Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming animated adaptation, the writer and artist explained that audiences’ established knowledge of Scott Pilgrim pushed him to craft an updated narrative that could surprise fans.
“I wrote this stuff almost 20 years ago,” O’Malley said. “I couldn’t go back and rewrite it word for word. I kept thinking, I have to tell the story of Scott Pilgrim in a world where the story of Scott Pilgrim has already been told and people know it. I had to kind of splash a new coat of paint on it and f— around with it.”
Reworking Scott Pilgrim
This isn’t the first time O’Malley has effectively cautioned fans when it comes to their expectations. Shortly after Netflix released the first teaser trailer for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, the creator issued a statement shutting down criticism from long-time fans who were already dissatisfied with some of the previewed clips. BenDavid Grabinski, who serves as an executive producer on the show, echoed O’Malley’s sentiments, noting that he doesn’t want to tell the same story over and over again. “It was very important to us to make a show that surpasses any expectations people have,” Grabinski said. “To me, the idea of spending years on a project that is just beat for beat the same thing feels like a waste of time.”
Based on the beloved comic book series Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Netflix’s series brings back nearly the entire cast of the live-action movie that was similarly inspired by O’Malley’s work. Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Brie Larson, and Kieran Culkin will all voice their respective roles.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off hits Netflix on Nov. 17.