Scott Pilgrim Vs. Toronto
Crushing six books worth of story into a two hour film was always going to be a challenge. Wright’s solution? Stay true to the spirit of the books without being shackled to them.
“After three volumes, it starts to take its own path, but very much within the spirit of the book — and approved by Bryan as well,” he says.
“There are some things that are in the film that are actually from Bryan’s original ideas before he wrote the books. [So] there are some things in there that refer to older ideas which he didn’t end up doing.
“It’s ironic, because there will be a couple of scenes when people will say, ‘That’s not in the book,’ but actually, if you look at these notes from 2005…”
The shoot took place in Toronto between March and August 2009. Considering it was such a long filming period, Wright began to envy his young actors’ energy levels.
“The cast are all very young,” he says. “They’ve got the energy of 20-year-olds. The cast has just been amazing together, and I think it’s just a really good ensemble.
“It feels really like having a cast full of ringers in terms of everybody in every tiny part is really great. And so to have like big ensemble scenes with ten of them in the same scene, or five of them in the same scene, it’s just really good fun."
How did Wright make it through? “A lot of espresso, basically.” As for translating the images originally sketched by O’Malley to the screen, Wright mixed and matched, taking some panels and lifting them directly, and then using his own artistic license for others.
“There are bits where we tried to do specific panels, and I think the two meld together pretty well,” he explains. “There will be bits where you’ll be able to see the page come to life, but I think in terms of the overall flow, it’s probably more similar to the stuff I’ve done before.
“A lot of the action scenes are longer than they are in the books. So it’s a bit of both, really, and that’s what’s sort of fun about it.”
In May 2010, Wright revealed that he was going back to shoot three days of pick-ups for the film. Reacting to Production Weekly’s “inelegant” Tweets (which broke the re-shoot news), he revealed: “To be honest – I’m excited about it.
“Truth is, some of it, is because we have material from Vol 6 that is impossible to resist and so even after a nearly a year of editing - it’s going to be fun to put some icing on the cake.”
He revealed that no full scenes were being re-shot, just inserts and bits and pieces that would polish the final product. In order to quiet any concerns, he gave us a hint about how he had honed his previous films…
“Both Shaun & Hot Fuzz had two and three days respectively of additional shooting. One of those bits was the granny being kicked in the face. I think we can all agree that was a good pickup.”
Next: We Are Sex Bob-omb!