Zombie director making 'mint choc chip' movie
Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright says his third film with Simon Pegg will be "mint choc chip" flavoured and that the pair will probably cut off communication to get the script finished.
He also explains why collaborating on the upcoming Tintin movies with Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson was like working with two "big kids, in the best way possible".
You're best known for directing Shaun of the Dead. Are you proud that it seemed to rekindle people's love of zombie movies?
It was in the air - we came out about the same time as 28 Days Later and I think both myself and Simon (Pegg) and Alex Garland were - not inspired by the Resident Evil games - but they reminded a lot of George Romero fans how much they loved Dawn of the Dead.
It's funny how it's become more of a thing in the last five years. Now I find it quite difficult to watch things that are zombie-related. Having made the film, it feels like being a fan of chocolate cake, making a big chocolate cake, and then never wanting to eat chocolate cake ever again.
You're working with Simon Pegg on another film. Have you revealed what the idea is yet?
I think we mentioned in an interview years ago that the three films were meant to represent the three different flavours of Cornetto ice cream.
So the only thing we've revealed about the new film is that it's mint choc chip flavour! The thing is, films take so long to make and with the internet people want information now. Even if you came out there with the plot, it might be two years before the film comes out, and by that time everybody's sick of it.
Are you looking forward to going back to writing with Simon? Is it quite an easy process?
Writing Hot Fuzz after Shaun of the Dead was a lot more difficult because there was so much going on that we had to leave London and switch off the internet to finish writing. I'll think it'll have to be the same with the new one. Phones off, internet unplugged, knuckle down. It's difficult to concentrate sometimes and you have to physically remove yourself.
Haven't you co-written one of the Tintin films with Joe Cornish?
Yeah, that kind of came about through Peter Jackson initially and then I brought Joe on board because he was a huge fan of the Tintin books, and I read them all as a kid so it seemed like a good match... It was really interesting, we worked in conjunction with Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg and it's an absolutely fascinating process. Those films take four years to make or more, it'll be out Christmas 2011. It's an enormous, huge piece of work.
Was there a lot of pressure working with Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg?
You're completely starstruck by Spielberg in a way that's like meeting Santa Claus. He and Peter Jackson are exactly the guys you've seen on TV, so you feel strangely relaxed with him because he's not different to how he is on screen.
He's exactly that guy, so I felt kind of relaxed in his presence, probably too relaxed! Joe said I touched his arm too many times in the course of an anecdote, which is probably true. He said, 'Why do you keep touching Spielberg?' Because I want to see if he's real! To see them both on set - it's amazing to see - because neither of them have stopped being the little kids with Super 8 cameras. They're like big kids, in the best way possible.
You're judging Empire magazine's Done in 60 Seconds award. What was the first film you made?
It was a Super 8 one called Rolf Harris Saves the World, and I sent it into him. I remember he was on Radio 1 on Nicky Campbell and I rang in and spoke to him and asked him if he'd seen my film. He said, 'I saw your film - some of it was out of focus'. He liked it, but he had to criticise it on air! 'Some of it was out of focus, but it was really fun.'
It was like a Die Hard-style film with Rolf Harris taking on international terrorists... Rolf Harris gave me my first bad review... Maybe I should send him copies of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead and see whether he's happy with the focus!
Have you been offered one of the many vampire movies that seem to be coming out?
Zombies definitely made a comeback this decade and it's funny when there's an article that says, 'Vampires are making a comeback'. But every year there has been a vampire movie for the last 60 years or more - or TV shows. They never went away, so part of me is sick of vampires! So I'm not going to be doing a vampire film because everyone and their dog has done a vampire film. Enough vampires please!