Scott Pilgrim vs. The Expendables Round 2
05.27.10 by Ryan
August 13 marks an unusual struggle between two movies at the cinematic box office. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Expendables will vie for box office dominance. In the first corner, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren are a few of the cavalcade of stars that will pound their way through Sylvester Stallone's 80s-style action homage that is The Expendables. And in corner two, comic book adaptation, Scott Pilgrim, has Michael Cera fighting seven "evil" boyfriends to win the heart of Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
Round One saw Scott Pilgrim smack down The Expendables in the battle of the promotional posters. Round Two focuses on the latest crop of promotional material for both movies.
First up is Scott Pilgrim, who struck (ahem) first blood with a variety of set visit interviews from several different sources. Starting with CHUD, director Edgar Wright explained how faithful the movie version will be to Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic book.
The funniest thing that Bryan has said in a couple of interviews is that the person who cares least about the changes in stuff is Bryan Lee O'Malley. What's been really great about him is that not only has he been heavily involved right from the first draft but what's interesting is he really understands what an adaptation means in terms of what we're trying to do. We are putting all six books into one film in a sense. It's definitely in the spirit of the books. Sometimes it's completely verbatim and sometimes it's just the overall tone we're trying to bring across and make it one whole story. What's interesting in the way he writes is that he changes his mind all the way through, so even our first draft of the script which is the one that got leaked onto the internet, which people said had loads of things that weren't from the books, was all stuff from the books that he later changed and so there are things in the film that are truer to his original plotlines and then he ended up changing his mind and there's even little bits of dialogue that were in the books and then we kept them in the script then he cut them out.
All of us have felt quite comfortable about the idea that people will get their value for money next year in terms of the books will have one ending and the film will have another ending.
Wright described the approach to the action scenes to SlashFilm.
It’s just a mix between crazy, sort of superhuman comic stuff and the speed of the Jackie Chan stuff from the ‘80s. The thing that’s funny about [stunt coordinator] Brad Allen and his team is that you’ll put together a sequence in storyboards that is pretty damn complicated and ambitious, and they’ll just raise your game in terms of amping it up another notch. It’s nuts, you’ll ask Michael and Jason [Schwartzman] and they’ll tell you that they’ve never done anything like this before. There are some days where we’ve done 20 shots in a day, but we only have about 15 seconds of screen time.
The fighting is kind of comprised of an enormous amount of different techniques, really. It’s kind of about bringing the artwork to life and also something that would feel — it definitely feels very stylized, but in a very fun way, but it still feels kind of dangerous. It’s not brutal, but it feels painful, so it isn’t like necessarily silly fu. It’s difficult to explain really. I think Michael takes a pummeling in every single fight, which is just funny.
Wright also defended his casting of Cera as Pilgrim, since many fans voiced their displeasure with Wright's choice on the Internet.
So it’s like whenever people come up with suggestions of who it could be, I’m like are we reading the same books? I mean, shouldn’t he be like an underdog, physically? I read one thing on the internet where someone said Chris Evans would be better as Scott Pilgrim, and I thought, really? The whole thing about casting Scott Pilgrim vs. Lucas Lee [the part Evans was cast in] is that you’ve got two levels... I mean, immediately the thing that comes to mind is who wouldn’t want to see a fight between Michael Cera and Chris Evans? That to me is a lot more intriguing and funny than to have someone who’s like a hottie or a hunk. It didn’t make much sense to me, really.
Scott Pilgrim is also filled with music, as the lead character is a member of a band, which left arch rival Schwartzman, also a musician, out of the musical performances. Still, Schwartzman said he didn't mind.
No, I’m happy. They’re all doing good. They’re all doing good. They all look like they’re playing instruments and I’m happy to watch. I get to sword fight. Yesterday I was hanging upside down. I was hanging upside down from a harness and I looked around at everyone’s feet, because that’s all I could see, and I thought, "Man, if some of my friends in high school could see me now," especially the ones that were mean to me. Those weren’t my friends. They’re just some of the people in high school, if they could see me now. We’ve gotten to do so much fun stuff on this movie. I don’t know, it’s been incredible. I do wish I could have played some music, though, with everyone.
Not to be outdone with Scott Pilgrim's outpouring of press, Lionsgate has released four new photos from The Expendables. The first shows Statham firing a weapon from the nose of a fighter jet, the second shows Stallone getting the drop on Lundgren , who in turn has the drop on Li. The third photo shows Li in sneak mode, and the fourth is a shot of Stallone directing from behind the camera.
And that's not all. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the wrestler turned action star, spoke briefly to Dread Central about what it was like to take part in the The Expendables.
I just remember sitting in Sly’s office and he’s talking to me about the movie, and I just sat there thinking that he could have asked me to do anything in the film and I would have been ecstatic to just be asked.
The kind of action in The Expendables isn’t like anything you’ve seen in a while, and I think it’s going to end up being a movie that comes out of nowhere and kills at the box office. Fans are going to love it; everything I’ve seen so far is beyond badass. Fans have no idea what’s in store for them.
Winner, Round 2: Scott Pilgrim
Sorry Expendables. Four photos can't really make up for the deluge of interviews from Scott Pilgrim. But who knows? This is only Round 2. And there's plenty of time left until August 13.