By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 9, 2012 at 7:03PM
It's now nearly two years since "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World," the firecracker kung-fu romantic comedy that became a critical and fan favorite, even if it never quite set the box-office alight. The film's still playing monthly at rep theaters like the New Beverley in L.A, an instant cult classic, but for nearly 24 months, there's been very little news as to what Wright might do next. He's not been out of the spotlight, thanks to his scripting of "The Adventures of Tintin" and executive producing of "Attack The Block" and "Sightseers," the latter of which will premiere at Cannes in the next couple of weeks. And there have been projects percolating: more writing work has happened on Marvel's "Ant-Man," and the mysterious "Baby Driver" is also on the dance card somewhere, while the director was snapped up by megastar Johnny Depp to direct a new film version of "The Night Stalker" a few months back.
But finally, it looks like we have an answer to what Wright's next film is, and it looks like it'll make fans very happy. Deadline reports that Wright and Working Title Films are moving towards a start date for "The World's End," which marks the third entry in what's been informally referred to as the 'Cornetto Trilogy' (thanks to the popular ice cream which has featured in brief cameos in the previous entries). Like the first two films, "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," the film is co-written with Simon Pegg, and seems to meld the mundane with the fantastical.
Plot details have been thin on the ground up to this point, but Deadline has a plot synopsis which indicate the kind of direction we might be heading in. To whit: "20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries."
The duo have long talked about the third film in their trilogy focusing on moving into your forties, and that certainly seems to be the case here -- we're assuming that lead Gary King is the role that Pegg would take, and one of the friends is surely set to be Nick Frost, who co-starred in both 'Shaun' and 'Fuzz.' The pub-centric setting seems to suggest we're looking at British actors, rather than Pegg's bigger co-stars in the likes of "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," but you never know who'll crop up along the way: after all Cate Blanchett did appear in "Hot Fuzz"... There also doesn't seem to be the clear genre parody element of the previous two films -- apocalypse? alien invasion? -- but there's certainly going to be some kind of sci-fi/horror element in there, and it may well become clearer with time.
The film hasn't yet been greenlit by Universal, but Deadline suggests that it's all but certain, given the low cost and high profit of the previous films, and even if there is a hitch, Working Title also have a financing agreement with StudioCanal, so this looks all but certain. The site says that a Spring 2013 release is being targeted, which would seem to be an awfully fast turnaround, but we suppose getting into theaters by this time next year is just about possible, even if we imagine that a fall release would be much more likely.
It does also raise a few other questions, principally about "Ant-Man," which Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish ("Attack The Block") were working on the script for last year. Recent rumors, including artwork tweeted by Wright, had suggested that the superhero project might be next for both the director and Marvel, but "The World's End" moving ahead would seem to suggest that it's not next up. And with "The Night Stalker" brewing, and Wright being a director who doesn't rush into projects, could this mean that the film about the shrinking hero is on the back-burner? Or even that Cornish is stepping into direct? Or will Wright, who usually takes a few years between projects, go back to back, from "The World's End" to "Ant-Man" to "The Night Stalker?" And where does this leave "Baby Driver?"
Furthermore, could we see a change in title by the time it hits theaters? The Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg-directed project formerly known as "Jay And Seth Versus The Apocalypse" recently change its name to "The End Of The World," and grabbed a summer 2013 release date: surely the two films won't hit theaters with such similar titles? Whatever the answers are, it's hugely exciting news, and we can't wait to hear more about the project.