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Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Release Date, Cast, Plot, Teaser Trailer And More Details

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In a world dominated by superheroes, zombies, and sometimes a combination of the two, author and comic book artist Bryan Lee O'Malley sought to add something fresh to the print landscape. The result was "Scott Pilgrim," a series of graphic novels about the titular Canadian bassist and his efforts to win over his love interest, Ramona Flowers. Spread across six volumes, the story of Scott Pilgrim was colorful, funny, and unapologetically embraced its unique visual style, hence why it not only went mainstream shortly after its initial publication but remains a favorite among readers.

Considering its immense popularity and striking aesthetic, it should come as no surprise that "Scott Pilgrim" inevitably got its own live-action adaptation. Titled "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," the 2010 feature from director Edgar Wright showcased Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Scott and Ramona, and they were backed by a stellar supporting cast. While it wasn't exactly a box office smash, the film has become a cult favorite in the years since, proving there's still a market for Scott Pilgrim-centric media. Thankfully, for those yearning for more such content, a "Scott Pilgrim" anime adaptation is on its way to Netflix. Here's everything you need to know about "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off."

When will Scott Pilgrim Takes Off be released?

"Scott Pilgrim" fans, we've got some seriously great news. Netflix has announced their anime take on everybody's favorite lovestruck Canadian would hit the streamer on November 17, 2023. It comes out at a busy time, with three new films set to arrive on Netflix that same week: David Fincher's highly anticipated thriller "The Killer," the Civil Rights Movement drama "Rustin," and the holiday movie "Best. Christmas. Ever!"

Netflix has also confirmed that the first season of "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" will have eight episodes in total. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the whole season will be released at the same time, so fans will be able to watch it all in one go. "I am so excited to binge this 8-episodes series," Redditor u/Sisiwakanamaru said shortly after news of the release date and episode count broke. Fellow user u/Jackski chimed in to say "The whole story will easily fit in 8 episodes" after others questioned whether this was long enough, and others agreed with them. "8 episodes so also sounds like it'll definitely be a more complete adaptation," u/dagreenman18 said.

Fans on Reddit have also discussed the possibility of the release date being moved back due to the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes, though there's been nothing from Netflix on whether or not the show will be impacted. If the animation is being made to match the voice performances as is suspected then most of the work needed from the people on the Hollywood side was likely already done before the strikes kicked in — being Tokyo-based, Science SARU is of course not bound by the strikes and is free to carry on working on the show. However, complications may well arise when it's time for looping (the practice of bringing in actors to record background noise and minor pieces of dialogue).

What is the plot of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

Fans of either the Edgar Wright movie or the Bryan Lee O'Malley source material won't be surprised by the plot of "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off." Per the official description from Netflix, "Scott Pilgrim meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, but learns he must defeat her seven evil exes in order to date her. Then things get even more complicated." 

However, while the quest will no doubt be the crux of the anime, the show will likely differ from the film's version of events significantly in places. According to a Variety report, "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" is taking its cues from the source material rather than the 2010 live-action feature. The movie took some creative liberties, making a number of changes to the story laid out in the graphic novels.

The first volume is adapted pretty faithfully in Edgar Wright's flick, though things do diverge in places, with some scenes cut out all together. Scott's crusade to take out Ramona's former flames becomes less true to the source material the longer the movie runs, though the fact that it didn't cover absolutely everything is hardly surprising given the runtime it had to work with. Also, the final volume of the graphic novel series came out just one month before the movie, so Wright and co. probably had to wing it to some extent.

With eight episodes, the anime series will have a lot more scope to get into the nitty-gritty of the graphic novels, and fans can expect to see a far more faithful adaptation this time around. However, don't expect it to be beat-for-beat: Wright has confirmed that the anime won't be "just a straight adaptation of the original books," telling Netflix's Tudum that the show is "way more adventurous" than that.

Who is starring in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

Fans of the film will be delighted to learn that all the cast members have agreed to reprise their roles in "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off." In a flashy announcement shared on its YouTube channel, Netflix confirmed that the star-studded cast will not only include Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers, but that Satya Bhabha (Matthew Patel), Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells), Chris Evans (Lucas Lee), Anna Kendrick (Stacey Pilgrim), Brie Larson (Envy Adams), Alison Pill (Kim Pine), Aubrey Plaza (Julie Powers), Brandon Routh (Todd Ingram), Jason Schwartzman (Gideon Graves), Johnny Simmons (Young Neil), Mark Webber (Stephen Stills), Mae Whitman (Roxie Richter), and Ellen Wong (Knives Chau) are all back, too.

"Scott Pilgrim" creator Bryan Lee O'Malley is clearly thrilled about the fact that the stars of the film have agreed to lend their voices to the anime. "We're getting the band back together!" he told Variety. "A stellar cast, perfectly assembled by Edgar Wright." It was actually Edgar Wright who reached out and convinced his former cast to reunite for the animated Netflix project. "I'm more than happy to announce that I have helped coax the entire original cast back to voice their characters on this epic new adventure," the filmmaker said. "You are in for a treat." More cast members will be announced in due course, Variety confirmed.

Who are the showrunners on Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

"Scott Pilgrim" creator Bryan Lee O'Malley is a showrunner on "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off," and he's splitting the duties with BenDavid Grabinski. The pair co-wrote the series and are both executive producers on it. Speaking to Netflix's Tudum, O'Malley made it sound like a real passion project for everyone involved. "Everyone is putting their heart and soul into this thing and we're having the most fun making it," he said. "It's hilarious. It's emotional. It's visually stunning. The action scenes will blow your mind. And there might be a few surprises along the way."

This will be Bryan Lee O'Malley's debut as a producer on a big series, but BenDavid Grabinski has some experience. He's an executive producer on Nickelodeon's "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" revival, which he also helped develop, and a producer on the 2021 rom-com thriller "Happily," which he wrote and directed. Grabinski also wrote the Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville film "Skiptrace," the least-known of Chan's handful of American buddy comedies. "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" is a big step forward in his career, and he's been talking the show up in the press.

Speaking to Empire magazine, Grabinski revealed that the creators have been making the most of the fact that the show is animated, taking the action to places that might not be possible with real people. "There's an extended fight sequence in Episodes 2 and 3 that, if this was a live-action movie, would cost more than 'Avatar,'" Grabinski teased. "It would be so unbelievably big. And you don't have to think that way. You're not limited."

Which studio is making Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

"Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" is being made by the anime studio Science SARU, founded by celebrated anime director and animator Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi in 2013. The company has put out some critically acclaimed shows since then, including "Japan Sinks 2020" and the Crunchyroll Anime of the Year-winning "Devilman Crybaby," both of which were released on Netflix. The studio and the streamer have a fruitful relationship, and Science SARU has become "obsessed" with Scott Pilgrim's story. "This series has been a wild ride, full of fresh and thrilling experiences for everyone at Science SARU," Choi told Variety. "Our team is over the moon about bringing the 'Scott Pilgrim' world to life. We can hardly contain our excitement — this is going to be epic!" 

The anime couldn't be in safer hands according to "Scott Pilgrim" co-creator Bryan Lee O'Malley, who praised the "phenomenal animation" of Science SARU in the same Variety interview. "We couldn't ask for a better team for this adventure," he said. "We can't wait for fans and newcomers alike to see what we and our partners at Science SARU have been cooking up." O'Malley is a lifelong anime fan and was well aware of Science SARU's work before the chance to work with them came along, particularly "Devilman Crybaby." He told the Los Angeles Times that "the idea of working with that particular studio was very exciting" and that the whole experience has been like a dream come true, adding, "I grew up on anime and never thought I would ever get a chance to make or even be anywhere near the process of it."

Who is directing Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

"Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" is directed by Abel Góngora, a relative newcomer to the position but definitely no stranger to anime. The Barcelona native studied animation and fine arts at the Polytechnic of Valencia, having grown up dreaming of running his own comic book store one day. He went into animation and worked with some studios around Europe before a new opportunity sent him to Japan. "Arriving here was basically by destiny," he told El Mundo. "I never wanted to work in Japan because I knew the harsh conditions they had, but my company in France sent me here with my partner Juan Manuel Laguna, we made contacts and we stayed."

One of those contacts was Masaaki Yuasa, someone Góngora idolized for his distinctive art style. Góngora's company eventually brought him back to France, but when Yuasa founded Science SARU and offered him a job, he relocated to Tokyo. "Now he is more my boss than my idol, but I still admire him because he has very good ideas," he told El Periodico. Góngora won praise for creating the memorable opening sequence of "Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!" after the dances he invented for the characters inspired a bunch of memes. He went on to helm an installment of the "Star Wars" anime anthology "Star Wars: Visions," but directing "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" for Science SARU is by far his biggest gig to date.

Who is producing Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

Showrunners Bryan Lee O'Malley and BenDavid Grabinski are far from the only producers on this huge project: Nira Park. Marc Platt, Jared LeBoff, and Adam Seigel of Marc Platt Productions are all executive producers on the anime, as is Science SARU's Eunyoung Choi. But perhaps the best news as far as fans of the 2010 feature film are concerned is that Edgar Wright is also a producer on the project.

Wright's name will forever be associated with the property thanks to his film, and the British filmmaker is clearly very excited about what the creative team has in store for fans of the franchise. "One of the proudest and most enjoyable achievements of my career was assembling and working with the dynamite cast of 'Scott Pilgrim,'" Wright told Variety. "Since the film's release in 2010 we've done Q&A's, remembrances and charity read throughs, but there was never the occasion to reunite the whole gang on an actual project. Until now."

According to Wright, getting the gang back together was relatively simple, because they're all still in a group email that has essentially become a private chat for the director and his actors. "Luckily, the 'Scott Pilgrim' cast became a close-knit family and friendships were forged for life," Wright told Tudum, adding that "seeing (and hearing) everyone come back to their roles has been a true pleasure."

Is there a teaser trailer for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

Netflix dropped the first teaser trailer for its "Scott Pilgrim" anime in August 2023, confirming the release date (November 17, 2023) and the official title of the show ("Scott Pilgrim Takes Off"). It doesn't really give a lot away about the plot — unless, of course, you're already familiar with the story. Those who know their "Scott Pilgrim" will no doubt recognize some of the main story beats in the teaser, even though there's no dialogue. It's a mixture of live music and Ramona's exes, with everyone from the emo haircut-sporting Matthew Patel and the skateboarding hunk Lucas Lee (the first two exes that Scott battles) to the music mogul Gideon Graves (leader and founder of the League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends) showing up.

It's evident from the teaser that "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" is going to stay pretty close to the original story, which will no doubt be music to the ears of fans. What's also clear from the trailer is that the creators of the show have gone out of their way to make it look like the graphic novels, which hasn't gone unnoticed. "The fact that the animation art style is EXACTLY like the graphic novels art style and everyone who worked on the incredible live-action adaptation is coming back for this, makes me think that this might be one of the best animated adaptations ever," YouTube user @onepresence9460 said in the comments section under the teaser.

Who is making the music for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

Music is a big thing in the "Scott Pilgrim" world, so you might be wondering who has been asked to provide the music for the anime series. That would be Anamanaguchi, a tongue-twister of a name that is probably familiar to fans of the franchise. This chiptune (otherwise known as 8-bit music) band did the music for the "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" video game, which is still popular to this day — they toured the soundtrack as recently as 2022, doing shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

On the anime series, Anamanaguchi will work alongside composer Joseph Trapanese, a veteran of over a hundred projects. He's famous in the score world for combining classical and electronic elements, and will no doubt be an ideal addition to "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off." Trapanese worked with Daft Punk to create the "Tron Legacy" score and he has plied his trade on a number of big Hollywood movies, including "Oblivion" and "The Greatest Showman." He's also no stranger to Netflix projects, having composed the music for "Shadow and Bone" and "The Witcher."

What has Michael Cera said about Scott Pilgrim Takes Off?

Michael Cera has been experiencing something of a renaissance in recent years, popping up in the smash hit "Barbie" and turning in acclaimed performances in the likes of "The Adults" and "Black Mirror." The Canadian actor got his big break playing George-Michael Bluth in the beloved sitcom "Arrested Development," but he didn't become a star until the end of the '00s with a string of performances in comedies and indie favorites. "Superbad," "Juno," "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Paper Heart," and "Youth in Revolt" made him the go-to guy for charmingly geeky roles, though the part that sums up this era of his career the best is Scott Pilgrim.

2010's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is the quintessential Michael Cera movie, and Netflix's anime version just wouldn't have been the same if he wasn't voicing the title character. Speaking to Rolling Stone about the animated project, Cera revealed that he jumped at the chance to get involved. "It's very cool that we get to make more of it," he told the music mag. "It's nice that people still care enough to bring it up, watch it, and enjoy it. That seems like a great success. I think it's gonna be so funny. I've had so much fun recording it and hearing what other people are doing. [...] I kind of don't fully know what to expect other than it's going to be really funny."

Remaking a past project as an animation will be a first for Cera, but this isn't his first voice gig. One of his first roles was Benjamin in "Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series," and more recently he's played Robin in "The Lego Batman Movie," Great Wide Wonder in "The Boys Presents: Diabolical," and Hank in "Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank."

Is Scott Pilgrim Takes Off connected to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World?

One thing that's become abundantly clear since "Scott Pilgrim Takes Off" was announced is that co-creator BenDavid Grabinski is a genuine "Scott Pilgrim" superfan. He loves the property so much that he's attended midnight graphic novel releases in the past. He even "crashed a test-screening" of Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" because he was "so impatient to see it," he told the Los Angeles Times. He later attended the official premiere at Comic-Con and went on to see the film "more than 10 times" in theaters.

After hearing all this, it probably won't surprise you to learn that Grabinski wants the anime to coexist with the film rather than compete with it. In an interview with Empire magazine, the co-showrunner explained his vision for the expanding franchise. "In the same way that Edgar was so respectful of the books, I want these all to be in conversation with each other," he said. "You can watch the movie and then go read the books, you can read the books and watch the movie, you can watch our show, then play the game, then read the books, then watch the movie. The order doesn't really matter — they all kind of feed off each other."

Where to watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

If you've never seen Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," or you just feel like a refresher before the anime drops on Netflix, then that's where you should go — the 2010 movie is available via the streaming giant at the time of this writing in 2023. It isn't your only option, however. If you don't have a Netflix account and you just want to watch "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," you can always rent it via Amazon Prime Video for $3.99.

If you would rather get your hands on the original graphic novels and expand your knowledge of "Scott Pilgrim" lore before sitting down to watch the anime series, they're available to buy on the website of publisher Oni Press. Paperback versions start at $11.99 per volume. This is where it all began for Scott, and the books read as well today as they did back then. "Witty, self-aware dialogue and acute observational humor wink from the pages, and the result is an appealing, lighthearted account of a transitional period of life," The New York Times said in its review.