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Anna Kendrick says desire to work with Edgar Wright trumped confusion with 'Scott Pilgrim' script
Who wouldn't want to work with the man behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz?!
Nearly 12 years ago, Edgar Wright delivered what is possibly the greatest video game movie of all time that wasn't actually based on an existing video game property. That would be Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (which airs tonight on SYFY!), an adaptation of the comic book series by writer/artist Bryan Lee O'Malley. Frenetic, eye-popping, colorful, hilarious, clever, and heartfelt, the movie remains a typhoon of creativity — the kind of lightning in a bottle execution that only comes around once in a blue moon (here's looking at you, Everything Everywhere All at Once).
Scott Pilgrim very much represents the dizzying heights cinema can achieve as a visual medium. How such a feast for the eyes comes across on the page, however, is another story altogether. While revisiting some of her most iconic roles for Vanity Fair (you can watch the full video below), Anna Kendrick admitted that the screenplay written by Wright and Michael Bacall initially threw her for a loop.
“I’ll be honest, when I first read this script, I was like, ‘I don’t totally get this. But I love Shaun of the Dead, I love Hot Fuzz,’ and I just wanted to work with Edgar Wright," said Kendrick, who played Stacey Pilgrim, sister to Michael Cera's lovesick Scott. "But I do remember this on paper being like, ‘I don’t know how this is gonna work, but I’m just gonna trust that he sees it,’ which he did. It’s so awesome."
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In particular, the actress rewatched the scene in which her onscreen sibling faces off with Matthew Patel (played by Satya Bhabha), the first of Ramona Flowers' Evil Exes. You may be tickled to learn that Kendrick's shocked reactions in the finished product were completely genuine.
"I remember sort of being the only one to be like, 'I think that this might be a tough buy for the audience," she remembered. "Nobody asked me to, but, I remember when we were doing my single, just doing a bunch of reactions of like, 'What's going on? Someone explain this to me.' I wasn't sure if Edgar was gonna be like, 'What are you talking about?' And then he used a couple of those reaction shots and that made me feel happy."
Despite positive reviews from both critics and audiences, the film ended up a box office bomb, bringing in just under $50 million worldwide against a production budget of $60 million (a rather hefty price tag for such an obscure IP). An anime series based on the original comics was announced to be in development at Netflix early last year. A co-production with UCP (a division of Universal Studio Group), the show will be executive produced by O’Malley and showrun by BenDavid Grabinski (Are You Afraid of the Dark?).
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World airs on SYFY tonight at 8:17 p.m. ET and tomorrow at 9:17 a.m. ET. Click here for the entire linear schedule.
Want more video game-inspired fun? Max Reload and the Nether Blasters is now streaming on Peacock.