Surprise screening of 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' wows fans at Comic-Con

By Derrik J. Lang
Saturday, July 24, 2010

SAN DIEGO -- "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" won over Comic-Con.

At the end of Universal Pictures' "Scott Pilgrim" panel at the pop-culture convention, which began Thursday, director Edgar Wright had a surprise for the crowd. He invited anyone who was given 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 in different directions, eventually converging seven blocks away at the historic Balboa Theatre for the comic-adaptation debut.

"I'm so, so glad I made it," fan Jennifer Gladwell said. "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's heart, Pilgrim must smite her seven deadly exes -- one is a telekinetic vegan, for example -- in duels punctuated with many 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 blasts before domestic situations.

Cera ditched a Captain America costume that he had 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, which provided some of the movie's tunes, performed.

-- Associated Press

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