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Edgar Wright talks SCOTT PILGRIM and its faithfulness to the graphic novel

James Wallace

by: James Wallace
March 4th, 2010

I'd venture to say that whenever any beloved comic book or graphic novel is adapted for the screen, people are nervous at the least about its respect of the original. With that said, who particularly is at the helm can definitely alleviate some of that hesitation. Such the case seems to be with director Edgar Wright and his highly anticipated big screen adaptation of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD. The Brit has never been one to be hush hush over the project, frequently tweeting and posting daily photo blogs from the set.

Wright recently opened up to MTV about how much of PILGRIM will pay respects to its predecessor and what we can expect that's new and improved. See what he had to say after the jump!

"I think Bryan O’Malley [PILGRIM creator] is a very smart guy, and he can understand what an adaptation is," said Wright. "He read every draft of [the script]. With the last draft, me and Michael Bacall sent him every 20 pages...and so he pretty much understood that doing a straight adaptation of the books was kind of impossible." "It’s a different medium," Wright went on to add. "[O'Malley] totally understood how and why it had to be shaped into a movie structure."

Of course, appropriate changes must always be made in the case of an adaptation, due to either creative or technical limits. However, Wright went on to say there weren't many elements he was forced to leave out or felt uneasy about leaving out.

"There’s lots of bits that would look beautiful on the big screen, but I can’t think of anything where I thought, 'I wish we would have done that.'"

Wright also added that, while there are a few key differences that fans of the original books may notice, the essence of SCOTT PILGRIM is there. He also spoke of the part O'Malley played in helping to decide the character's somewhat newfound direction in the film.

"It stays pretty true to volumes one and two. And three," explained Wright. "After three volumes, it starts to take its own path, but very much within the spirit of the book — and approved by Bryan as well. There are some things that are in the film that are actually from Bryan’s original ideas before he wrote the books. [So] there are some things in there that refer to older ideas which he didn’t end up doing."

"It’s ironic, because there will be a couple of scenes when people will say, 'That’s not in the book,' but actually, if you look at these notes from 2005..." he said. "I feel like we tried to respect the books as much as we can in a Hollywood film, but also infuse his ideas that didn’t necessarily fit into the volumes."

I think Edgar Wright, much like Jon Favreau and Christopher Nolan, are directors that try to find a happy balance between making a film that pays homage to the original source while exploring new territory. They also recognize that they have a responsibility to the fans and, moreover, they themselves are fans. As a result, we get films that perfectly capture what we love about the character and their mythos while simultaneously taking the character to new heights never achievable in the prior medium. THE DARK KNIGHT changed the way that Batman was drawn, written, etc. Favreau captured onscreen the mixture of action, comedy, and drama found within a comic book like never before. I expect Wright to soon join this club of fellows.

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