Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), is a bass guitarist in a band called Sex Bob-Omb who falls in love with a delivery girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The catch: he needs to defeat all of her seven evil exes first to be able to date her.
Toronto is very visible throughout the whole film. Many key scenes are acted out in its neighbourhoods and better or lesser known locations. Unlike the other Hollywood blockbusters that don't pay attention to much detail while depicting the city, shooting elsewhere or recreating entire locations in the studio, Scott Pilgrim's director, Edgar Wright, wanted to pay tribute to the city and stay true to all the scenes in the comic.
This long-awaited movie is a film adaptation of the six graphic novels (written between 2004 and 2010) by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Set in a surreal world of a computer system video game, the movie tells the story of 23-year-old Canadian Scott Pilgrim. If you realize that the original story is set in Toronto, the movie was filmed mostly in Toronto, and the story was written by a guy from Toronto, you understand the excitement of the locals about this big production being shot literally in their streets.
Watch the video with commentary from movie's director and the author of the graphic novels. This is some of the backstage material revealing the filming in various locations all over Toronto.
- Scott Pilgrim was the first movie that the British director, Edgar Wright, shot outside the UK, so he wanted to be as accurate as he could while using "someone else's city" as the main location. He was very careful about his research, visiting every location that was mentioned in the comic books with O'Malley in 2005.
- Wright had been to Toronto on several occasions before starting working on the film. He stayed at the Drake Hotel for a week while playing a cameo in George Romero's Land of the Dead.
- The house where Scott and Wallace live is mentioned as "Albert Avenue" in the movie. O'Malley actually lived at 27 Alberta Avenue. However, the books mention 65 Alberta Avenue. So the filming took place at 65 Alberta Avenue, with a slight adjustment of turning the garage door into the entrance door.
- Crash and the Boys are from Brampton, Ontario, which is where Michael Cera grew up.
- In the scene at Pizza Pizza, Toronto's famous discount store, Honest Ed's, is visible across the street.
Discount store Honest Eds in Toronto by WestAnnexNews
- In the scene at the record store, Sonic Boom, there is a Radiohead poster hanging on the walls. It was an idea of the movie's composer, Nigel Godrich, who has collaborated with the band on many occasions.
- One of the very first scenes of the film that were shot was the Lucas Lee action story shown on TV while Scott sets off to Casa Loma.
- The production couldn't miss out on one of the most spectacular filming locations in Toronto, Casa Loma, for a little bit of action in the story.
Casa Loma in Toronto by Jeffrey Vanneste
- When Scott is fighting Lucas Lee, he is thrown through a fake New York City skyline to reveal the CN Tower. This is a reference to the fact that Toronto is often used as NYC in movie productions.
- The romantic scene in the night park was shot at Hillcrest Park. O'Malley had his first date with his wife there.
- Although very true to locations, there has also been some CG involved. The snow in the park is all fake, as they filmed in the summer. Occasionally, the surroundings were simplified to better resemble drawings from the books.
- Wright also recreated the old venue interior of Lee's Palace for the concert scenes. The props were praised as looking just like the real club by bands that have once played gigs there such as Sloan, Jon Spencer, and Metric.
- One of the very minor CG effects connected with the locations was the scene in the back alley, where the actors are standing on a soundstage with the image of the alley projected on the green screen.
- Surprisingly, there are very few shots with the Toronto skyline and its CN Tower in sight. If you want to see it, you have to watch it all the way to the final scene.
Toronto Skyline in the night by Steve Jones
How does it all end?
Filming Locations Map
View Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Filming Locations in Toronto in a larger map