through Japan and a roundtable discussion with Japanese film critic Tomohiro Machiyama. It was released on September 2, 2011.

In its first week of release, the DVD sold 190,217 copies, earning $3,422,004 in revenue ($ when adjusted for inflation). It reached the top of the UK Blu-ray Disc charts in its first week of release.


Box office

The film was widely released in North America on August 13, 2010, opening in 2,818 theaters. The film finished fifth on its first weekend of release with a total of $10.5 million ($ million when adjusted for inflation), and by its second weekend of release had dropped to the bottom of the top ten. The Wall Street Journal described this as "disappointing" while Ben Fritz of the Los Angeles Times noted that the film appeared to be a "major financial disappointment". Universal acknowledged their disappointment at the opening weekend, saying they had "been aware of the challenges of broadening this film to a mainstream audience"; regardless, the studio's spokesman said Universal was "proud of this film and our relationship with the visionary and creative filmmaker Edgar Wright.... Edgar has created a truly unique film that is both envelope pushing and genre bending and when examined down the road will be identified as an important piece of filmmaking."

In the UK, the film opened in 408 cinemas, finishing second on its opening weekend with 1.6 million, dropping to fifth place by the next weekend.

Critical response

Critical response to the film has been positive. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 81% based on 217 reviews, with an average score of 7.5 out of 10. Rotten Tomatoes' consensus is that "its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive".

Metacritic has assigned an average score of 69, based on 38 reviews, which indicates generally favorable reviews. David Edelstein of New York magazine wrote that "The film is repetitive, top-heavy: Wright blows his wad too early. But a different lead might have kept you laughing and engaged. Cera doesn't come alive in the fight scenes the way Stephen Chow does in the best (and most Tashlin-like) of all the surreal martial-arts comedies, Kung Fu Hustle."

At a test screening, director Kevin Smith was impressed by the film saying "That movie is great. It's spellbinding and nobody is going to understand what the fuck just hit them. I would be hard pressed to say, 'he's bringing a comic book to life!' but he is bringing a comic book to life." Smith also said that fellow directors Quentin Tarantino and Jason Reitman were "really into it". Singer for the band Sister and writer for Now, Carla Gillis, also commented on the film. Gillis was the singer of the now-disbanded Canadian group Plumtree, and their single "Scott Pilgrim" that inspired O'Malley to create the character and the series. In an interview describing the film and the song that inspired it, Gillis felt the film carried the same positive yet bittersweet tone of the song.

After premiere screenings at the San Diego Comic-Con International, the film received positive reviews. Variety gave the film a mixed review, referring to the film as "An example of attention-deficit filmmaking at both its finest and its most frustrating" and that "anyone over 25 is likely to find director Edgar Wright's adaptation of the cult graphic novel exhausting, like playing chaperone at a party full of oversexed college kids."

The Hollywood Reporter wrote a negative review, stating that "What's disappointing is that this is all so juvenile. Nothing makes any real sense...[Michael] Cera doesn't give a performance that anchors the nonsense." and "Universal should have a youth hit in the domestic market when the film opens next month. A wider audience among older or international viewers seems unlikely."

IGN gave the film a positive rating of 8/10 calling the film "funny and offbeat" as well as noting that the film is "best suited for the wired generation and those of us who grew up on Nintendo and MTV. Its kinetic nature and quirky sensibilities might be a turnoff for some."

Nick Schager of Slant Magazine gave the film a positive review of three and a half stars out of four, calling Edgar Wright an "inspired mash-up artist, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may be his finest hybridization to date". A. O. Scott made the film his "critics pick", stating "There are some movies about youth that just make you feel old, even if you aren't...Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has the opposite effect. Its speedy, funny, happy-sad spirit is so infectious that the movie makes you feel at home in its world even if the landscape is, at first glance, unfamiliar."

After its premiere in Japan, several notable video game, film, and anime industry personalities have praised Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, among them Hironobu Sakaguchi, Goichi Suda, Miki Mizuno, Tomohiko It?, Rintaro Watanabe and Takao Nakano.


The film received four nominations at the 2010 Satellite Awards held on December 19, 2010 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. It won in two categories; Best film " Comedy or Musical and Best Actor " Musical or Comedy for Michael Cera. The film also made the final short list for a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 83rd Academy Awards, but did not receive a nomination.

Award Category Name Outcome
83rd Academy Awards Best Visual Effects
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting " Big Budget Feature " Comedy Robin D. Cook and Jennifer Euston
Austin Film Critics Association Awards Best film
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Best Picture
Best Overlooked Film
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards Best Director Edgar Wright
Best Ensemble Overall casting
Empire Awards Best Film
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Best Director Edgar Wright
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Film " Wide Release
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation " Long Form Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright
Sierra Awards Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design Laura Jean Shannon
Best Song Beck for "We Are Sex Bob-Omb"
Best Visual Effects
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Editing Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss
Best Adapted Screenplay Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright
SFX Awards Best Film Director Edgar Wright
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Editing Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss
Best Adapted Screenplay Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright
Satellite Awards Best Film " Musical or Comedy
Best Actor " Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Michael Cera
Best Art Direction and Production Design Nigel Churcher and Marcus Rowland
Best Adapted Screenplay Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film
Scream Awards The Ultimate Scream
Best Director Edgar Wright
Best Scream-Play
Best Villain Satya Bhabha, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, Shota Saito, Keita Saito and Jason Schwartzman as The League of Evil Exes
Best Supporting Actress Ellen Wong
Best Supporting Actor Kieran Culkin
Fight Scene of the Year Final Battle: Scott Pilgrim and Knives vs. Gideon Graves
Best Comic Book Movie
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Action Actor Michael Cera
Choice Movie: Action Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Choice Movie: Action
Utah Film Critics Association Awards Best Director Edgar Wright
Best Screenplay Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright

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