Amid the insanity of Comic Con last week, there was a quiet respite, an oasis, at The World’s End.
Saturday morning at the otherwise crazy convention got off to a rather peaceful start with a quiet breakfast with a handful of journalists, and Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright from The World’s End. The newest film from the madmen behind Shaun of the Dead sees Simon Pegg returning home after twenty years to finish a legendary pub crawl. He drags his boyhood friends along for the ride, but it soon becomes evident that something sinister is going on in the quiet town. The men took turns coming to our tables, and in between jokes and jovial chit-chat, we actually spoke about the movie.
First up was writer/director Edgar Wright, who explained that the trio never wanted to make a sequel to Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, and that is why The World’s End is the third in a very loose trilogy. “It started as a joke, but we realized there are elements of each in The World’s End.” He sees each film as a different stage of adulthood. The idea for The World’s End came six years ago, while the guys were doing the US press tour for Hot Fuzz. “We almost did time travel in the third act,” Wright admits, “but we decided it would make it too much a different movie.” While there are no plans to make another trilogy, Wright assures us that this is not the end of their collaboration.
Next came writer and star Simon Pegg, who plays Gary King, the forty-something who drags his friends along on his quest to finish the twelve-stop pub crawl. “Selfishly, I wanted to be the overtly funny guy,” Pegg admits of his immature character who still revels in his high school glory. He went to high school with guys like Gary King and thought it would be “fun to be a dick.” “We wanted characters that you can sketch quickly,” he said, explaining that Edgar used to draw all the storyboards for their films and they would try to create characters that you could immediately identify with only a quick sketch. On appealing to a broader audience, Pegg explains that he would rather make a small group very happy than a large group mildly entertained. “I don’t like pandering to dumbness. We owe it to ourselves to challenge ourselves.”
Finally we spoke to co-star Nick Frost, who plays straight-man Andrew Knightley, a content family man who ditches his sobriety somewhere around the fifth pub. He found a lot of similarities between his character and his real life. At age 18, Frost moved to Israel, swore off alcohol, and fell madly in love with a girl. Several years later, the girl left him and ran off with a heavy drinker, and Frost said, “Fuck this.” Ironically, he broke his sobriety at a pub called The World’s End, but he swears that the movie is not based on his experiences. Frost keeps in touch with friends that remind him of Gary King, but finds it difficult. “I never yearn for my high school years. I am happiest where I am today.” On the other hand, his friendship with Pegg is almost co-dependent. “We text each other 20 times a day and will say nothing at all!” Frost admits. Their wives are mystified.
The World’s End opens in theaters on August 23rd.