Scott Pilgrim is getting the anime treatment at Netflix

Scott Pilgrim vs the World
(Image credit: Universal)

Scott Pilgrim is preparing to level up at Netflix. That's right, Bryan Lee O'Malley's beloved graphic novel series is reportedly getting a TV show on the streaming platform – and it'll be an anime to boot.

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Netflix and Universal Content Productions (UCP), who co-developed Netflix's live-action adaptation of The Umbrella Academy, are collaborating on a Scott Pilgrim anime series.

Unlike Edgar Wright's movie adaptation, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2020, though, O'Malley is said to have a bigger role in the TV show's development. Per THR's report, O'Malley – the Scott Pilgrim comics' creator, artist and head writer – will write and executively produce Netflix's anime series. O'Malley had merely served as a creative consultant on the 2010 cult classic film.

BenDavid Grabinski, writer-producer on Happily and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, will act as showrunner. Meanwhile, Japanese animation studio Science SARU has been approached to create the show's visuals, with studio employees Abel Gongora and Eunyoung Choi serving as director and producer respectively.

It's currently unclear if Netflix will give the go-ahead to a Scott Pilgrim anime, with THR claiming that Netflix hasn't officially given the project a series order yet. Should it do so, we suspect that Scott Pilgrim will find its way onto our best Netflix TV shows list in time, alongside the likes of other hit animated series including Arcane, as well as our best anime list.

Analysis: Scott Pilgrim is perfect for an anime adaptation

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Whilst it hasn't been greenlit yet, a Scott Pilgrim anime series seems like a superb idea.

We've already been given a glimpse at what the Scott Pilgrim comic series would like as an animated production. To coincide with the film's release in summer 2010, Ubisoft released a side-scrolling beat 'em up video game that was similarly based on O'Malley's works. 

The initial Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 title, which was acclaimed by fans and critics alike, did a wonderful job of capturing the graphic novel likeness of the series' characters. Should Netflix and UCP move forward with their Scott Pilgrim anime plans, Ubisoft's game – as well as O'Malley's source material – would be a good place to start regarding the show's aesthetic, style and tone.

As much as Wright's movie provided tons of fan service throughout its near two-hour runtime, a Scott Pilgrim anime would allow O'Malley, Grabinski and company to really dig into the comic series' weird and offbeat sensibilities.

O'Malley has often spoken about how Japanese manga largely inspired the design of Scott Pilgrim's story, characters, facial expressions, themes and art style. Chief influences for the comic series, O'Malley has revealed, include Rumiko Takahasi's Ranma 1/2, the works of Osamu Tezuka (aka the 'Godfather of manga'), and even manga-inspired Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) such as Yuji Iwahara's Koudelka.

Given how influential manga and anime was on O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim comics, it wouldn't be a stretch to see his series turned into a Netflix anime

The ingredients are already present in the source material (and the Scott Pilgrim game, to an extent) to show that a Scott Pilgrim anime could work as an animated series. And, with Netflix enjoying plenty of success with recent anime offerings including Castlevania, DOTA: Dragon's Blood and The Witcher spin-off movie Nightmare of the Wolf, the streamer seems like it'd make a good home for a Scott Pilgrim anime.

Here's hoping that Netflix greenlights the series, then, so we can shout out iconic lines including "We are Sex Bob-omb!", "Bread makes you fat!?" and "I'm in lesbians with you" as we watch along.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

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