Director talks Bond surprise in 'The World's End'
05:00 AM, Aug 29, 2013
Fans found an unexpected Bond surprise in the British comedy The World’s End, which opened last weekend.
Pierce Brosnan plays one of the film’s pivotal characters — a teacher to the gang of old school friends (including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman) who reassemble for an epic pub crawl.
“It was kind of a nice secret that everyone kept,” says Edgar Wright, director and co-writer. Wright personally pleaded with preview audiences and reviewers to keep the Brosnan surprise under wraps at least until after opening weekend.
Even better than Bond himself, Brosnan was reunited with his 2002 Die Another Day co-star Rosamund Pike in the film.
“That was more of a coincidence,” says Wright. “We already had Rosamund onboard when we brought Pierce into the frame.”
Brosnan was a natural choice for the part based on Wright’s experience with his drama teacher from school.
“When you are younger and you see a teacher outside of school — at a restaurant or a bar — you are quite starstruck,” says Edgar. “It’s like seeing somebody famous. And we had this idea of hiring an actor who has immense gravitas to play that teacher. But also someone who has a friendly face to play a trustworthy person.”
Brosnan, who had been a fan of Wright, Pegg and Frost’s other films Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, jumped on board.
It all worked out as the secret was kept and The World’s End opened to rave reviews and solid box office ($8.8 million) in its opening weekend.
The only downside: There is now a Bond theme in both 2007’s Hot Fuzz (which featured Timothy Dalton) and The World’s End (Brosnan). But there’s no Bond in 2004’s Shaun of the Dead.
“We now have something of a continuity problem,” jokes Wright. “We could re-release Shaun of the Dead and digitally insert either Roger Moore or George Lazenby. But that’s unlikely.”
The other solution: have either Pegg or Frost sign up to be the next Bond after Daniel Craig. Frost might be considered unlikely, but he does wield two bar stools in a brawl scene in The World’s End.
“My money would be on Nick Frost, because, as The World’s End shows, he’s a total bad ass,” says Wright.