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Netflix to take on League of Ramona's Evil Exes with 'Scott Pilgrim' anime series from Edgar Wright

Previously adapted into a live-action film by Wright,  Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic is coming to the world of streaming.

By Josh Weiss

"We are Sex Bob-Omb, and we're here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff!" 

The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Netflix has entered early development on a Scott Pilgrim anime series based on the bestselling graphic novels created by writer/illustrator Bryan Lee O'Malley. Universal Content Productions (the television arm of Universal Pictures known for co-producing The Umbrella Academy and SYFY's Chucky) is on board as a financier, though it should be noted that the project has yet to receive an official green-light.

O'Malley is set to executive produce and co-showrun with BenDavid Grabinski (lead on Nickelodeon's recent reboot of Are You Afraid of the Dark?), should the title move forward. Award-winning Science SARU has been tapped to handle the animation, with the studio's own Eunyoung Choi and Abel Gongora occupying the roles of producer and director, respectively.

The graphic novels are centered around the titular character, a Canadian layabout and member of the rock band Sex Bob-omb (named after the exploding enemies in the Super Mario games), whose entire life is upended by a mysterious rollerblading girl with multi-colored hair named Ramona Flowers. It's love at first sight, but Scott is forced to fight for Ramona's affections by taking on her seven ex-boyfriends — all of whom are evil.

Published by Oni Press between 2004 and 2010, six-volume comic was previously adapted into a live-action film in 2010 by writer/director Edgar Wright, who is also executive producing the anime translation alongside Nira Park, Marc Platt, Jared LeBoff, Adam Seigel, and Michael Bacall.

Wright's movie, whose aesthetic was heavily inspired by classic video games, managed to squeeze all six story arcs into a 112-minute runtime. Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead played Scott and Ramona, leading an ensemble cast that also featured Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh, Aubrey Plaza, Mae Whitman, Brie Larson, Jason Schwartzman, and Thomas Jane.

Despite favorable reviews from fans and critics, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a box office dud, grossing less than $50 million worldwide against a budget of $60 million. But it has since gone on to sustained acclaim in the years since as a cult hit.

"You're persona non grata when your movie tanks," O'Malley stated during an interview with the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel. "There were two famous bombs that year. It was my movie and there was that John Carter of Mars movie that also bombed. No one f—ing cares 10 years later," he added, referring to the fact that Wright's adaptation is now a certified cult classic. "I took a few meetings, I went around talking about cartoons and stuff for a little while because that's just what people told me I should do and I hated it. I hated being in meetings, I hated going to studios [and] talking to execs who don't care who I am or anything. Or they'll say they do and I don't believe a single word they say. And then even when they started buttering me up and saying, 'This could happen,' I don't want to spend seven years of my life on some cartoon. That's not what I want. I want to draw comics."

O'Malley then seemed to hint at the anime adaptation: "That said, I am working on something in the animation world, which is exciting to me, but it's still really early days, so I don't know how it's gonna go yet."

Universal Content Productions, Universal Pictures & SYFY WIRE are all owned by NBCUniversal