Although he’s only in his thirties, award winning filmmaker Edgar Wright’s list of credits reads like that of a seasoned veteran. With projects like the UK series turned international cult phenomenon Spaced, the rom-zom-com Shaun of the Dead, the action/comedy opus Hot Fuzz, and the acclaimed comic book adaptation Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, he’s evolved from a young film geek wanting to prove himself into one of the most sought after geeks working in film today.
Raised in Somerset, England, Wright embarked on his first epic at age 14 with a Super 8 short entitled, Rolf Harris Saves The World. He continued to make many more shorts after he won a Video 8 camera in a Comic Relief contest for his film I Want to Get into the Movies, an animated allegory about wheelchair access.
At age 20 he made A Fistful of Fingers, a no budget feature film starring local teen actors and shot on 16mm. The unlikely British western was put on limited theatrical release and paved the way for his foray into television with the Paramount Comedy Channel. There he would direct the fledgling sketch show Mash & Peas for future Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams and Asylum where he would join forces with future collaborators Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson.
Still in his early twenties, Wright also directed several comedy shows for the BBC including, Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round, Is It Bill Bailey?, Murder Most Horrid, and Sir Bernard’s Stately Homes, as well as French and Saunders’ Christmas Special.
Wright gained notoriety in the UK when he directed two seasons of Spaced for Channel 4. The series, which starred Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, won two British Comedy Awards, was twice nominated at the BAFTA awards and once at the International Emmys.
The series served as a launching pad for Wright’s first feature film as well as his continued collaboration with Simon Pegg with Shaun of the Dead, which he directed and co-wrote with Pegg. The film gained attention and critical praise internationally and was nominated for two BAFTA awards. Named by TIME magazine as one of the top 25 horror films of all time, it earned an Empire Award for Best British Film and a British Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay as well as a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film. Original zombie master George Romero went as far as to proclaim it as his “favourite zombie film.”
After a two year writing process and a year in production, Wright returned in 2007 with Hot Fuzz, which he again directed and co-wrote with Pegg. The film grossed £21 million pounds at the UK box office alone, topped the charts for three weeks and grossed 90 million dollars worldwide. The film won a 2007 National Movie Award and a 2008 Empire Award, both for Best Comedy.
In 2010, Wright released his first U.S. production of the comic book movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World for Universal Pictures, which he co-wrote with Michael Bacall. The film landed on several critics top ten lists for the year and among its many nominations for various awards, Wright won the Empire Award and Comedy Central Award for Best Director.
Wright’s passion translates into any project he takes on, whether he’s working on his own film, directing the faux trailer Don’t for the Tarantino/Rodriguez opus Grindhouse or executive producing the critically acclaimed Attack The Block for first time writer/director Joe Cornish, a film that’s taken the festival circuit by storm, earning a number of Audience Awards. Most recently, Cornish and Wright joined forces to collaborate as co-screenwriters on the Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson animation film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn.