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Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost break down the making of Shaun of the Dead, 20 years later: “Could Jack Black play this part?"

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the 20th anniversary of the British comedy film "Shaun of the Dead", including:

  • The film's origins, production, and critical reception
  • Reflections from the key creative team (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Edgar Wright) on the film's legacy and impact
  • The team's plans for future collaborations

🙋 Q&A

[01] The Film's Origins and Production

1. What were some of the challenges the team faced in getting "Shaun of the Dead" off the ground?

  • The team initially had funding from Film4, but the company went bankrupt briefly in 2002, creating a tense period where they had to push to get the film made.
  • There was some skepticism from industry figures about the team's ability to make the film, with one receptionist at Pathé saying "Oh, they'll give anybody a movie these days."
  • The team had to fight to keep Nick Frost in the role, as some wanted to cast a "bigger" name like Jack Black instead.

2. What were some of the creative decisions around the film's soundtrack and soundtrack choices?

  • The team had to clear the rights to use specific album covers, like the Batman soundtrack, which they felt was "objectively questionable."
  • They also wanted to use David Bowie's "Labyrinth" soundtrack, but were told Bowie was "touchy" about it, so they couldn't include it.
  • They were able to use the Stone Roses' second album, which Simon Pegg admitted he thought was "shit" at the time, though he's since come around on it.

[02] The Film's Legacy and Impact

1. What was the team's experience taking "Shaun of the Dead" to the US?

  • They were surprised and delighted by the enthusiastic response the film received, with packed screenings and support from high-profile filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and George Romero.
  • The success of "Shaun" also helped build anticipation and excitement for their later collaborations like "Hot Fuzz."
  • The team felt like they were on a "band tour", with the screenings and press events feeling like a whirlwind experience.

2. What are the team's thoughts on future collaborations?

  • The team is eager to work together again, but want to do something different and surprising, rather than just making another "Cornetto trilogy" film.
  • They are hesitant to discuss specific plans, as they don't want to "jinx" future projects, but are actively trying to come up with new ideas.
  • The core creative trio of Pegg, Frost, and Wright remain committed to collaborating again in the future, even if it's not a direct sequel to their previous films.
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