Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour Approaches

It’s been a big week for Scott Pilgrim, the hero of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s indie/geek/slacker cult comic series and soon-to-be movie star. One week ago, O’Malley announced that the hotly anticipated final volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour will be released on July 20th, 2010, just a few weeks before Edgar Wright’s film adaptation hits theaters on August 13th.

The movie, based mainly on the first three volumes of the series, stars Michael Cera as the eponymous hero who must defeat his dream girl’s Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends before they can live happily ever after. (Maybe). Heavily infused with loving references to old school video games and indie music, O’Malley’s comics manage to be both sweet and snarky, alternately goofy and genuinely affecting…and then there’s the epic fight scenes, parties, and rock and roll.

Since the very first trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World debuted online yesterday, I thought it might be time for a quick recap of the latest Scott Pilgrim news and movie buzz…

First off, I just want to point out that there’s still plenty of time to catch up on the comics for anyone interested in doing so…Volumes 1 through 5  are available in any comics store and most book stores that I know, or online at Oni Press (and Volume 6 is now available for pre-order).The books read incredibly quickly and are highly addictive–so much so that I had to pace myself in order to not rip through them one after another. (It didn’t really work, but whatever—they’re fantasic).

For those looking for a further info on the comics or the phenomenon that they’ve become, I’d advise you to check out Steven Padnick’s coverage of the 2009 release party for Volume 5, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe here in NYC. It was, as a certain Vice President so eloquently stated, a big F-ing deal…and Comic Con was even crazier. Or, if you’d prefer a five-minute recap of the series in hip hop form, check out Adam WarRock’s “I Gotta Believe!” Seriously. It’s kind of amazing.

Regarding the movie–comic book adaptations are often a risky proposition, but this one clearly has a lot going for it in terms of street cred. Not only is O’Malley closely involved with the production, but writer/director Wright has yet to make a misstep thus far in his career, with an awesome track record ranging from Spaced to Shaun of the Dead to Hot Fuzz….even the fake trailer he contibuted to Grindhouse was pretty great.

Furthermore, Scott Pilgrim seems like an absolute labor of love, if Wright’s hyperenthusiastic (and extensive) blogging on the film’s official site is any indication. From what I can tell, the film should be chock-full of in-jokes and cameos for music- and comics-lovers alike. In particular, keep an eye out for onscreen fashion, which should include everything from clever band t-shirts to the work of Diesel Sweeties mastermind R Stevens; and don’t even get me started on the soundtrack…

Okay. Briefly: The Soundtrack. Since most of the major characters are involved with one band or another within the series’ insular, Toronto-based indie scene, Wright made the bold move of having real musicians fill in for the fictional acts, incorporating some of the major players in Toronto’s real life insular indie music scene. So, Toronto’s own Broken Social Scene will be playing and providing music for  Crash and the Boys, while their close associates Metric will be appearing as Pilgrim-nemeses The Clash At Demonhead. As for Scott’s band, Sex Bob-Omb (that’s right, Super Mario fans: You love it), the music will be provided by none other than Beck—all of which seems pitch perfect in every conceivable way. Metric have already made their first Scott Pilgrim track, “Black Sheep” available through their Facebook Fan Page, and it’s definitely worth checking out (or you can listen to a version here).

I’ve been hearing a lot of Michael Cera backlash lately from people who seem to think he’s overexposed or simply stuck playing the same character over again. Even as an admittedly obsessive Arrested Development fan, I’m looking forward to seeing Cera try something different in Scott Pilgrim, since the character is a little more clueless and perhaps a little less angsty than his usual fare. As good as Cera is at playing nerdy and neurotic, it will be a nice change of pace to see him cut loose and start doling out some serious Street Fighter-style vengeance on his foes. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’ll be joined by a hugely talented cast featuring fellow Arrested Development alum Mae Whitman and quirky indie film demigod Jason Schwartzman, among others.

We know that Wright’s gotten the look of the film down, thanks to the first official glimpses of the cast in costume and the new poster floating around the web, but any doubts that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is worth getting excited about should be settled by the trailer below…whether you’re a SP fan from way back or just getting into the series now, I think we can all agree that Scott Pilgrim is about to win the summer (+1-UP!)

Bridget McGovern is a lit nerd, a film geek, and a complete pop culture junkie. She enjoys David Bowie, roller coasters, and Sex Bob-Omb more than anyone probably should.


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