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Across the Universe: 'Scott Pilgrim'

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News, rumors, cool stuff and other transmissions from the far-flung reaches of the geek cosmosBy Don Kaye Special to MSN MoviesHey, Scotty! You may like it or you may hate it, but you probably won't see another movie this year like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." Based on a series of graphic novels by Canadian writer Bryan Lee O'Malley and directed by the fiendishly clever Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead"), "Scott Pilgrim" follows a passive, job-challenged, 22-year-old Toronto slacker (Michael Cera) as he attempts to end one relationship with high schooler Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) and pursue the woman of his dreams, the mysterious Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Scott's worldview is filtered through the pop culture that he and his friends are immersed in -- '80s video games, alternative rock, movies and, of course, comics. So Scott's attempts to come to terms with Ramona's past in a mature way result in -- in his head and on the screen -- epic, superhero battles with her seven "evil exes" (played by Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh, Chris Evans and others) that explode onto the screen like demented musical numbers. "Scott in his mind is the star of his own movie," says Cera while talking with reporters about the film. "This movie, in a way, exists in his mind and is his weird perception of the world around him." Wright says that Cera, known for playing dorks, was his first and only choice for Scott: "I always thought Michael Cera was the only actor who could pull off the charm, the goofiness and the massive insecurities that Scott has. Plus, I thought it would be fun to watch him being a badass, and that it would be a fun, entertaining novelty to see someone who is not an action star doing big action scenes." Wright worked on bringing "Scott Pilgrim" to the screen for more than five years, with the last two wholly immersed in the movie's production. Jason Schwartzman, who plays evil ex Gideon Graves, says that the finished film is "just a really unique movie. There aren't a lot of movies with this kind of tone, where it's really just funny and then really awkward and you're like, 'Did they just say what I thought they said?' And then there's romance, and a musical number ... it's just so exuberant and has a spirit of total freedom." ('Scott Pilgrim vs. The World'/Universal)
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