My manager was the one who first turned me on to “Spaced.” This was in the days way before there was a “Shaun of the Dead,” and while music rights kept anyone from picking the show up for US distribution, Edgar Wright was being discussed by agents and producers and development execs all over town. My manager passed off some tapes to me, and my friends and I watched pretty much every single episode in a weekend, then again over the following week.
He put me in touch with Edgar, and we chatted back and forth in the ensuing years. When he was starting work on “Shaun,” he reached out to me to put something about extras casting up on Ain’t It Cool, and as a result, several of our Talkbackers ended up playing zombies in the film. When Edgar first finished the film, he brought it to the US and I flew to Austin so he could show it to us at one of the Alamo theaters after everyone went home for the night. There was no US release date yet, and most of the people who came to the theater at Harry’s invitation that night had no idea who Edgar was.
That was a magical screening. At the end of it, I knew that Edgar and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were all set to become much better known, and that the days of cult fandom for them were nearly at an end. I spent the better part of a year doing my best to get the word out about the film, and in the years since, I have loved watching Edgar’s star rise and seeing both Simon and Nick move on to other work as well.
Through it all, though, there’s been that promise that the three of them would get back together for another movie, a third film to follow up “Shaun” and “Hot Fuzz,” and today, the first teaser trailer for “The World’s End” is finally here.
Now that we’ve had our first real look at footage, what strikes me most is how neatly it looks like it’s going to fit in with “Shaun” and “Hot Fuzz” thematically. Edgar’s work may speak to film geeks the world over, but it is also unmistakably English, and I love the way he examines the nature of modern English culture through a genre lens. I still don’t really get what’s going on in the film, but it looks like a possible “Body Snatchers” riff as told through the story of a group of old friends trying to recapture a past glory.
I love that Mark Heap shows up briefly in the trailer. That’s encouraging for “Spaced” fans, and it looks like Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan are all right in tune with the crazy tone that Wright has created. And the fence gag at the end… bliss for anyone who’s been onboard since “Shaun.”
If you’re in the UK, you get this one in July. This means I am forced to resent you. Sure, we get tons of things first, but this is “The World’s End,” and I may have to find some excuse to be overseas so I don’t have to wait until Universal releases the film here in the US on August 23.