The World's End (film)

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The World's End
The World's End poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEdgar Wright
Produced by
Written by
Music bySteven Price
CinematographyBill Pope
Edited byPaul Machliss
Distributed by
Release date
  • 10 July 2013 (2013-07-10) (Leicester Square)
  • 19 July 2013 (2013-07-19) (United Kingdom)
  • 23 August 2013 (2013-08-23) (United States)
Running time
109 minutes[1]
Budget$20 million[3]
Box office$46.1 million[4]

The World's End is a 2013 science fiction comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike. The film follows a group of friends who discover an alien invasion during an epic pub crawl in their home town.

Wright has described the film as "social science fiction" in the tradition of John Wyndham and Samuel Youd (John Christopher).[5] It is the third and final film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The film was produced by Relativity Media, StudioCanal, Big Talk Productions, and Working Title Films.[6] It grossed $46.1 million against a $20 million budget.


Gary King is a forty year old alcoholic, who still retains the mindset and immaturity of his teenage years, whereas his four childhood friends, Peter, Oliver, Steven, and Andy, have all matured and each of their relationships toward Gary are presently estranged. One day, Gary, in an attempt to recapture the days of his youth, tracks down his friends to complete the "Golden Mile", a pub crawl encompassing the 12 pubs of their hometown of Newton Haven, the last of them being the World's End. The group attempted the crawl as teenagers, but failed to reach the final three pubs. Andy, now teetotal, is the most uncomfortable in participating in the crawl, due to a drunk driving accident that happened with him and Gary years ago.

The crawl begins, and in the second pub, the group are joined by Oliver's sister Sam, whose affections Gary and Steven fought over in school. Throughout the beginning of the crawl, the town residents appear eerily stoic and none seem to recognise the group. In the toilets of the fourth pub, Gary picks a fight with a teenager and knocks his head off, exposing him as an android. Gary's friends join him and fight the remaining members of the teenager's gang, all revealed to be androids themselves. The group realise that the entire town's population has been replaced with androids, and Andy abandons his teetotal lifestyle. Despite this realisation, Gary urges the others to continue the pub crawl so as not to arouse suspicion. As they continue, they discover that aliens intend to build a prosperous, galactic conglomerate with humanity beside them, but should any refuse, they replace them with android versions of the original human host.

Oliver is revealed to have been replaced, and Peter is captured. Despite this, Gary is still determined to finish the pub crawl. Andy is forced to abandon Steven when the androids attack, and chase after Gary to the final pub. At the World's End, Andy confronts Gary and the two fight; in the midst of the scuffle, Andy reveals his marriage is in trouble and Gary's sleeves are torn off, revealing bandages applied after a recent suicide attempt. Andy tries to stop Gary from drawing his final pint, but Gary states he clings to his goal of completing the Mile due to his sense that he has not achieved and cannot achieve anything else in life.

Once Gary attempts to pour his pint, the pull of the lever reveals a hidden chamber. A disembodied alien entity, known as the Network, tells them that the android invasion has been responsible for the technological advances in telecommunication over recent decades as part of a first step to joining a galactic community. It offers Gary eternal youth if he agrees to become an android, but Gary refuses. Along with Andy and Steven, who had survived the android attack, Gary gets into a foul-mouthed debate with the Network, calling out the tyranny in the latter's plan and that humanity should be left to its own devices. Eventually, the Network, exasperated, abandons the invasion; the departure triggers a nuclear pulse across the town, but Sam arrives in time to drive the group out of Newton Haven as it self-destructs.

Some time later, the destruction of Newton Haven has triggered a worldwide electromagnetic pulse that destroyed all electrical power on Earth, sending humanity back to the Dark Ages. The remaining androids have reactivated and are mistrusted by surviving humans. Andy's marriage has recovered, Steven is in a relationship with Sam, and android versions of Peter and Oliver have returned to a semblance of their former lives. In the ruins of Newton Haven, the now-sober Gary enters a pub with the android versions of his younger friends and orders water. When the bartender refuses to serve androids, Gary leads his new friends into a brawl.



The World's End began as a screenplay titled Crawl about a group of teenagers on a pub crawl; it was written by Edgar Wright at the age of 21. He realised the idea could work with adult characters to capture "the bittersweet feeling of returning to your home town and feeling like a stranger".[8] Wright said he wanted to satirise the "strange homogeneous branding that becomes like a virus", explaining: "This doesn't just extend to pubs, it's the same with cafés and restaurants. If you live in a small town and you move to London, which I did when I was 20, then when you go back out into the other small towns in England you go 'oh my god, it's all the same!' It's like Bodysnatchers: literally our towns are being changed to death."[9]

In an interview for Entertainment Weekly, Pegg told Clark Collis, "People think we choose the genre first every time, and it's not true. We find the stories first. The notion of alienation from your hometown taken to its literal conclusion was how we got to science fiction."[10]

After the story was complete, Wright and Pegg examined a list of real pub names and "tried to make them like tarot cards" to foreshadow the events of the story. Wright explained: "So we said, 'OK this one's the Famous Cock, because this is where Gary is trying to puff up his own importance.' ... We did go through and work out in each one how the pub sign was going to relate."[9]


The Gardeners Arms pub on the boundary of Letchworth was used as the shooting location for the final pub, the World's End

Principal photography for The World's End began on 28 September 2012.[11] Filming took place in Hertfordshire, at Elstree Studios, Letchworth Garden City, and Welwyn Garden City.[12] Part of the film was also shot at High Wycombe railway station, Buckinghamshire.[13]

All twelve pubs in the film use identical signage on menus and walls, reflecting what Wright called "that fake hand-written chalk" common to modern British pubs.[9] The exteriors of the real pubs were shot at locations in Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City, with altered signage.[14] Letchworth Garden City railway station got a makeover as the "Hole in the Wall".[15] Stunts were coordinated by Brad Allen of martial arts film director Jackie Chan's team. Wright said: "In Drunken Master, Jackie Chan has to get drunk to fight, but this is more the idea of Dutch courage. You know, when you're kind of drunk and you think 'ah, I can climb up that scaffolding!' Or just that you're impervious to pain. One of the things we talked about is this idea that [the characters] become better fighters the more oiled they get."[9]

The Broadway Cinema, Letchworth, a renovated independent cinema built in a quintessentially Art Deco style in the 1930s,[16] was used to portray the Mermaid pub. This cinema was also the first outside London to play the film, with a special introduction by Pegg thanking the residents of Letchworth for their help during its making; over 800 viewers watched the film at the cinema on its opening night.[17]


The World's End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
Released5 August 2013 (2013-08-05)
GenreAlternative rock, indie rock, Madchester, alternative dance, Britpop, psychedelic rock, electronica
LabelABKCO Records
Edgar Wright film soundtrack chronology
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The World's End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Baby Driver

The film uses what the New York Post's Kyle Smith called "a brilliant Madchester soundtrack",[18] alternative rock and pop music from the time of the characters' adolescence. Wright explained: "A lot of those songs are ones that really hit me and Simon hard when we were that age... [Gary] is still living by those rules. It's like he decided to take 'Loaded' and 'I'm Free' to heart and thinks the party's never going to end."[9]

The soundtrack for the film was released on 5 August 2013 in the UK and 20 August 2013 in the United States, with the film's score, composed by Steven Price, released on the same day.

The only songs featured in the film that did not make it onto the soundtrack are "The Only One I Know", "Summer's Magic" and "The Only Rhyme That Bites", by The Charlatans, Mark Summers and 808 State respectively. The version of "20 Seconds To Comply" which features in the film is the mix from Silver Bullet's album "Bring Down The Walls No Limit Squad Returns" albeit edited to remove dialogue samples from RoboCop. On the soundtrack album, it is replaced by the Bomb Squad mix (again re-edited to remove the samples). The original soundtrack tributes the song "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" by Yes when the young characters reach the hills.

Track list[edit]

In addition to songs featured in the movie, the album also features dialogue snippets. The track list for the soundtrack is as follows:[19]

  1. "Loaded" (single edit) – Primal Scream (4:21)
  2. "There's No Other Way" – Blur (3:19)
  3. Dialogue: "I Put This On a Tape for You" – Simon Pegg and Paddy Considine (0:09)
  4. "I'm Free" – The Soup Dragons (3:50)
  5. "Step On" – Happy Mondays (5:14) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  6. Dialogue: "Was The Music Too Loud?" – Steve Oram and Simon Pegg (0:04) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  7. "So Young" – Suede (3:37)
  8. "Old Red Eyes Is Back" – The Beautiful South (3:32) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  9. Dialogue: "A Humble Taproom" – Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (0:15) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  10. "Come Home" (Flood mix) – James (3:53) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  11. "Do You Remember the First Time?" – Pulp (4:22)
  12. Dialogue: "Welcome" – Simon Pegg (0:04)
  13. "What You Do to Me" – Teenage Fanclub (1:57)
  14. "Fools Gold" (single edit) – The Stone Roses (4:15)
  15. "Get a Life" – Soul II Soul (3:36)
  16. Dialogue: "We Have Changed" – Nick Frost (0:07)
  17. "This Is How It Feels" – Inspiral Carpets (3:10) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  18. "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" – The Doors (3:16)
  19. "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" – Definition of Sound (3:43)
  20. Dialogue: "This Is What the Kids Want" – Simon Pegg and Martin Freeman (0:07)
  21. "Step Back in Time" – Kylie Minogue (3:04) [Deluxe version bonus track]
  22. "Join Our Club" – Saint Etienne (3:15)
  23. "Here's Where the Story Ends" – The Sundays (3:52)
  24. Dialogue: "I Hate This Town" – Nick Frost (0:04)
  25. "20 Seconds to Comply" (World's End Bomb Squad mix re-edit) – Silver Bullet (4:35) [A re-edit of the Album Version mix actually appears in the film.]
  26. "This Corrosion" (single edit) – The Sisters of Mercy (4:21)
  27. "Happy Hour" – The Housemartins (2:21)
  28. Dialogue: "Let's Boo Boo" – Simon Pegg and Paddy Considine (0:24)


The World's End premiered on 10 July 2013 at Leicester Square in London[20][21] and was released on 19 July 2013 in the United Kingdom.[20] It was released in the United States on 23 August 2013.[22]


Box office[edit]

The World's End earned £2,122,288 during its UK opening weekend, losing the top spot to Monsters University. Its weekend grosses were higher than Shaun of the Dead's £1.6 million but lower than Hot Fuzz's £5.4 million.[23]

In the United States, the movie was released on 23 August and earned $3.5 million on its opening day, beating out The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and You're Next. The World's End also had the highest per-theatre average out of all films in theatres throughout the country on its opening day.[24] On its opening weekend, the film landed in fourth place with $8,790,237, behind Lee Daniels' The Butler, We're the Millers, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.[25] This exceeded box office expectations ranging from $7 million[26] to $8.5 million,[27] and The World's End's opening weekend earned the most out of all films in the Cornetto Trilogy.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an 89% approval rating with a weighted average score of 7.44/10 based on 237 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Madcap and heartfelt, Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy The World's End benefits from the typically hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a plethora of supporting players."[29] The film also holds a Metacritic score of 81 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 45 collected reviews.[30]

Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, praising it as "hilarious" and the "best" collaboration of Wright, Pegg and Frost, saying that "these pint-swilling Peter Pans also know how to work the heart and the brain for belly laughs... The finale is a little too shaggy and silly. But what do you expect after a dozen beers?"[31] Mark Dinning of Empire magazine gave the film four stars out of five, writing: "Bravely refusing to rigidly adhere to a formula that has been so successful, Wright, Pegg and Frost's Cornetto Trilogy closer has tonal shifts you won't expect, but the same beating heart you've been craving."[32] Movie blog eatpraymedia gave the film four and a half stars, calling it "...the perfect antidote to big budget movie making."[33] Henry Barnes of The Guardian gave the film four stars out of five, writing: "With this final film they've slowed down a bit, grown up a lot. And saved the richest bite until last."[34]


The World's End received two Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominations, for Best Actor in a Comedy (for Simon Pegg) and for Best Comedy, but lost to Leonardo DiCaprio and American Hustle respectively.

The film won Best British Film at the 19th Empire Awards held in London in March 2014.

It received nominations for three awards at the 40th Saturn Awards: Best International Film, Best Writing, and Best Actor for Pegg.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE WORLD'S END (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 5 July 2013. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "The World's End". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Simon Pegg: The World's End is $4 million shy of double what Hot Fuzz cost". 24 July 2013. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  4. ^ Reynolds, Simon (18 August 2013). "The World's End (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  5. ^ Hewitt, Chris (28 May 2012). "Pegg And Wright Talk The World's End". Empire. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  6. ^ "The World's End". Big Talk Productions. 22 February 1999. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Edgar Wright on The World's End, Man-Child Movies, and Not Tweeting While Making Ant-Man". Vulture. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  8. ^ Brooks, Xan; Barnes, Henry (17 July 2013). "The World's End: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright on their apocalypse comedy – video interview | Film |". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e Franklin, Oliver (17 July 2013). "Edgar Wright interview on The World's End, pubs & Ant Man – Film – GQ.COM (UK)". Archived from the original on 21 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  10. ^ Collis, Clark (30 August 2013). "3 Blokes. 3 Films. Many, Many Laughs". Entertainment Weekly: 47.
  11. ^ Chitwood, Adam (28 September 2012). "Production Begins on Edgar Wright's THE WORLD'S END; Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan Join the Cast". Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Creative England supports the production and filming of The World's End". Creative England. 4 July 2013. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  13. ^ Cain, Rebecca (14 October 2012). "Film crews at High Wycombe train station". Bucks Free Press. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  14. ^ "The Railway Station looks a bit different this morning". Love Letchworth. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2012.[unreliable source?]
  15. ^ Davies, Alan (21 July 2013). "The World's End pub crawl locations revealed". Welwyn Hatfield Times. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Cine-files: Broadway Cinema, Letchworth Garden City". The Guardian. 3 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  17. ^ Tanna, Chandni (19 July 2013). "Letchworth premiere of The World's End a big hit with viewers". The Comet. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  18. ^ Smith, Kyle (22 August 2013). "The World's End can't come soon enough". New York Post. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  19. ^ Phares, Heather. "The World's End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  20. ^ a b Kemp, Stuart (10 July 2013). "The World's End Premiere: Cast Celebrates Boozy Pub Crawl Comedy in London". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  21. ^ "The stars come out for Simon Pegg at The World's End premiere". Evening Standard. 10 July 2013. Archived from the original on 10 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  22. ^ Fischer, Russ (20 March 2013). "Edgar Wright's The World's End US Release Date Pulled Forward to August". /Film. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  23. ^ Reynolds, Simon (24 July 2013). "Monsters University holds off The World's End at UK box office". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013..
  24. ^ "Daily Box Office for Friday, August 23, 2013". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  25. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for August 23-25, 2013". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  26. ^ Subers, Ray. "Forecast: You're Next Targets Top Spot on Quiet August Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013..
  27. ^ Weekend Forecast: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The World's End, & You're Next Archived 30 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ Subers, Ray. "Weekend Report: 'Butler' Repeats, Newcomers All Open Below $10 Million". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013..
  29. ^ "The World's End". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  30. ^ "The World's End". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 6 September 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  31. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (31 August 2013). "The World's End". Entertainment Weekly. p. 48. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  32. ^ Dinning, Mark. "The World's End". Empire. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  33. ^ "The World's End Review: The tastiest Cornetto is the one you wait for". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  34. ^ Barnes, Henry (9 July 2013). "The World's End – first look review". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  35. ^ ""Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Lead Saturn Awards Noms"". Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2018.

External links[edit]