U.K. director Edgar Wright takes on "The World"

Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:19pm EDT
 
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By Drew Tewksbury

LOS ANGELES (Back Stage) - Whether it's suburban zombie farce, British buddy-cop satire, or a pixel-powered comic book adaptation, director Edgar Wright forges genres all his own.

The 36-year-old director of fan favorites "Hot Fuzz" and "Shaun of the Dead" returns to the director's chair with "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," which hit theaters August 13.

Wright's take on the much-beloved comic series by Bryan Lee O'Malley tells the story of young rocker Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) on his quest to win the heart of angsty Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). To earn Ramona's love, Pilgrim must defeat her seven evil exes in video game-meets-Bollywood showdowns.

With Wright at the helm, "Scott Pilgrim" is a high-octane sensory assault that balances outlandish visuals with the very real moments of a young man learning to love. While critics embraced the movie, audiences avoided it. The film debuted at No. 5 with estimated weekend sales of just $10.5 million.

DO YOU FEEL THAT COMIC BOOKS ARE JUST STORYBOARDS WAITING TO COME TO LIFE? HOW DID YOU MAKE THAT TRANSITION FROM PAGE TO SCREEN?

Edgar Wright: I guess a storyboard is a regimented format like a comic book. On the page, you achieve dramatic effect through layout, which you can't always do onscreen. So to do that, we used split screen a lot to make it look like a comic book experience. With a comic book, you can look at two things at once or you can take in more information than just one shot at a time. Then there are a lot of things that people are used to from cut scenes in games. It's a funny idea that cut scenes in games are aping films and the idea of a film aping the games aping the films.

FOR A LOT OF YOUR FILMS, THERE IS A PARTICULAR SENSE OF NOSTALGIA. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GENRES THAT YOU LOOK TO FOR YOUR SOURCE MATERIAL?

Wright: There are definitely references in "Scott Pilgrim," but the references go beyond just films, because, you know, you've got the comic itself, and then there's music, there's video games, there's animation. In terms of nostalgia, it definitely hits on things that you remember from your youth.   Continued...

 
<p>Writer, director and producer Edgar Wright arrives at the premiere of his movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California, July 27, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>