Edgar Wright has a strike rate that would make the world's finest batsmen blush.
In the last decade, the director released three films — ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’ - and all three achieved 'instant classic' status with legions of dedicated fans. His latest effort, ‘The World's End’, concludes the Cornetto Trilogy that began with ‘Shaun’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’, and it's about as bittersweet an ending as you could hope for.
The film tells the tale of Gary King, an absolute train wreck of a human being played by Simon Pegg. Once considered the king of the castle in high school, King has been unable to move on with his life, and his attempts to relive the past culminate when he gathers four of his old friends to finish off a pub crawl they started 20 years ago.
“We talked about him as The Ghost Of Sixth Form Past,” Wright says of his protagonist. “You've got five friends, and four of them are grown-ups with proper clothes and everything, and then Simon shows up wearing his black trenchcoat, Sisters Of Mercy t-shirt, dyed black hair and sunglasses. So we wanted him to feel like he was The Ghost Of Christmas Past come to haunt them.
“That's kind of what the movie's about, in a way - it's a cautionary tale about the dangers of looking backwards. Gary King is desperate to relive his glory days, and as soon as they do that, it starts to go badly wrong. They want to recreate this wild night, and they get a very different kind of wild night as their punishment.”
'The World's End' is the latest in a recent string of apocalyptic films, and Wright has a theory about why that's such a prevalent theme.
“When I was a kid,” he explains, “I felt like a lot of sci-fi was a bit more optimistic. When I was growing up, the space race still existed. I thought, when I was a little kid, that we'd all be living on the moon by 2010, and of course that isn't true. I think because of that, and because of the knowledge that we may never get to other planets in our lifetime, and maybe there isn't anything else that is actually reachable in our lifetime, the focus goes inwards. The focus is on us destroying ourselves.
“So it's a bit of a downer, but I think that's basically what it is. Most sci-fi and horror films are concentrating on smashing the world up.”
'The World's End' is in cinemas August 1.