×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Playback: Edgar Wright on ‘Baby Driver,’ Music and Walking Away From ‘Ant-Man’

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

With movies like “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and his latest, “Baby Driver,” filmmaker Edgar Wright has forged his own path through the modern cinema landscape with his own original voice. That’s no easy task. Along the way, like any artist, he has stumbled, whether learning the value of an abundance of coverage on his first film, “A Fistful of Fingers,” or making the heartbreaking decision to walk on “Ant-Man” due to creative differences with Marvel.

Unsurprisingly, and even with dedicated production partners, maintaining that original voice has been a challenge throughout. But Wright finds inspiration in others who have managed it with aplomb.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“I think I’ve been really inspired by other directors who sort of double down on their own style or persistence of vision,” Wright says. “I felt that way about Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was [Anderson’s] eighth film and his biggest hit. If you looked at the title and synopsis alone, it’s seemingly the most esoteric and idiosyncratic, but it’s a massive worldwide hit.”

Following early successes, Wright hit a couple speed bumps. He first turned his eye toward “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” a Universal Pictures collaboration that disappointed at the box office. Along the way he was developing “Ant-Man,” a bit of a dream project. But eventually he had to step away from that.

“The most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie,” Wright says. “I was the writer-director on it and then they wanted to do a draft without me, and having written all my other movies, that’s a tough thing to move forward. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you’re sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you’re there, really.”

He expected the success of something like “Ant-Man” might help propel him toward making his true dream project, “Baby Driver,” a reality. Yet he was still able to get the audacious musical/car chase actioner done at a major studio, and happily, keep his devoted crew (who departed “Ant-Man” in solidarity) employed. And like many of Wright’s creative pursuits, it all began with a song.

“I think that’s where me and the main character in ‘Baby Driver’ are the same, is that we’re completely motivated by music,” he says. “This is a universal thing, that people use music as an escape or motivation or inspiration. I have to drive to music. I have to walk to music. I have to work out to music. I have to clean the house to music. And I have to give a shout-out to Kirsten Lane, our clearance person, who managed to clear 35 tracks for this movie.”

For more, including stories about sneaking into Pinewood Studios to edit his first feature and what the press tour for “Scott Pilgrim” taught him, listen to the latest episode of “Playback” via the streaming link above.

Subscribe to “Playback” at iTunes.

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at the The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

  • US actor Donald Sutherland attends the

    Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Grace Lumière Festival Opening

    LYON  — The 11th Lumière Festival in Lyon, France, opened on Saturday with a celebration of its 10-year anniversary, a tribute to past Lumière Award recipients, and rousing standing ovations for Frances McDormand and Donald Sutherland, who are among the high-profile actors and filmmakers being feted this year. Dedicated to heritage cinema, the festival was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content