On the Blu-Ray and DVD release of his most recent film, Wright reveals the plethora of amusing alternatives for telecast-un-utterables he had the “Scott Pilgrim” cast deliver, particularly the word “owl” frequently subbing for the common idiom for the characters’ backsides.
“The ‘Owl’ Version – If that cut ever ends up on network TV, I will be so happy,” says Wright.
Unlike some filmmakers, he admits he takes special delight coming up with inventive curse-word substitutes in the dubbing room.“I think you contractually have to do a TV-safe edit,” he explains. “The thing is, if you don’t provide them, they’ll do the silliest ones themselves. When we’re doing ADR, I actually like doing them. Some people watch them and say ‘Oh, that’s retarded. Why do they have to change a--?’ I think it’s funny! What we do is we try and think of the weirdest ones to put in, and then we only ever do one take of it. We never do any second takes. So they start to get really weird in this one. Every utteration of the word ‘a--’ is replaced by the word ‘owl.’”
Wright says he’s seen intentionally hilarious overdubs of film “plenty of times – like you notice if you watch something like ‘Die Hard 2,’ Bruce Willis did not show up for his TV-safe edits.” The director recently saw one of his own films, “Hot Fuzz” for the first time on television and was both horrified and amused by the censors’ liberties.
“I just thought, “Wow, if you’d only ever seen that film on Comedy Central, you honestly have another 20 minutes to look forward to on the DVD.” I was amazed how butchered it was. At least if you’re going to provide those things, you may as well have fun with it. I really like doing them.”