Edgar Wright

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Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Wright at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con
Born Edgar Howard Wright
(1974-04-18) 18 April 1974 (age 40)
Poole, Dorset, England
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter, actor
Years active 1994–present

Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English film and television director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known for his Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), made with recurrent collaborators Simon Pegg, Nira Park and Nick Frost. He also collaborated with them as the director of the television series Spaced.

He also co-wrote, produced and directed the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Along with his friend Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat, he co-wrote Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin. Wright and Cornish co-wrote the screenplay of upcoming superhero film Ant-Man, which Wright was intended to direct for a planned release in July 2015 before departing the project.

Early life[edit]

Wright was born in Poole, Dorset, but grew up predominantly in Wells, Somerset. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wright directed many short films, first on a Super-8 camera which was a gift from a family member and later on a Video-8 camcorder won in a competition on the television programme Going Live. These films were mostly comedic pastiches of popular genres, such as the super hero-inspired Carbolic Soap and Dirty Harry tribute Dead Right (the latter of which was eventually featured on the DVD release of Hot Fuzz).

From 1992 to 1994 Wright attended the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art (now Arts University Bournemouth) and received an ND in Audio-Visual Design.[1]

Career[edit]

Early works (1994–1998)[edit]

Wright made his feature film debut in 1994 with a low budget, independent spoof western, A Fistful of Fingers, which was picked up for a limited theatrical release and broadcast on the British satellite TV channel Sky Movies.[2] Despite Wright's dissatisfaction with the finished product, it caught the attention of comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams, who subsequently chose him as the director of their Paramount Comedy channel production Mash and Peas. During this time he also worked on BBC programmes such as Is It Bill Bailey?, Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round and Sir Bernard's Stately Homes. In an interview with journalist and author Robert K. Elder for The Film That Changed My Life, Wright attributes his edgy and comedic style to his love for An American Werewolf in London:

I've always been fascinated by horror films and genre films. And horror films harboured a fascination for me and always have been something I've wanted to watch and wanted to make. Equally, I'm very fascinated by comedy. I suppose the reason that this film changed my life is that very early on in my film-watching experiences, I saw a film that was so sophisticated in its tone and what it managed to achieve.[3]

Spaced (1998–2001)[edit]

In 1998 writer/actors Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson were in the early stages of developing their sitcom Spaced for Channel 4 and thought of asking Wright to direct having fondly remembered working with him on the 1996 Paramount comedy Asylum. Wright gave Spaced an unusual look for the sitcom genre, with dramatic camera angles and movement borrowed from the visual language of science fiction and horror films. Instead of shying away from these influences Wright makes an active effort to show his referencing, adding a 'Homage-O-Meter' to all of his releases, a device that displays each directorial nod he has made during shooting. In 2002, he made appearances as a scientist and a technician named Eddie Yorque during both series of Look Around You, a BBC programme created by a member of the Spaced cast, Peter Serafinowicz. He also made two brief appearances in Spaced, one in which he can be seen, along with other crew members on the series, lying asleep in Daisy Steiner's squat as she prepares to leave for her new house. The other is a brief appearance during the montage in the episode "Gone" where Daisy describes to Tim what she thinks would be a fun night out for the two. Edgar is sitting on the subway (with a beard) next to Tim and Daisy.

The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim (2004–2013)[edit]

The critical success of Spaced paved the way for Wright and Pegg to move to the big screen with Shaun of the Dead, a zombie comedy which mixed a "Brit flick" romantic comedy style with homages to the horror classics of George A. Romero and Sam Raimi. The film was a great success both critically and financially, and its rooting in American genre cinema helped to make it a transatlantic hit.

The pair subsequently planned out a trilogy of British genre-comedies which were connected not by narrative but by their shared traits and motifs. The trilogy was named "The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy" by the pair due to a running joke about the British Ice Cream product Cornetto and its effectiveness as a hangover cure. Wright explained to Clark Collis in an interview for Entertainment Weekly, "We put that joke in Shaun of the Dead where Nick asks for a Cornetto first thing in the morning. When I was at college, it was my hangover cure—probably still is my hangover cure. Then we put it into Hot Fuzz because we thought it would be a funny recurring thing. One journalist in the United Kingdom said, 'Is this going to be your theme as a trilogy?' and I said, 'Yes, it's like Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Colors trilogy. This is the Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy.' It was just a joke that stuck." Collis observes that the films also feature "a running gag involving garden fences."[4]

The second installment was the comedy action thriller Hot Fuzz. Production started in March 2006 and the film was released in February 2007 in the United Kingdom and April 2007 in the United States. It revolves around Pegg's character, Nicholas Angel, a police officer who is transferred from London to rural Sandford, where grisly events soon take place.

In 2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was released; its over-$85 million budget[5] dwarfed the £8 million budget[6] of Hot Fuzz. The film, based on the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim, was co-written, co-produced and directed by Wright. It took in roughly half its budget in box office,[7] in spite of its critical reception and praise from fellow directors such as Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino and Jason Reitman.[5]

The third installment of the trilogy, The World's End, premiered in London on 10 July 2013. The film is about several friends who reunite when one decides to repeat a pub crawl they did 20 years earlier. They have to get to The World's End pub without ending up in the gutter to do this, but some unusual powers are at work and what happens to them may determine what happens to humans as a species.[8]

Upcoming projects (2013–present)[edit]

Wright was developing a live-action film based on the Marvel Comics superhero Ant-Man with Joe Cornish. However, on May 23, 2014, Wright and Marvel issued a joint statement announcing that Wright would exit the movie and a replacement would be found.[9] He will be replaced by Peyton Reed.

Wright has numerous projects in development, including Them, Baby Driver and a film version of the television series The Night Stalker, starring Johnny Depp, which was announced in early 2012.[10]

In 2008, Wright was rumoured to be directing a remake of the 1961 British kaiju film Gorgo. It was reported the film would employ a man in a suit to portray its monster (as had the original film).

Wright has announced that his next film will in fact be Baby Driver. Wright has described the film as "kind of like a musical"; Deadline has described it as "a collision of crime, action, music, and sound".

Other works[edit]

Wright cites Jon Spencer Blues Explosion as his favourite band: several Blues Explosion songs feature in Wright's film Hot Fuzz, including one written specifically for the film. Wright has directed two videos for his ex-girlfriend Charlotte Hatherley: "Summer" and "Bastardo". He has also directed promos for 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Mint Royale and The Bluetones. Many of these videos have been made available to view on the "Archives" section of his official website.

Wright has a brother, Oscar, who is a comic book artist, contributing storyboards, conceptual art and promotional pictures for Edgar's films. For example he designed comic book interpretations of the characters of Shaun of the Dead and created the animation for the flickbook PC Danny Butterman uses in Hot Fuzz, as well as the art for the "Plot Holes" features on both the Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead DVD releases. Oscar also was on set for the Hot Fuzz poster shoot to help Edgar out with the design. Oscar also directed the Charlotte Hatherley video for "Behave" and also designed the 8-bit Universal Pictures logo at the beginning of the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World along with Edgar.

In 2007, Wright directed a fake trailer insert for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse, called "Don't". It was a plotless trailer that mocked horror clichés, with lines such as, "If you... are thinking... of going ... into... this... house... DON'T!".

In 2010, Wright was under consideration to direct Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.[11] However, the film was directed by Brad Bird.

In November 2011, The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and based on Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin was released. Wright co-wrote the film with writing partner Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat. The film also co-starred Wright's frequent collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Wright directed one single shot of the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness, directed by J. J. Abrams, and co-starring his friend Simon Pegg.[12] According to him, it is a one second-long shot during the scene featuring the Klingons on Kronos.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Though he has stated that the film that most influenced him was John Landis' An American Werewolf in London (according to his interview in The Film That Changed My Life), Wright also mentioned Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II and the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona as films that made him want to be a director. The day he met Raimi and told him so, Raimi joked saying "Don't say that, you make me feel old."[13]

In 2009, Wright began a relationship with actress Anna Kendrick[14] after meeting on the set of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.[15][16] The couple split in early 2013.[17] He was previously in a relationship with singer-songwriter and former Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley.

Wright is a friend of fellow director Garth Jennings, and made cameos in his films The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow. Jennings himself had cameos in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End.[13]

Collaborations[edit]

Wright has cast certain actors in more than one of his films/television series. Simon Pegg is Wright's most frequent collaborator, appearing in six of his films. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn't listed because no actor on the film had previously collaborated with him.

Dead Right A Fistful of Fingers Asylum Spaced Shaun of the Dead Hot Fuzz Don't The World's End
Lucy Akhurst
NoN
NoN
Bill Bailey
NoN
NoN
NoN
Paddy Considine
NoN
NoN
Joe Cornish
NoN
NoN
Adam Buxton
NoN
NoN
Martin Curtis
NoN
NoN
Julia Deakin
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Kevin Eldon
NoN
NoN
Patricia Franklin
NoN
NoN
NoN
Martin Freeman
NoN
NoN
NoN
Nick Frost
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Mark Gatiss
NoN
NoN
NoN
Mark Heap
NoN
NoN
Jessica Hynes
NoN
NoN
NoN
Graham Low
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Alice Lowe
NoN
NoN
Bill Nighy
NoN
NoN
NoN
Simon Pegg
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Robert Popper
NoN
NoN
NoN
Lucy Punch
NoN
NoN
Peter Serafinowicz
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Reece Shearsmith
NoN
NoN
NoN
Michael Smiley
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Rafe Spall
NoN
NoN
NoN
NoN
Stuart Wilson
NoN
NoN

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Credited as Role
Director Writer Producer Actor
1994 A Fistful of Fingers Yes Yes Yes Yes Cheesy voiceover artist/Two bit farmer cameo
2004 Shaun of the Dead Yes Yes Yes Rabid Monkeys Newsreader/Prat-falling Zombie/Italian Restaurant Voice/Noel's Friend on phone
2005 Land of the Dead Yes Photo booth zombie
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Yes Deep Thought Technician
2007 Hot Fuzz Yes Yes Yes Shelf Stacker/Voice of Dave
2007 Son of Rambow Yes Metal Work Teacher
2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Yes Yes Yes
2011 Attack the Block Yes
2011 The Adventures of Tintin Yes
2011 Paul Yes Script Editor (Uncredited)
2012 Sightseers Yes
2013 The World's End Yes Yes Yes Voice of construction worker
2015 Ant-Man Yes

Short films[edit]

Year Film Credited as Role
Director Writer Producer Actor
1988 I Want to Get into the Movies Yes Yes Yes
1988 Carbolic Soap Yes Yes Yes
1988 The Unparkables Yes Yes Yes
1988 Rolf Harris Saves the World Yes Yes Yes
1993 Dead Right Yes Yes Yes Yes The Director
2001 Calcium Yes Scientist
2004 Forced Hilarity Yes Yes Yes
2007 Don't Yes Yes

Television[edit]

Year Film Credited as Role
Director Writer Producer Actor
1996 Asylum Yes Yes
1996 Mash and Peas Yes
1998 Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round Yes Yes
1998 Is It Bill Bailey? Yes
1999 Sir Bernard's Stately Homes Yes
1999 Murder Most Horrid Yes Episode: "Confessions of a Murderer"
1999–2001 Spaced Yes Yes First Sleeping Ex-flatmate / Man on Tube Next to Daisy / Sounds of Despair tape
2002–2005 Look Around You Yes Scientist / Eddie Yorque / Floor manager / Technician

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2000 "Keep the Home Fires Burning" The Bluetones
2002 "After Hours" The Bluetones
2003 "Blue Song" Mint Royale
2004 "Summer" Charlotte Hatherley
2005 "Bastardo" Charlotte Hatherley
2014 "Gust of Wind" Pharrell Williams featuring Daft Punk

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result
2000 BAFTA Awards Situation Comedy Award Spaced Nominated
2002 BAFTA Awards Situation Comedy Award Spaced Nominated
2004 British Independent Film Awards Best Screenplay Shaun of the Dead Won
2004 Bram Stoker Awards Screenplay Shaun of the Dead Won
2005 BAFTA Awards Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film Shaun of the Dead Nominated
2005 Empire Awards Best British Director Shaun of the Dead Nominated
2005 ALFS Awards Best Screenwriter of the Year Shaun of the Dead Nominated
2005 Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Breakthrough Filmmaker Shaun of the Dead Nominated
2005 Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Screenplay Shaun of the Dead Nominated
2008 Empire Awards Best Director Hot Fuzz Nominated
2010 SDFCS Award Best Adapted Screenplay Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Nominated
2010 Satellite Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Nominated
2011 Empire Awards Best Director Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Won
2011 Empire Awards Inspiration Award Won
2011 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Nominated
2011 Online Film Critics Society Best Adapted Screenplay Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Nominated
2011 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Bradbury Award Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Nominated
2011 Satellite Awards Best Adapted Screenplay The Adventures of Tintin Nominated
2012 Annie Awards Writing in a Feature Production The Adventures of Tintin Nominated
2014 Saturn Awards Best Writing The World's End Nominated
2014 Empire Awards Best Director The World's End Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edgar Wright 2009 Q&A
  2. ^ "Shaun of the Dead > The Production > Edgar Wright". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Wright, Edgar. Interview by Robert K. Elder. The Film That Changed My Life. By Robert K. Elder. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011. N. p6. Print.
  4. ^ Collis, Clark (30 August 2013). "3 Blokes. 3 Films. Many, Many Laughs". Entertainment Weekly: 46–47. 
  5. ^ a b "Kevin Smith Talks Scott Pilgrim". The Film Stage. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Fischer, Paul (9 April 2007). "Interview: Edgar Wright for "Hot Fuzz"". Dark Horizons. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Child, Ben (10 May 2012). "Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright brew plot for World's End". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^ "MARVEL STUDIOS & EDGAR WRIGHT STATEMENT". Marvel. May 23, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Disney Taps Edgar Wright To Helm Johnny Depp In 'The Night Stalker' Feature Redo". Deadline.com. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Brad Bird Confirmed for Mission: Impossible 4". slashfilm.com. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Lussier, Germain (May 9, 2013). "POTD: Edgar Wright Directed a Shot in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’". slashfilm.com. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "Edgar Wright on The World's End, Man-Child Movies, and Not Tweeting While Making Ant-Man". Vulture. August 8, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
  14. ^ Collin, Robbie (18 November 2011). "Anna Kendrick is coming up for air". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  15. ^ Synnot, Siobhan (31 August 2010). "Interview: Edgar Wright, film director". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  16. ^ John, Emma (15 August 2010). "Edgar Wright: the ultimate fanboy film director". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Nathan, Sara (7 March 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick 'splits' from longtime love, Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright". Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 

External links[edit]