Writer, producer and director Edgar Wright, 39 - who was born in Poole, Dorset, and grew up in Wells, Somerset - has been behind some of the best loved comedy projects of the past few years, including Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. He talks to Roger Crow about his new DVD release The World's End
FOR ME, SIMON PEGG GAVE HIS BEST PERFORMANCE IN THE WORLD'S END. IT'S NICE TO SEE HIM LESS RESTRAINED THAN IN YOUR PREVIOUS MOVIES
Yeah, I'd agree with that. I think he's amazing in it. Simon is a great actor. What's funny is that, in the first two movies, he's maybe been too generous by giving the wild parts to other people. In Shaun of the Dead he plays the everyman, and in Hot Fuzz he almost plays the straight man, so in this one he wanted to play the wild man.
NICK FROST IS ALSO ON GOOD FORM. IS IT JUST A CASE OF SIT BACK AND LET HIM DO HIS THING?
Well we wrote the script and rehearsed it, so we very much discuss where we wanted to go.
THE SOUNDTRACK IS GREAT, NOT LEAST THE DOORS' VERSION OF ALABAMA SONG. DID IT COST A LOT FOR THE RIGHTS?
Yes and no. Not inexpensive, but also one of their lesser known tracks. I love that song as well. At one point we were toying with having the David Bowie version as well, but we ended up just using The Doors.
THE END OF THE MOVIE IS BIZARRE - LIKE A WAKING DREAM
That's a good way to see it. I like that. It's funny, I never tire of watching the epilogue. It's nice in the final five minutes of the film to go into a different world.
COMMENTARIES FOR YOUR FILMS ARE ALWAYS GOOD FUN. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT ON THE WORLD'S END?
Simon and I have done one, which is very informative, and then I did one with Bill Pope, the cinematographer, which was like a technical track. Then there's a cast commentary, with Simon, Nick and Paddy Considine, which is very silly. Paddy endlessly does his impressions of Ian McKellen as Gandalf. It's very funny.
ARE YOU AND SIMON GOING TO LET NICK PLAY IN YOUR SCREENWRITING SANDBOX NEXT TIME?
We talked about it with this one actually, because Nick had co-written 'Paul' with Simon. We wanted to keep it the same for these three films, but now that this (Cornetto) trilogy is complete, absolutely we could, yeah.
IS THERE ALMOST A PSYCHIC LINK BETWEEN YOU SIMON AND NICK BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER FOR SO LONG?
We just agree on a lot of things and we work together very well. In a way this script was the most harmonious of the three to actually write. We knew exactly what we wanted to do and set out to do it.
IT WAS A SHAME THE ALIENS TWIST WAS GIVEN AWAY IN THE TRAILERS
Well, I defy you to cut together a trailer without it which would make people still go and see it (laughs). If you had a trailer where they were just drinking, you'd think: 'What happened?'. It's a necessary evil. People talk about spoilers in trailers like it's something new, but
if you look at any trailer of the last 40 years, they'll show you all the biggest moments. It is not a new phenomenon.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE FILM LOOK SO GOOD WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE?
You've just got to go in with a plan. If you have a plan and stick to it, that's the only way to make something look more expensive than it is.
DO YOU GET A SECRET THRILL FROM TEACHING THE AMERICAN AUDIENCE WHAT A CORNETTO IS?
(Laughs). I guess so, although they can't actually buy them, so they are intrigued. They have a King Cone and something called a Drumstick, which is similar to a Cornetto.
I ENJOYED SIGHTSEERS, WHICH YOU PRODUCED. ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO WORK WITH DIRECTOR BEN WHEATLEY AGAIN?
I don't know actually. I think he's pretty happy doing his own thing. My part in that was actually helping Alice (Lowe) and Steve (Oram) get the movie going. They had written it as a TV show, then I was the person who said that they should do it as a low budget feature instead, so I was a producer on the movie before Ben came on.
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH YOUR MOVIE VERSION OF KOLCHAK - THE NIGHT STALKER?
A script has been written quite recently actually. I'm obviously busy for the next couple of years so whether they'll carry on without me I don't know.
IS JOHNNY DEPP STILL ATTACHED TO IT?
He is. He owns the right to it.
FINALLY, WHAT'S THE TONE OF YOUR NEXT MOVIE, ANT-MAN?
I guess it's similar to the other Marvel movies. Most of the Marvel movies have had a sense of humour, but they're not specifically comedies. This isn't really a comedy either, but it is funny. Iron Man, Avengers and Thor all have humorous elements to them.
:: The World's End is out on DVD and Blu-Ray now.