First off, I must acknowledge my love for writer/director Edgar Wright. This guy is the real deal when it comes to young filmmakers. I knew it the instant I finished watching SHAUN OF THE HEAD but not only because it had easily juggled the elements of a zombie parody/homage, love story and buddy pic. There were actually two key moments that solidified I was watching a cinematic genius at work . . .
1) A brief but poignant final exchange when hated stepfather "Philip" (Bill Nighy) shares his heartfelt feelings towards "Shaun" (Simon Pegg) as he prepares to become one of the undead. Incredibly touching stuff.
2) The more lighter example was a series of running gags involving best friend "Ed"'s deep appreciation of fart jokes. It should be noted here how much I absolutely loathe fart jokes, considering them to be the bottom feeder of cheap laughs. I have NEVER laughed at a fart joke . . . Until SHAUN OF THE DEAD. The whole flatulence matter was treated as merely an aspect of the character's good-nature, resulting in me finding it downright charming. (And once again kudos to Wright for rejecting the usage of the usual obnoxious "ripping" sound effect heard in every movie ever made from the "creators" of DISASTER MOVIE).
Okay, okay, enough worshipping at the Shrine of Wright. Now onto the news story . . .
While it looks like the graphic-novel adaptation SCOTT PILGRIM while be next up for Wright (with SUPERBAD's Michael Cena and DIE HARD 4's Mary Elizabeth Winstead locked in as the leads), his big-screen rendition of Marvel's ANT MAN is still well and alive. He recently had this to say about the project: "I wrote the first draft of the script which, to be honest, kind of took two years to deliver because I did HOT FUZZ in the middle of it," he says. "But I did my first draft of it just before the strike last year and I think it's one of my favorite things I've ever written."
And if though its still not exactly clear whether the film will be a more comedic take, Wright sounds like he's taking the subject pretty seriously: "Rather than it being something that's a terrible thing to happen, it's actually making your character into the most bad ass sort of action hero/spy possible."
McG pretty much had it coming to him after announcing his plans to do an American version of SPACED
FUN FACT: Living in L.A. I have the luxury of regularly attending the revival-theatre New Beverly Cinema. Several months ago they started up a guest schedules allowing filmmakers two-week programming schedules consisting of their favorite films. Edgar Wright was one of the first (aptly named "The Wright Stuff") and his eclectic choices included such films as PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, KISS KISS BANG BANG and BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. He was there to intro the films and interview special guests and proved himself just as cool and funny as you'd expect him to be.