Edgar Wright is a film director known for his hilariously funny movies and, with the release of his 2017 masterpiece “Baby Driver,” his exquisite sound design capabilities.
Wright was born in 1974 in south England. He showed an interest in film at an early age and began making short films as early as 1988. He has worked extensively in television as well as film and received a National Diploma in the field of Audio-Visual Design.
Wright’s first feature length film was a very low-budget Western parody entitled “A Fistful of Fingers.” The directorial debut was released in Britain in 1995 and remains relatively unknown to this day, as it did not receive commercial or critical success.
It was almost 10 years before Wright directed his next film, and he spent the intermediate time directing a number of episodes for various TV shows. He returned to the cinema scene in 2004 with the smash success “Shaun of the Dead,” starring a host of popular actors that he would go on to work with regularly, including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman. A far cry from his poorly received first film, “Shaun of the Dead” launched the director into the popularity and renown that he enjoys today.
In 2007, Wright released another comedy hit “Hot Fuzz,” a hilarious movie about two English police officers who get in way over their heads after a series of mysterious and darkly humorous murders sweep their town. The high quality and positive critical reviews of the director’s second and third films were due to Wright’s skill as a director and his gift for writing comedy. He has written or co-written, sometimes with Simon Pegg, all of his films to date, and the quality of his scripts really show.
Wright released his next film, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” in 2010 without any of his usual collaborators. Instead, the film features a long list of other big names, including Anna Kendrick, who Wright would go on to have a four-year relationship with, Chris Evans, Aubrey Plaza, Brie Larson and Michael Cera. The extremely quirky and bizarre brand of humor Wright has become known for is prevalent in this film, which itself is based on a series of comics that began in 2004. While not quite as highly praised as Wright’s previous two films, “Scott Pilgrim” still received acclaim.
Wright’s next film, “The World’s End” released in 2013 and saw the director return to the cast of collaborators he was comfortable with from his earlier work. The film centers around a group of bar-hopping friends who inadvertently get caught up in a potentially world-ending scenario and was met with similar critical and commercial success as “Shaun” and “Fuzz.”
Wright then went on to work as a writer and producer for Marvel’s “Ant-Man” but fell short of actually directing it.
Following his foray into the Marvel universe, Wright wrote and directed what I consider to be his best work and an absolutely phenomenal film in its own right. 2017 saw the release of the groundbreaking “Baby Driver,” a film utterly unique in the use of its perfectly synchronized soundtrack. I could write a whole article on “Baby Driver’s” use of sound alone, but the way the film was built around its music and the way its scenes were shot perfectly in time with the score is something that hadn’t been done prior and hasn’t been done since. It showed that Edgar Wright is not just a writer and director of hilarious comedies, but also of high-concept, high-budget dramas.
Edgar Wright may not be as prolific as other big-name directors, but he’s proven he’s more than capable not only as a director, but a writer too. His astounding work on “Baby Driver” put Wright firmly on my list of favorite directors, and I will definitely be watching for what he does next.