“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” won over Comic-Con.
At the end of Universal Pictures’ “Scott Pilgrim” panel at the pop-culture convention Thursday, director Edgar Wright had a surprise for the crowd. He invited anyone handed a button marked with an 8-bit rendition of the title character’s face at the start of the session to follow the filmmaker to a world premiere screening of the movie.
“Would you people like to follow me to the theater right now to watch the film?” he asked.
Wright stepped off the stage away from assembled cast members and quickly disappeared into a sea of more than 6,000 convention goers. Outside the San Diego Convention Center, masses of people split off into different directions, eventually converging seven blocks away on the historic Balboa Theatre for the comic adaptation debut.
“I’m so, so glad I made it,” said fan Jennifer Gladwell. “I didn’t know where we were supposed to go!”
In the frenetic flick based on the comic series of the same name, Michael Cera plays a zero-calorie-soda-lovin’ bassist smitten with neon-haired delivery gal Ramona Flowers. To win Flowers’ heart, Pilgrim must smite her seven deadly exes — one is a telekinetic vegan, for example — in duels punctuated with video game flourishes.
The hundreds of fans who made it into Thursday night’s surprise screening roared for the “Mortal Kombat”-style matchups and feasted their eyes on the splashy visuals, set in a stylized version of Toronto in which ladies can yank giant hammers from their purses and the “Seinfeld” theme unapologetically blasts before domestic situations.
Cera ditched a Captain America costume he jokingly donned for the panel to watch the film from the loge, along with such cast members as Brandon Routh, Kieran Culkin and Jason Schwartzman and “Scott Pilgrim” creator Bryan Lee O’Malley. After the movie, the screen ascended and rock band Metric, who provided tunes for the movie, performed.