Edgar Wright - RT's Dinner and the Movies Interview

An hour of chat with the Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz helmer.

Edgar Wright - Photo by Bexy Cameron for RTDirector Edgar Wright is best known for his collaborations with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, which broke through with cult British TV show Spaced. In 2004 they hit the big screen with Shaun of the Dead, the trio's attempt to give birth to the rom-zom-com, and it was the launchpad for their domination of the world. Its success internationally allowed the team to come back with Gloucestershire's answer to Bad Boys II, the hysterically funny Hot Fuzz.

They've dubbed the movies the first two parts of a planned Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy - based on a popular brand of ice cream in the UK - which will eventually culminate with a mint-flavoured finale.

Wright cut his teeth on television as a director of shows such as French & Saunders, Is It Bill Bailey and Asylum. Since the phenomenal success of Shaun and Fuzz, he shot one of Grindhouse's fake trailers, for a surreal slasher movie called Don't, and is prepping work on the big-screen adaptation of Jon Ronson's book Them, and adaptations of comics Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life and Ant-Man.

And when he's not doing all of that he has played a zombie in George Romero's Land of the Dead and made frequent appearances in Peter Serafinowicz' devilishly funny TV show Look Around You.

With the Writers' Strike halting work on his American projects, Wright took some time last month to put together a series of special screenings at the New Beverly Cinema in LA. Dubbed The Wright Stuff, the series saw sell-out performances of some of Wright's favourite films including Evil Dead II, Flash Gordon and Raising Arizona.

As part of our ongoing series of Dinner and the Movies conversations - which kicked off with our mammoth chat with Kevin Smith early last year and continued as we took Neil Gaiman out for sushi - RT brought Wright into our London office to sit down with us for more than an hour and talk about his career past, present and future. Alas, we didn't provide Cornettos.

By popular demand we've provided the full version of our chat as an MP3 download for your listening pleasure. For those who prefer their soundbites in text form, we've extracted the juiciest morsels which you can find on the pages of this article.

On McSpaced - the US remake:
I remember having a meeting with Granada when we were making the show and they were going to do a pilot back then. Someone had written a version of the first episode of Spaced and I'll always remember because they said, "We've re-versioned it and it's a very funny writer who's done it." He goes, "Have you seen a show called Dinosaurs?" As soon as that was said I was thinking, Oh...

It's different in the UK as it is in the US; I don't have any format rights over Spaced, and Simon just wrote it. I probably shouldn't go into the full legal thing, but the thing that just really annoyed me about that situation and the reason I spoke out publically against it was that there was nothing I could do to stop another company making it but what I really took offence to is that Wonderland, the company who make The OC and all that stuff, implied in the Variety article that me and Simon were involved when they had no contact with us whatsoever, so I was absolutely furious about that.

And never believe anything you see on Wikipedia or the IMDb, because even now on the page for the US Spaced it has us listed as producers and I've never even met these fucking people. A day after I put the thing on MySpace and it was all over the internet, they rang up my agent saying, "Hey, we'd love to get Edgar in to talk," and it's too late. I don't want to be involved.

That show is so much about the people who made it. Not just Simon and Jess, but myself and Nira. When you boil it down to the plot of the first episode - two twenty-somethings pretend to be a professional couple - that isn't the show. The show is Tim and Daisy and a huge percentage of that is Simon and Jess and it's really personal to them.

On the third feature with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost:
The third film that me and Simon are going to write is UK set because I think it's very important it's set in the UK, it's intrinsic to what we've done so far.

We have the idea and it was something that came to me during the press tour; I had a spark of an idea that was based on an old idea I'd had and I was thinking about that. And then I started to think of a new spin of it. I remember we were in Australia and I mentioned it to Simon as soon as I got off the plane and we just started brainstorming it immediately.

We haven't started writing it yet but we have the plot worked out.

Read on for more highlights from our chat with Edgar Wright, or treat your eyes to a break and wrap your ears around the audio, which you can download at the link below.


DOWNLOAD THE MP3 (55.8MB)

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