Cover art for Seconds, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Why Did Nobody Tell Me ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’s Successor Is Getting a Movie?!

Sometimes, the only way you find out about things is through random hearsay. I didn’t know Bryan Lee O’Malley, author of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, had an Instagram account, and I especially didn’t know that he and SNL’s Bowen Yang follow each other. But I saw Yang feature O’Malley on one of his posts, and I got to snooping around, and lo and behold, it was revealed to me that O’Malley’s next graphic novel after Scott Pilgrim, Seconds, is being adapted into a movie, with Blake Lively directing and Scott Pilgrim co-writer/director Edgar Wright writing the script:

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This post was from April 29! You’re telling me that this kind of news didn’t blow up? Am I reaching in how exciting this is? Because my understanding was that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was having a cultural renaissance, and therefore this kind of news would be more widely discussed. Maybe I just run with a very particular group of nerds …

In any case, YES, this is happening, and YES, you should be excited! Seconds is probably my favorite of O’Malley’s graphic novels, if not one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. Just like with Scott Pilgrim, the story of Seconds is told in a visually captivating and narratively delightful way, but the story is more compact and concise by nature. It follows Katie, a restauranteur who’s struggling to get her life and career to the point she wants it to be. She lives above her first restaurant, where her dreamboat ex keeps coming by to see her, and the second restaurant that she wants complete control over is in shambles. Katie is constantly being told that she’s a manipulative jerk who’s only out for herself, but she doesn’t realize this until one of her waitresses, Hazel, gets severely burned by boiling fat.

Ultimately, though, it wouldn’t be an O’Malley novel without some supernatural element. Cue Lis and the magic mushrooms that can change time … which is where I’ll cap this recap, so you don’t get spoiled. This is a book worth experiencing freshly.

It makes so much sense that this story would be brought to film, as it works even better than Scott Pilgrim as a movie, in my opinion. So many crucial and beautiful moments in the novels got left out of the Scott Pilgrim movie, to the point where I consider them to be different stories only tied together loosely. This isn’t a dig against co-writer/director Edgar Wright, however. Where he cut corners with the story, he more than made up for them with style and panache (and a helping hand of The Bluetones, which was a turning point in my adolescence). I can only imagine how he’ll help bring this story to life.

Where I am concerned is the fact that Blake Lively is making her directorial debut with this movie. I’m not really sure how that’s going to pan out, since we’ve recently seen actors-turned-directors making asses of themselves more than artistic passes. But still, it’s more of a minor concern than anything else.

Alongside Lively, Wright will return as a screenwriter, and Marc Platt (of La La Land fame) will be the producer. And, of course, O’Malley will be an influential figure on set. Will you be tuning into this release? Let us know in the comments!

(featured image: Ballantine Books)

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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).