Tonight just ended Edgar Wright Saves the World, a special event at the Los Angeles Film Festival where the director sat in front of a sold-out house and was interviewed by J.J. Abrams on his career as a filmmaker.
The evening showed off a great many clips, including rare early work by Wright in the form of music videos and scenes from one of his first works, Dead Right, an action cop spoof that was a big influence on Hot Fuzz. Moving chronologically through Wright’s oeuvre, the event ended on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and an new nine-minute clip.
The scene comes from the second Scott Pilgrim book and opens with the comic text “And then…” onscreen, backed by a cover of Bob Dylan’s appropriately-titled To Ramona (I believe by the Flying Burrito Brothers). Scott has set up a date with Ramona at his house and she arrives just as Scott’s roommate Wallace is leaving. (His departure tinkers with the comic a bit in that he’s leaving to go check out a movie shoot).
Straight out of the comic, we see Scott fretting over every minor detail and worried that Ramona has changed her hair color. (It’s now bright blue). We get a couple cuts with comic intertitles (“15 minutes…”, “30 minutes…”, “45 minutes…”) until, as in the comic, Scott starts to freak out when Ramona mentions his haircut. The scene is played just as in the source material with chalk Bryan Lee O’Malley drawings appearing on-screen to fill in background (“Scott’s last haircut was 431 days ago, 3 hours before his last breakup,” etc)
Going outside, Scott and Ramona walk to meet Wallace, who is, from the edge of an outdoor film set, ogling Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), a famous moviestar and the second of Ramona’s evil ex boyfriends. When he spots Scott, they begin a battle which is quite a bit bigger than the scene in the comic, including confrontations with a half dozen Lucas Lee stunt doubles (the same footage shown at the MTV Movie Awards).
The footage continued past what has been seen previously, right through Scott’s defeat of Lucas which, again, is straight out of the comic book version.
Also screened was a short sound and video montage that is one of seven thematically created to promote the film. This one, called Love, focused on the Knives/Scott/Ramona triangle, mixing bits of dialogue against music.
A surprise guest for the event was Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley who, unfortunately, did not speak with the audience beyond standing for his introduction. Wright was clear, however, that the sixth Scott Pilgrim book (Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour) is the “canon” ending of series, describing his film as “a bizarro version of it.” Abrams added that he has seen the film and described it as “spectacular.”
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World hits theaters on August 13th.