CAMBRIDGE — In a world where Comic Con is one of the biggest events in entertainment, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead annually break records with their premiers, and Joss Whedon has directed the third biggest blockbuster of all time (just feels good to say doesn’t it?), “geek culture” has arguably become the zeitgeist in the first two decades of this century. One of the greater talents to come to prominence in this cultural shift is the trio of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright. Premiering on the big screen in 2004 with the now classic Shaun of the Dead, the team went on to solidify themselves as geek gods in 2007’s Hot Fuzz. On August 23, the third movie in what has become known as their “The Cornetto Trilogy”, The World’s End, will premier nationwide in America on August 23rd.
Blast Magazine caught up with Pegg, Frost, and Wright on a promotional tour stop in Boston, after a special screening of the trilogy at The Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square.
“We’re big fans of repertory theaters.” said director Edgar Wright, who has supported The Brattle during some of its previous fundraising efforts. “We know it’s hard to keep these theatres operating, so we made a point to go there on the tour. It turned out to be one of the best audiences we’ve ever had.”
The World’s End focuses around a group of old friends brought together by their former “gang leader” Gary King (Pegg), in order to attempt their home town’s famous pub crawl called “The Golden Mile”. However, while the others have moved on from their high school days to careers, families, and the future; Gary remains stuck due to a combination of nostalgia and substance abuse. Pegg said he enjoyed portraying Gary and sporting the goth/early industrial look, but said he wasn’t the one the character is based on.
“Edgar is the Gary of the group,” Pegg insisted. “I’ve always wanted to pull that look off but never did it while I was younger; though I did like The Sisters of Mercy.”
Like the previous two movies in the trilogy (and most things that Edgar Wright has been involved in) music plays a big role in The World’s End.
“Music was a big part of growing up for me,” explained Nick Frost “I grew up at the height of the house music scene in England. I’d go to raves, dress up in full gear, and hear some really exciting stuff in those basements.”
While Gary’s look marks him as the manic, charming cool kid of the story; the darker undertones of his addiction and depression are also shown in his attire.
“I’ve notice people who see the movie think that Gary wears his high school clothes all the time.” said Pegg “It wasn’t intended to come off like that; Gary’s like an old general whose put on his uniform before shooting himself.”
While The World’s End begins as a much more sober and serious film than the trilogy’s first two installments, it takes a sharp turn a quarter of the way through and becomes just as mad cap as anything the team has done before. However, according to Edgar Wright, the fantastic scenarios these movies portray come from very common place.
“When you grow up watching certain films, they affect the way you describe things.” said Wright. “Watching people mindlessly live and consume becomes Night of the Living Dead and feeling like the world has changed around you while you’ve stayed the same becomes Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Stepford Wives. These movies are just those ideas played out in full.”
When asked about future projects, the trio said they had nothing planned, but were always thinking about the next thing. When the idea of the trio returning to television came up, Pegg said that the times had changed on that.
“You don’t go back to television anymore,” said Pegg “You earn the right to be on television now. Most of the serious acting and writing is happening on T.V. and streaming services now, while movies have become a homogenous mess.”
“Except for The World’s End” Frost quickly corrected his partners.
“Except for The World’s End” agreed Pegg.