This past week marked the 10 year anniversary of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and it’s pretty apparent just how much of an impact it had. It was a cult classic due to the fact that it flopped at the box office in 2010. But years later, it’s not only quotable and well-remembered but produced a lot of the biggest stars today. And other big names auditioned for roles in the film, but weren’t cast.
Allison Jones, Robin D. Cook, and Jennifer Euston made up the casting team, along with director Edgar Wright. They talked to Vanity Fair for the 10 year anniversary and recalled the casting process.
The movie was a big jumping-off point for a lot of actors. Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Kieran Culkin, Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and more were nowhere near the household names they are now. And it turns out another Marvel actor auditioned.
Sebastian Stan came in to read for Stephen Stills, the leader of Sex Bob-omb, the band Scott’s a part of. “Edgar said he’d be better for Lucas Lee,” Euston remembered. Interestingly, that was already “earmarked” for Evans, who would go on to play opposite Stan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A big shocker was that Robert Pattinson read for Lucas Lee as well. It’s a bit tough to think of Pattinson — who’s done a lot of brooding as Edward Cullen and other prestigious roles in serious films — in such a comically hilarious role as Lucas Lee. And it turns out he left a really large impression on the director.
“I remember it vividly,” Wright said. “[Pattinson] did a much more intense read of it as well. Obviously, Robert is an incredible actor and someone who I’d love to work with now. But it was a very different take from what Chris did.”
Surely his audition tape must exist somewhere, right? Regardless, Pattinson had already filmed Twilight but it hadn’t come out yet. He had no idea what world he was walking into.
“I remember we were asking him about Twilight, and he was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know. I just saw it. It’s okay, I guess. I don’t know,’” Jones said. “He was really good at an American accent.”
Another actor that’s hard to imagine in Scott Pilgrim is Rooney Mara, who read for the role of Kim Pine, which went to Allison Pill. Kim is the drummer for Sex Bob-omb and Scott’s ex.
“It was sort of pre-feeding-frenzy on actors because there weren’t as many streaming shows,” Jones said about why so many talented actors auditioned. “So now for casting, it’s a little tougher because there are just so many good streaming possibilities, and more so on television. There’s more television going on than movies. Scott Pilgrim now might be a limited series or something.”
GLOW’s Betty Gilpin also auditioned for the role of Kim.
“Sometimes there will be an [actor] I see in something, like when I saw Betty Gilpin in GLOW. I was like, ‘Why does this woman look familiar? She’s amazing, oh, my God. Why do I know her? Why does that name sound familiar?’” Wright said. “And it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, she read for Scott Pilgrim.’”
Euston actually ended up casting GLOW as well, years later. And Wright did feel good about meeting with these actors, even if they weren’t cast.
“Because I looked at my notes again and I had written by Betty Gilpin: ‘She’s great,’” he said. “At least I feel good about the fact that even if people lost out on the roles…they were a lot of people who were kind of the next big thing.”