The filmmaking team of writer/director Edgar Wright, co-writer/star Simon Pegg, and star Nick Frost have churned out two incredible films with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and this summer they return to close out the Cornetto Trilogy with the fantastic-looking The World’s End. The three have a genuine love for movies and their fans, so at The World’s End Comic-Con panel this morning, they decided not to show any more footage from the film, which paved the way for a very entertaining—and very funny—conversation that delved into Doctor Who comparisons, how The World’s End fits into the Cornetto Trilogy, whether the three will make another film together, and if a continuation of Spaced is in the cards. Hit the jump for my full recap of the panel.
The panel began by showing the full trailer for the film, after which moderator extraordinaire Chris Hardwick took the stage to introduce the Cornetto Trilogy featurette and then bring Wright, Pegg, and Frost to the stage to wild applause.
Hardwick noted that Matt Smith was at the party for the film the night before, and said there are actually some similarities between Doctor Who and The World’s End:
- Wright replied to Hardick’s statement by saying, “If you’ve ever watched Doctor Who and thought it would be a lot funnier if the Doctor was hammered, this is the movie for you.”
- Pegg said that his character is the villain of the film as much as the hero, adding that he’s kind of a dick but his dickishness is explained. “He’s stuck in 1990 and his friends have all moved on.”
- Contnuing with the Doctor Who jokes, Pegg said that their Tardis in the film is beer.
Did they pick out what kind of characters they wanted to play in each film of the Cornetto trilogy:
- Frost said he and Pegg had to play someone different in each film, they didn’t want to play the same character each time.
- Pegg said that at the time that they made Shaun of the Dead, they were pretty close to the characters in real life.
- Wright explained the origin of the “Cornetto Trilogy” name, saying that in college his hangover cure was a Cornetto. They had Cornettos in the first film and got free ice cream at the premiere, so Wright joked that they wrote it into the second film to get more free ice cream. Frost added that their next trilogy will be the “Aston Martin Trilogy.”
- Explaining the colors, red stands for blood in Shaun, blue stands for the police in Hot Fuzz, and green is for the aliens in World’s End.
Hardwick asked the panel about their first Comic-Con experience with Shaun of the Dead:
- Wright talked about he and Pegg’s first experience coming to Comic-Con after Shaun of the Dead opened. They saw such an enthusiastic response that they were encouraged to continue to make their films British instead of trying to add in American actors to appeal to a wider audience.
- Pegg said that sometimes you forget breaking wind isn’t funny to everybody, but Frost maintains that it has “international appeal.”
- The World’s End is about friends reuniting and they haven’t made a film together in six years, so when they came back together Pegg said it was like putting back on a pair of nice slippers.
- Pegg teased some “very interesting” cameos in the film.
What was it like to reunite for The World’s End after working separately for six years:
- Pegg said that these three films fit into one contained trilogy because they fit certain criteria that they came up with: they take place in Britain and they revolve around one or two people facing an enormous obstacle. They want to work together again with a different set of criteria.
- Wright said there’s a theme of perpetual adolescence and the joys and dangers of it, and World’s End tries to address that theme and wrap it up.
- Wright “announced” that he’s doing a spinoff film from Ant-Man with Pegg and Frost, “a buddy comedy with Abdo-Man and The Mighty Thorax.”
- The trio hasn’t come up with an idea for their next collaboration yet, but the idea for World’s End didn’t come about until they were on the Hot Fuzz press tour.
Hardwick asked about spoilers and whether there was any debate about revealing the alien aspect of the film in trailers:
- Pegg says they didn’t have a choice in revealing there was an alien bent to the story. In an ideal scenario, audiences would know nothing about a movie going into it.
- Wright added that there are lots of surprises in the movie that are not revealed in the trailer.
The panel was then opened up to audience questions:
- Addressing the long wait between movies, Frost said the wait makes it that much sweeter for the fans. Pegg noted that they were very busy, as he and Wright were writing the script for TWE as Pegg was filming Star Trek Into Darkness.
- Asked about who makes them laugh, they said The Lonely Island, Nick Kroll Show, Louis C.K., Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family are all things they enjoy. Frost mentioned The Larry Sanders Show.
- On how much improv they do, Frost said anything they find funny they’ll put in, but only at the script stage. On set, they pretty much stick to the script because there’s not a lot of time to mess around. They don’t improvise “hardly at all.” Wright and Pegg write the script, then they go over it with Frost who “sprinkles it with fairy dust,” then they’ll tweak it with Frost’s notes, and then take it to set.
- When asked how Martin Freeman was able to fit the film into his busy schedule, Wright said Freeman shot for two months, went to New Zealand to do the press tour for The Hobbit, then came back literally next day to complete his scenes.
The film’s challenging action sequences and Pegg’s on-set injury:
- Wright said that the action scenes on location were really challenging, and they tried to push themselves with the fighting scenes, which took many days to shoot. Pegg called the fight style “pub fu.”
- Pegg broke his hand doing a scene where he had to jump over a bar, but he didn’t tell Wright because Wright didn’t have the shot yet. Pegg kept going for six more takes.
- Pegg said that one of the hardest scenes they ever shot was the scene in Shaun where he has to shoot his mom. He then “broke down” on the Comic-Con stage and Frost and Wright comforted him.
- When asked which was their favorite film/character, Wright said TWE is still fresh so he’s up on that one, Pegg said that he feels Gary is his most personal experience in a movie, and Frost said that while he enjoyed playing Ed in Shaun, “it wasn’t a real stretch;” his character in TWE was more challenging to play.
Will they ever revisit Spaced?
- Wright says he doesn’t think they will. Spaced is about the joys of being young, so he doesn’t feel like it would be right to return to it.
- Pegg is worried that they would retroactively spoil what they already did, even though they had wanted to make a third series “back in the day.”
- Frost said that “they fucking couldn’t afford me right now.”
They didn’t show a clip from the movie because they wanted the audience to go in as fresh as possible, but Mike Relm did a mash-up for the films that they ran. The World’s End obviously looks great, but it was a lot of fun to see Wright, Pegg, and Frost banter back and forth with Chris Hardwick on the film’s panel.
Click here for all our Comic-Con coverage. The World’s End is open in the UK now and will open in the US on August 23rd.