Following the first book’s release in 2004, Scott Pilgrim, a story about a 23-year-old slacker working in a band and fighting his girlfriend’s seven evil exes, became a widely successful franchise with a six-volumed graphic novel series, the 2010 movie, the Ubisoft-licensed video game, and even talks of an anime by director Edgar Wright and creator Bryan Lee O’Malley. With all these multimedia platforms that the lovable slacker has gone through, one question remains: Can you create a new adaptation of Scott Pilgrim? My answer would be you can. I believe that Scott Pilgrim can be tackled in a different direction while also staying true to the source material. This is my take on a new Scott Pilgrim adaptation.
What Are My Ideas?
With so many ideas in so little time, I decided to narrow them down to at least more than a few and showcase how they could work for my adaptation.
It would be a 6-part miniseries, animated in the style of the latest book of the series Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, and will also combine some elements of the 2010 film, mixed with some original ideas for each installment. I will also be adapting some shorts, as seen in the colored re-releases of the books.
I would also give characters like Lisa Miller, Lynette Guycott, Crash and the Boys, and others more prominence in the series instead of just being one-off characters in certain installments.
I would also try to fix some of the issues with the 2010 film, one of which being Ramona Flowers. In the movie, she is more of a pawn used by the antagonists, rather than being an established character. Taking some elements from the book and creating an original short bridging between the 5th and 6th books that I have in mind can give her character development and add something to her missing from the movie.
In terms of references, fans are going to drown in them. You have no idea how many pop culture references I am going to add in terms of marketing, the series itself, some of the artwork, and so on. You could see references to movies like Star Wars, Avengers: Endgame, The Hobbit, and more, as well as referencing video games such as The Last of Us, Final Fantasy VII, Super Smash Bros., etc., which itself is coming from a series that occasionally references pop culture like Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog.
With the 2010 film combining all six books, some characters and certain elements had to cut out for time purposes, which is a lot less to be said than the books. While it doesn’t have a large number of characters similar to The Simpsons or Spongebob Squarepants, the books still offer us enough material to explore and expand on.
I would also incorporate ideas that did not make it to the books, including Scott’s brother, combining short comics made by O’Malley and placing them somewhere in the series, and add new scenes and jokes that I think would match well with the style and tone. I would also include a voice cameo by one of the actors from the 2010 film.
Who Would I Cast?
Please note that this is my opinion of who I would like to cast for the miniseries. If you have suggestions for potential castings, put them down in the comments. Also, not everyone has a voice picked, including the evil exes. These are just a handful of picks that I think might work:
Jeremy Shada – Scott Pilgrim
Modeled after his voice as Finn the Human from Adventure Time, I think Shada could perfectly work well with Scott’s character due to his laidback, awkward, immature, and cocky attitude, which contrasts Finn’s heroic, mature, and brave nature. Funnily enough, both Scott and Finn have some similarities to each other despite their different personality traits. They are considered the main protagonists of their respective series and had several love interests in their lives, including Finn’s relationship with Princess Bubblegum and Flame Princess and Scott’s relationship with Knives Chau and Envy Adams.
Grey Griffin – Ramona Flowers and Envy Adams
For Ramona Flowers, inspired by her voice as Jackie Lynn Thomas in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Griffin’s teenage-like voice can match Ramona’s mysterious and brooding nature from her fear of facing her past in the form of her exes. Additionally, her performance and chemistry with Jeremy Shada as Scott could work well as the books play almost like a drama, rather than just being a simple boy and girl love story. As for Envy Adams, modeled after Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender, her evil-like voice can work as her character is Scott’s ex-girlfriend and later archenemy due to her cold and aggressive attitude. Additionally, Azula is similar to Envy due to lacking empathy towards others and asserting her authority and herself, which reminds me of Envy dumping Scott without warning and changing her self-image.
Ben Schwartz – Wallace Wells or Young Neil
You probably know Schwartz by now from his voice performances in animation, such as Dewey Duck from DuckTales, the title character in Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, and Sonic the Hedgehog in the live-action 2020 movie. No voice modeling this time, as I am just using his normal voice. His performance as Wells can match well, seeing as he can portray a mature yet playful character. Another choice for him is Young Neil. Modeling after his performance in DuckTales, Schwartz could play Neil as this awkward and quiet kid, which contrasts Dewey’s adventurous but fool-hearted nature. Both characters could work well, but Schwartz as Wallace would work better, as he’s calm, easy-going, and occasionally a ton of fun when drunk (no really, he can get drunk).
Tara Strong – Kim Pine
Like with Schwartz, I am pretty sure you know who Tara Strong is. She is a well-known voice actress in the cartoon community from characters like Bubbles in The PowerPuff Girls, Timmy Turner in The Fairly OddParents, Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and so on. Modeled after her performance as Raven in Teen Titans, her deadbeat voice can match Pine’s character as she is emotionless. But unlike Raven, she could occasionally provide some emotion when needed, including being in danger when captured by one of Ramona’s exes or telling Scott to face his past.
Kimiko Glenn – Knives Chau
Hearing Glenn’s performance as Lena in DuckTales and Peni Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse made it perfect for her as Knives. I tried modeling her voice after Lena but found it a little too high. So, going off with Peni Parker and sometimes her normal voice instead better matches her character of this happy-go-lucky girl turned bitter and jealous of wanting Scott back in her life and fighting Ramona for it.
Abbi Jacobson – Stacey Pilgrim
Modeling after her voice as Princess Bean from Disenchantment, her tone could match well with Stacey’s character as she’s younger yet much mature than Scott. In addition to Stacey’s gossipy and superior attitude, Bean’s character is also brash and unwilling to play by the rules, making her want to do something more instead of going with restrictions. Bean’s brash nature could work well with Stacey as she tends to impose and be blunt towards her brother’s opinions on his love life.
Nathan Sharp – Crash Wilson
You probably know this man on YouTube as NateWantstoBattle, who does excellent anime covers, original songs on video games, and loads more. I think it would be interesting to have him on board as he could play a character who is a musician, especially since he has a good chunk of voice acting as seen and heard in his voice reel video. Using his performance as Yoshichika Tsurugi from Luck and Logic or just his normal voice in general, Sharp as Crash could work with his character initially being quiet and brash during the first book, and later becomes helpful to Scott in the third book.
Eden Sher – Lisa Miller
Sher’s performance as Star Butterfly in Star vs. the Forces of Evil is perfect for Lisa Miller. Her energetic and occasionally awkward tone could fit well with her almost sexual-like tension towards Scott, as seen in the fourth book. Plus, how funny would it be if you picture the scene of Scott and Lisa almost making out as Star Butterfly and Finn the Human?
Who Would Get Involved?
In terms of the crew, it would be interesting for these people to bring into the series. I would first consider writing the script for each installment of the series and creating shorts that either bridge certain installments or be their own thing. As a fan of the books, I believe that my writing could bring something new to the table while also trying to stay true to the books with their humor and charm.
Frank Agones would also be brought on board as the producer as he previously worked on DuckTales, which updated the original series for a new audience. He also read the first Scott Pilgrim book, which would be interesting for Agones to tackle another familiar source material and expand upon the lore with what the books established.
Nathan Sharp, who was previously fan-casted as Crash Wilson, could also provide the music for the series as some of the characters in the books play in a band and wound up in situations like a Battle of the Bands competition or simply playing in a show.
As said earlier, the animation would be in the style of the latest book of the series, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour. I haven’t thought about who should animate it, but it should an animator working similar to the books.
But if there’s one person that has to be on board, it would have to be the author and illustrator of the Scott Pilgrim books himself, Bryan Lee O’Malley. Bringing O’Malley onboard would give him a chance to approve the series, as well as rework his creations with his signature flare. Whether as a writer, producer, creative consultant, or a cameo, O’Malley being onboard would be a priority for this miniseries, making sure I don’t destroy his creations and ruin his interpretation of the character.
Who Would Distribute It?
With the cast, crew, and some ideas intact, who would distribute it? Here are some choices for a possible distribution for my miniseries:
As evidenced by their large category of original and adapted series (whether animated or live-action), Scott Pilgrim would be in the same ranks of Hilda and Disenchantment of being well-received animated shows and be available in one of the most popular streaming platforms.
Like with Netflix, HBO has a large category of TV shows such as Sesame Street and Game of Thrones. And with the releases of the Watchmen and Chernobyl miniseries, it would be interesting to have another adapted miniseries as part of the program. Another option could be as an HBO Max exclusive, as evidenced by the Adventure Time: Distant Lands specials.
Around the same time the movie was released, Adult Swim released a short that included elements cut from the film. These include Lisa Miller and the flashbacks seen in the second book. With the short’s release, the series would come full circle by releasing on the same platform as the short.
Just kidding! In all seriousness, Disney and Scott Pilgrim would not be a match made in heaven as the former is more interested in mostly family-friendly media, while the series, to put it lightly, is not. You could argue that the miniseries could go onto the Star hub. The problem with that is that it’s only available in international countries like Canada and Europe and is nowhere present in the US. In short, the miniseries would not work well with Disney and its streaming service, and this suggestion was just a joke.
Why Do I Want to Make This?
Since Scott Pilgrim became popular thanks to the books and the movie, I thought it would be interesting to tackle the series in a different form by adding something new to the series while also staying faithful to its source material and exploring elements that didn’t make it to the film. And I know some people would be against the idea of another adaptation and possibly destroy what’s not broken. But I like to think that my miniseries idea will NOT replace the 2010 film. Think about how Stephen King has several book adaptations with The Shining, Pet Cemetery, It, and Carrie. You could choose which one you prefer and stick with it, or take a look at a different adaptation of familiar source materials and see how it’s experimented and if the result is well-executed. This can be said the same with the movie and my miniseries. You can either go with the 2010 film that cuts out a lot from the books, but mostly stays true to the source material or try something new by exploring ideas that weren’t established in the movie.
In the end, could a Scott Pilgrim miniseries work? For me, yes. When it comes to adapting familiar source material for a new audience, it tends to try something new or improve upon itself. Look at how DC Comics managed their characters like Batman or Superman. There are tons of different interpretations of the characters and others, and I believe if done right, Scott Pilgrim could be one of them. Yes, we all remember the books, the movie, and the video game, but sometimes we don’t always like how others interpret their versions of familiar characters. I believe that my interpretation of Scott Pilgrim could remain faithful to its source material while also bringing something new by expanding the books and lore in the form of a miniseries.
Any ideas you have in mind? Do you think a Scott Pilgrim miniseries could work? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.