Supercharge your next viewing of Edgar Wright’s comics-inspired film with these 15 little-known facts.
1. Edgar Wright waited six years before agreeing to direct.
The eventual executive producers of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World first approached Wright to make the film in 2004 after a screening of Wright’s first film, Shaun of the Dead, by giving him a copy of the first volume of author Brian Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel. Wright would go on to make 2007’s Hot Fuzz before settling on adapting Scott Pilgrim (which was released in 2010).
2. Brian Lee O’Malley named the character Scott Pilgrim after a song.
“Scott Pilgrim” is a 1998 song by Canadian band Plumtree. In the movie, Scott can be seen wearing one of their band t-shirts and their titular song appears on the soundtrack.
3. O’Malley and his wife, cartoonist Hope Larson, make cameos.
You can spot them at Lee’s Palace after Sex Bob-Omb come offstage.
4. Wright told the actors to not blink during takes.
He wanted to mimic the feel of Japanese anime.
5. The film is filled with hidden numerals tied to the sequential numbers of Ramona’s evil exes.
Matthew Patel has one chevron on his military jacket. Lucas Lee has the Tibetan symbol for “2” tattooed on his neck, wears a belt buckle made of two Xs, drives a car with the racing numeral 2, and also points at Scott with two fingers. Todd Ingram wears a t-shirt with the number 3 on the chest and with three stripes on the shoulders, and the trashcans in the alley where he fights Scott all have 3s on them. Scott fights Roxy in a nightclub called “4,” and Roxy also has four rips in her leggings. The Katayanagi Twins each have “5” and “6” stenciled on their cuffs and turn their volume up to the Japanese character for 11 (5+6=11, which is also a nod to the film Spinal Tap). Lastly, the logo for Gideon Graves’ G-Man Records is made of 7s turned on their sides. Scott meanwhile drinks Coke Zero and wears a T-shirt that says “Zero” on it because he isn’t an evil ex.
6. Scott’s Pac-Man story is true.
Pac-Man was originally called “Puck-Man” because of his hockey-puck-shape, but the name was changed in American markets to avoid unwanted vandalism.
7. Scott’s bass is a Rickenbacker 4003.
It costs $2,159 in US dollars or about $2,459 Canadian dollars.
8. Lucas Lee’s pompous final exchange with Scott happened to Edgar Wright in real life.
While backstage at a concert for the band The Hives, Wright told lead singer Pelle Almqvist he was a “big fan.” Almqvist responded, “Why wouldn’t you be?”
9. Ramona’s exact phone number is 212-664-7665.
This number often appears in films, including Munich, Definitely Maybe, and The Adjustment Bureau. It’s a real phone number that was acquired by Universal Studios to avoid the fake 555 prefix normally used for phone numbers in films.
10. Real life bands wrote and performed the songs for the fictional bands in the movie.
Sex Bob-Omb’s songs were by Beck, Crash and the Boys’ songs were by Broken Social Scene, The Clash at Demonhead’s were by Metric, and The Katayanagi Twins’ songs were by Cornelius. Additional music, like the themes to the fictional video game Ninja Ninja Revolution, was written by hip-hop producer Dan the Automator.
11. The voice-overs in the film are all done by comedian Bill Hader.
Even the voice in Ninja Ninja Revolution.
12. All the animation in Ramona’s flashbacks was drawn by Edgar Wright’s brother Oscar.
He mimicked the style of Brian Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels.
13. The film includes a nod to Quentin Tarantino.
Edgar Wright said he included a close-up shot of Ramona’s feet during her date with Scott as a tribute to his friend and fellow director, who notoriously has a foot fetish. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Ramona Flowers, previously appeared in Tarantino’s film Death Proof.
14. Michael Cera and Mae Whitman (Roxy Richter) were lovers before they were enemies.
On screen, that is. They previously appeared together (and dated) on Arrested Development before they battled each other in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
15. In the original ending, Scott stays with Knives Chau instead of going with Ramona.
Wright, co-screenwriter writer Michael Bacall, and O’Malley all rewrote the final scene together and agreed that Scott should end up with Ramona since he’s been fighting for her all along.
Every New Movie, TV Series, and Special Coming to Netflix in May
BY Alvin Ward
April 24, 2018
Netflix is making way for loads of laughs in its library in May, with a handful of original comedy specials (Steve Martin, Martin Short, Carol Burnett, Tig Notaro, and John Mulvaney will all be there), plus the long-awaited return of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Here’s every new movie, TV series, and special making its way to Netflix in May.
27: Gone Too Soon
A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana
Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Season 1
God's Own Country
Hachi: A Dog's Tale
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous Live at Radio City
My Perfect Romance
Pocoyo & Cars
Pocoyo & The Space Circus
Queens of Comedy: Season 1
Simon: Season 1
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Carter Effect
The Strange Name Movie
Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Season 2
A Little Help with Carol Burnett
Busted!: Season 1
Dear White People: Volume 2
Forgive Us Our Debts
Kong: King of the Apes: Season 2
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Tina Fey
No Estoy Loca
The Rain: Season 1
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives
Bill Nye Saves the World: Season 3
Evil Genius: the True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist
Spirit Riding Free: Season 5
The Kissing Booth
The Who Was? Show: Season 1
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife
The Phantom of the Opera
Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce: Season 4
Grand Designs: Seasons 13 - 14
Only God Forgives
The Game 365: Seasons 15 - 16
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Inspector Gadget: Season 4
Bridge to Terabithia
Disney’s Scandal: Season 7
Small Town Crime
Some Kind of Beautiful
Señora Acero: Season 4
Mob Psycho 100: Season 1
Shooter: Season 2
Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 2
Tig Notaro Happy To Be Here
Fauda: Season 2
Survivors Guide to Prison
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life
The Toys That Made Us: Season 2
Trollhunters: Part 3
The Break with Michelle Wolf
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 4
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Howard Stern
If your main interests are true crime and cooking, you’re in the middle of a Renaissance Age. The Michelangelos of nonfiction are consistently bringing stellar storytelling to twisty tales of murder and mayhem as well as luxurious shots of food prepared by the most creative culinary minds.
But these aren’t the only genres that documentary series are tackling. There’s a host of history, arts, travel, and more at your streaming fingertips. When you want to take a break from puzzling out who’s been wrongfully imprisoned, that is.
Here are the 20 best docuseries to watch right now, so start streaming.
1. WILD WILD COUNTRY (2018)
What happens when an Indian guru with thousands of American followers sets up shop near a small town in Oregon with the intent to create a commune? Incredibly sourced, this documentary that touches on every major civic issue—from religious liberty to voting rights—should be your new obsession. When you choose a side, be prepared to switch. Multiple times.
If your heart is broken by what’s going on in Flint, Michigan, be prepared to have that pain magnified and complicated. The filmmakers behind this provocative series were embedded with police in Flint to offer us a glimpse at the area’s local struggles and national attention from November 2015 through early 2017.
Narrated by Meryl Streep, this three-part series covers a half-century of American experience from the earliest days of second-wave feminism through Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination in the 1990s. Ellen DeGeneres, Condoleezza Rice, Sally Ride, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and more are featured, and the series got six more episodes in a second season.
After the massive success of Serial in 2014, a one-two punch of true crime docuseries landed the following year. One was the immensely captivating study of power, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which chronicled the bizarre, tangled web of the real estate mogul who was suspected of several murders. The show, which could be measured in jaw-drops per hour, both registered real life and uniquely affected it.
The second major true crime phenom of 2015 was 10 years in the making. Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos uncovered the unthinkable story of Steven Avery, a man wrongfully convicted of sexual assault who was later convicted of murdering a different woman, Teresa Halbach. Not just a magnifying glass on the justice system and a potential small town conspiracy, it’s also a display of how stories can successfully get our blood boiling.
Speaking of good conspiracies: documentary titan Errol Morris turns his keen eye to a CIA project that’s as famous as it is unknown—MKUltra. A Cold War-era mind control experiment. LSD and hypnosis. The mysterious death of a scientist. His son’s 60-year search for answers. Morris brings his incisive eye to the hunt.
Based on Mark Harris’s superlative book, this historical doc features filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro discussing the WWII-era work of predecessors John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Also narrated by Meryl Streep, it looks at how the war shaped the directors and how they shaped the war. As a bonus, Netflix has the war-time documentaries featured in the film available to stream.
If you can’t afford film school, and your local college won’t let you audit any more courses, Mark Cousins’s 915-minute history is the next best thing. Unrivaled in its scope, watching it is like having a charming encyclopedia discuss its favorite movies. Yes, at 15-episodes it’s sprawling, so, yes, you should watch it all in one go. Carve out a weekend and be ready to take notes on all the movies you want to watch afterward.
David Chang, the host of the first season of The Mind of a Chef, has returned with a cultural mash-up disguised as a foodie show. What does it mean for pizza to be “authentic”? What do Korea and the American South have in common? With his casual charm in tow, Chang and a variety of special guests explore people through the food we love to eat as an artifact that brings us all together.
A legend of nonfiction, Ken Burns has more than a few docuseries available to stream, including long-form explorations of the Civil War and baseball. His 10-episode series on jazz exhaustively tracks nearly a century of the formation and evolution of the musical style across the United States. You’ll wanna mark off a big section of the calendar and crank up the volume.
In 2001, author Michael Peterson reported to police that his wife had died after falling down a set of stairs, but police didn’t buy the story and charged him with her murder. Before the current true crime boom, before Serial and all the rest, there was Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s Peabody Award-winning docuseries following Peterson’s winding court case. The mystery at the heart of the trial and the unparalleled access Lestrade had to Peterson’s defense make this a must-see. (Netflix just announced that it will be releasing three new episodes of the series this summer.)
The sequel to the 2006 original is a real stunner. Narrated (naturally) by Sir David Attenborough, featuring music from Hans Zimmer, and boasting gorgeous photography of our immeasurably fascinating planet, this follow-up takes us through different terrains to see the life contained within. There are snow leopards in the mountains, a swimming sloth in the islands, and even langurs in our own urban jungle. Open your eyes wide to learn a lot or put it on in the background to zen out.
13. THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA (2009)
The cheapest way to visit Yosemite, Yellowstone, Muir Woods, and more. This Emmy-winning, six-part series is both a travelogue and a history lesson in conservation that takes up the argument of why these beautiful places should be preserved: to quote President Roosevelt, “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
Experience the too-often-untold stories of conflict zones through the lenses of world class photographers like Nicole Tung, Donna Ferraro, and João Silva. This heart-testing, bias-obliterating series is unique in its views into dark places and eye toward hope.
Far more than a sports documentary, the story of the players at East Mississippi Community College will have you rooting for personal victories as much as the points on the scoreboard. Many of the outstanding players on the squad lost spots at Division I schools because of disciplinary infractions or failing academics, so they’re seeking redemption in a program that wants them to return to the big-name schools. There are two full seasons to binge and a third on the way.
Currently in its sixth season, the series is known for asking tough questions that need immediate answers and giving viewers a street-level view of everything from killing cancer to juvenile justice reform. Its confrontational style of gonzo provocation won’t be everyone’s cup of spiked tea, but it’s filling an important gap that used to be filled by major network investigative journalists. When they let their subjects—from child soldiers suffering PTSD after fighting for ISIS to coal miners in Appalachia—tell their stories, nonfiction magic happens.
From David Gelb, the documentarian behind Jiro Dreams of Sushi, this doc series is a backstage pass to the kitchens of the world’s most elite chefs. The teams at Osteria Francescana, Blue Hill, Alinea, Pujol, and more open their doors to share their process, culinary creativity, and, of course, dozens of delicious courses. No shame in licking your screen.
For those looking to learn more about culture while chowing down, world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa guides guest chefs to different regions of Japan to ingest the sights, sounds, and spirits of the area before crafting a dish inspired by the journey. History is the main course, with a healthy dash of culinary invention that honors tradition.
Should a jury decide if a child is sentenced to life in jail without parole? How can you go to jail for 20 years for shooting your gun inside your own home to deter thieves? These are just two of the questions examined by this knockout series about the conflicts, outdated methods, and biases lurking in America’s criminal justice system. Insightful and infuriating, it makes a strong companion to Ava DuVernay’s 13th.
It won’t be available until April 27 (so close!), but it’s well worth adding to your queue. This four-part series utilizes a wealth of footage, including unseen personal videos, to share the tragic story of Robert F. Kennedy’s run for president in the context of an era riven by racial strife. Watching this socio-political memorial told by many who were there (including Marian Wright and Congressman John Lewis), it will be impossible not to draw connections to the current day and wonder: What if?