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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Elizabeth Gregory

Edgar Wright’s films, ranked, as a new Simon Pegg collaboration is in the works

Edgar Wright has a new film in the works with Simon Pegg and we’re absolutely thrilled about it. Why? Nearly every film that Wright has ever put out has been pretty fantastic.

From his ‘Three Flavours Cornetto’ trilogy of British comedies, to his action thriller Baby Driver, to his most recent psychological thriller Last Night in Soho, Wright has a proven track record of hits that indicates that the arrival of his next project is something to make a note of.

Speaking to Discussing Film, Pegg revealed that the duo are working on a new film together, but it won’t be a continuation of their well-loved trilogy, which comprised Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.

“With what do next, we want to be completely different from that,” said Pegg. “We don’t want to do a take on action movies or a take on sci-fi or a take on horror. We want to make a movie that is totally its own thing, existing outside of the Cornetto trilogy. My desire, really, is to do something super different.”

“Edgar came over to my house last year and we started kicking ideas around,” the Mission Impossible actor said. “The real problem now is about syncing our diaries up at a time when we can both sit down and write a film. And then obviously shoot it.”

While there’s clearly a long time to wait until the collaboration lands on our screens, the news has nevertheless reminded us just how much we have enjoyed Wright’s films over the years.

With that in mind, here’s our ranking of the acclaimed director’s films, from worst to best (and we’ve left off Wright’s 1995 debut, A Fistful of Fingers, which he directed when he was 21 and looks like it).

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho is our least favourite Wright film, which doesn’t mean for a second that it’s a bad film. In fact, the 2021 flick was highly acclaimed by the critics, and received two BAFTA nominations.

It tells the story of contemporary aspiring fashion designer, Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie), who gets transported to the Sixties and meets Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy). Ellie finds herself entangled in a dangerous plot when Sandie is seemingly killed. For those looking for a Wright comedy, Last Night in Soho is not it: the film is a dark and stylish psychological mystery, a thrilling slow-burner.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

As with all of Wright’s films, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was eccentric, clever and played with a film genre format. This time Wright adapted the Noughties graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim, for the screen and used a series of neon graphics to bring the story to life. The story follows 22-year-old Scott (Michael Cera) who goes head to head against the exes of his crush Ramona Flowers in order to prove his love for her. When Pilgrim battles the various boyfriends, he enters into a recognisable video-game arena.

The film had a cast packed full of stars including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Jason Schwartzman and Aubrey Plaza, and was generally loved by the critics. Given the sounds and the graphics, the film mostly speaks to a specific audience, making it less of a universal hit than some of Wright’s other projects.

The World’s End (2013)

The World’s End was the third film of Wright’s cornetto trilogy, following on from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. With much of the same energy, tone and sense of humour, in The World’s End, Wright hijacked the sci-fi genre. The story follows five friends, played by Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan who return to their rural hometown, Newton Haven, to redo a pub crawl that they first attempted 23 years ago. The last stop is the pub called The World’s End.

But peculiar things start happening, which at first get overlooked because of all the beers and friendly argy-bargy. After several stops at various drinking holes, it soon dawns on the group that half the people in the establishments are robots. Now they have much bigger issues to think about than how their lives have turned out after two decades apart.

Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver was an absolute humdinger: an Oscar-nominated action film about a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who is trying to leave his life of crime behind him. The film is less comedic than some of Wright’s earlier works, but has just as much joyous momentum, bolstered by a fantastic soundtrack full of energising songs from artists like T.Rex, The Commodores, Danger Mouse and Simon & Garfunkel.

Film critic Mark Kermode gave the film five stars, describing it in The Guardian as Wright’s “most thrillingly cinematic romp”.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead was the film that introduced Wright to an international audience, and for good reason: his comedy spin on zombie movies was a stroke of genius. The film follows the standard zombie film format: a sleepy town, strange happenings, people acting bizarrely, the creeping realisation that the behaviour is due to a deadly virus which is turning people into the undead, and society quickly shutting down.

But at every turn Wright surprised audiences with hilarious flourishes, somehow digging deeper into the genre, while at the same time turning expected tropes on their head, making for a treat of a film.

Pegg is Shaun, a shop manager who fails to do basic things like book a restaurant for his anniversary with his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield). But as the zombie apocalypse intensifies he ends up proving he’s not such a loser after all.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz goes straight to the top of our list. Easily one of the best British comedies ever made, it stars Jim Broadbent, Frost, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Bill Nighy and Olivia Colman, and its lines, such as “Any luck catching them killers, then?” “It’s just the one killer actually” live rent-free in our heads, as they have done from the first day we watched it.

The story follows Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Pegg), a London Met police officer who has been sent to the country by his colleagues because he’s so good at his job that he’s making everyone else look bad. Now stationed in the Village of the Year award-winning Sandford, in Gloucestershire, Angel goes about patrolling the town with the same vigour as he would the capital – which seems wildly unnecessary until people start getting killed under suspicious circumstances.

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