The big question for Universal--which has certainly reached fans of Eisner-award-winning Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World comics with its multiple promo activities at Comic-Con this weekend-- is whether this movie will cross over to a wider audience.
The ensemble cast led by Michael Cera (who appeared as Captain America during the hilarious Hall H panel) and writer-director Edgar Wright, who worked on the film for six years, and O'Malley are all over the convention, their locations broadcast via twitter. Dan the Automator and Kid Koala performed live at the surprise screening at the Balboa, and Metric gave a concert afterwards. My mini-review and flip-cam interview with Wright are below, along with the trailer for the videogame.
Universal has high hopes for the movie, which Wright has been tweaking and trimming after several research previews. It opens in three weeks.
It's certainly not like anything you've ever seen before. Wright mixes the structure of musicals and action films--breaking up what starts out as a fairly naturalistic relationship comedy movie with wildly fantastical action fights. Cera's character has to fight off the evil exes of his cool new girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The movie is crammed with characters, color, music and graphics of the wham! bam! pow! variety. And the audience at an Diego's Balboa Theater--youngish--responded far more favorably than I did. Granted, I am not the target demo, nor did I respond to all the videogame references.
While I respected the wit and originality of the film's visual and aural design and script, some of the sprawling ensemble (Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman) nailed the tone better than others. Cera and Winstead are not entirely engaging; Wright is not playing for romance here. Based on the wildly enthusiastic response in San Diego, I'm sure that moviegoers will turn out for this. But the film's scope could be narrow. UPDATE: Here's Variety's Peter Debruge.
Here's a sample of Universal's all-out marketing effort:
Scott Pilgrim Kicks Comic-Con’s Heart in the Ass!
Meet the cast and creators: The cast of Universal’s action-comedy will be out and about throughout the convention. Check out twitter.com/SPvsCC for a detailed schedule so you can meet the actors playing your favorite evil ex, jerky jerk or high-school crush, as well as the creator of Scott Pilgrim, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and director Edgar Wright!
Hear epic live music: Two of the film’s stellar music contributors, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, will spin, and Gorgeous Got a Gun, the winner of Sonicbids’ “Indie Rock vs. the World: Battle of the Bands” will rock your face off.
Create your own T-shirt: Choose from awesome Comic-Con exclusive designs to make a limited edition T-shirt that will make your friends jealous.
Moving Flipbooks: Grab your friends, stage a fight, and take home a flipbook that stars all of you!
Upload a video postcard: Instantly upload and email a personal video message to your friends about how awesome you are for being at Comic-Con.
Play the new Ubisoft Game: Be one of the very first to test out Ubisoft’s “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game” on one of several demo stations.
Check out the complete soundtrack: Hear the amazing soundtrack more than two weeks before the August 10 street date.
Get gift bags: While supplies last, your Comic-Con badge will score you a not-so-evil Scott Pilgrim gift bag.
Download the iPhone and iPad App “Pilgrim’s Punch-Out”: Get the action-packed game, our schedule Comic-Con events, integrated twitter feed and live updates here
And here's my flip cam interview with Edgar Wright, Part One:
And the videogame trailer: