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Alternate Endings for "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World": Which Would You Have Preferred?

by Christopher Campbell
August 25, 2010 6:33 AM
17 Comments
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Those few of you who've seen "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," did you like how the film ends? It's not quite the same as the comic book, partly because the adaptation was scripted before Brian Lee O'Malley released the final volume of his "Scott Pilgrim" graphic novels ("Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour"). But there could have been other ways to conclude the story of Pilgrim (Michael Cera) battling seven evil exes to win the heart of dream girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and in fact one was even shot.

If you haven't yet seen the movie, you might not want to continue reading, though as I've said before this isn't a movie that's ruined by plot spoilers. However, if one of the alternate endings had made the final cut it's possible the twist would have me thinking differently.

First, a reminder of how the film in theaters ends: Scott is defeated by Gideon but uses his extra life and gets a do-over -- which is almost like an alternative ending in of itself. He returns to Gideon's club, kills him with the "Power of Self-Respect" sword, "defeats" Nega-Scott by befriending the darker version of himself, is told by Ramona to get back with Knives, is told by Knives to get back to Ramona, the latter happens and, voila, happy ending.

Remove the last few bits of that ending and you have the originally shot version, which has been confirmed in interviews and described in detail by someone who saw it this way in a test screening. As posted to Poptimal, here are the two differences between that test version and the reshot final cut:

The Original Ending

The first significant change comes after the fight with Evil Exes Five and Six, Kyle and Ken Katayanagi. Scott jumps off the stage to confront Gideon, but is intercepted by Knives. The scene plays out the same as the finalized version of the film till the very end of the clip. Scott walks away, leaving Knives by herself in the crowd. As Knives looks in the direction that Scott left, the black box that gives out character information as seen early in the movie (e.g. Scott Pilgrim, Age 23, Rating Awesome) pops up again displaying Knives Chau, Age 18.

The next major change occurs after Scott “deals” with Nega-Scott. Meeting up with Knives on the street, Scott and her look off into the distance where Ramona stands in the street. A silent understanding takes place between Ramona and Scott where each understands that Scott is better suited to be with Knives. Ramona walks off into the darkness and Scott and Knives share a kiss. The movie comes to an end with the two of them at the arcade laughing, having a good time playing the Ninja DDR game.

It's also worth reading an older post at Collider that quotes Winstead and Ellen Wong (Knives) talking about their reactions to the changed ending. Apparently the alternate ending (and maybe the Knives character info?) will show up as an extra on the film's DVD.

The unshot alternative ending, which would reveal the whole film to be a dream, has been now confirmed by The Playlist. Co-writer/director Edgar Wright told them the idea was to shoot at least a news report saying a local teen has killed seven people. Basically Pilgrim is revealed to be a serial killer who more realistically murdered Ramona's exes and then dreamed up a video game-inspired alternative version in his head. Kind of reminds me of "American Psycho," actually.

"Yeah, we nearly shot that on video during the reshoots," Wright told The Playlist. "But dammit, we only had 6 hours of night and no time to do it -- [it] would have been funny."

I could see this other ending also being included as an extra on the DVD, maybe drawn out the way Wright did the "Shaun of the Dead" plot hole clarifications on that film's DVD. The Playlist also found a fake newspaper article posted to the webcomic Half-Assed Commitment, which Wright could utilize in this bonus feature.

Which ending do you think works best? O'Malley's, the final cut "Ramona Ending," the test screening cut "Knives Ending" or the unfortunately never shot "Serial Killer Ending"?

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17 Comments

  • Zach Hontiveros Pagkalinawan | June 7, 2012 6:02 AMReply

    The serial killer ending would be waaaaaaaay, too creepy. It would be nice to watch but I don't think I could stand it.

  • Riley | May 30, 2012 3:50 AMReply

    I think since Scott came out all buddy buddy with Nega Scott, he should have ended up with Knives and reg. Scott should have been with Ramona.

  • fish | May 24, 2012 7:05 PMReply

    I would probably hate the movie if it ended with Scott and Knives. Really. The whole premise of the comics was Scott's fight for Ramona, and if the movie ignored that, I would be most upset.

  • ANONYMOUS | May 24, 2012 5:31 PMReply

    You misunderstood "American Psycho."

  • Coolj | May 24, 2012 5:26 PMReply

    Cool

  • chris | May 24, 2012 4:09 PMReply

    Much as I like the dark dark ending option, I would not have been able to watch it with my kids...who loved it with the original.

  • anonymous | May 24, 2012 3:54 PMReply

    I like the movie ending with him ending up with Ramona.

  • anony | May 24, 2012 4:06 PM

    same here!

  • cool 2012 | May 21, 2012 8:53 PMReply

    ide just get close but if its not easy try makeing him weaker then stab his ass (not litterly) tear his balls of and make him suck on them then cut his head of and putt it on your door for halloween if hes still alive then stab his damn dirty evil stupid ass hole likly bithchin heat and take it out and keep it for a colectable (people will be scared) and show some respect im mean come on the ass is litterly still alive ( crush his glasses to nobody wants to heary his fred squecky scardy ass voice what do you think (that was ass bangin wooooh ) oops my finger sliped and shot himm a little to (wow!)

  • Beast | November 13, 2012 2:23 AM

    English MOTHERFUCKER. DO YOU SPEAK IT?

  • Anon | January 8, 2012 6:51 PMReply

    Fuck knives. Ramona is slamming

  • anonymous | May 24, 2012 3:55 PM

    She is my dream girl...

  • bjogg | November 29, 2010 9:27 AMReply

    def the comics was the best, all the characters were shown coming full circle and it really showed that Knives didnt have a chance against Ramona, but like Raegan said the relationship was better developed, they spent most of six books together instead of just a couple weeks in the movie. The ending with Scott leaving with knives instead of Ramona sounds like it would have ruined the whole point of the story.

  • Rafik | November 28, 2010 3:27 AMReply

    I've seen the Knives ending on Y**tube, and hey... I really, really love that scene than it's theatrical version. I mean, come on, imagining Knives watching her beloved Scott and Ramona walk and holding hands together in the cold snowy night... it's just break my heart to ashes... (God, why I'm getting so melancholic about that?)

  • herpderps | September 7, 2010 10:22 AMReply

    knives ending definitely, or one where she dismisses him less reluctantly would have been nice as well. (there are so many different ways a person can say "im too cool for you")

  • Raegan | September 5, 2010 8:44 AMReply

    I wish he had stayed with Knives. In the comics he was MUCH better suited to Ramona and their relationship was extremely well developed, but in the movie it seemed like they didn't even know each other!
    The movie spent a much larger portion of time showing Scott and Knives hanging out and being together than he and Ramona doing the same. It seemed like Scott and Knives had more of a connection and that Ramona was...well, just a weird, reclusive bitch to put it bluntly.

  • IMHO | September 2, 2010 9:02 AMReply

    I liked the final cut ending best, though the serial killer ending is pretty hilarious. Knives conclusion that she is too cool for Scott seems like the best resolution for both characters.

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