How's this for several slices of fried gold? The teaser trailer for Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's The World's End, the third and final part of their Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, dropped onto the internet this morning with the explosive force of a well-hurled pack of pig snacks. It sheds much light on the movie, which sees Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan play five childhood friends who reunite after 20 years to take on an infamous pub crawl, only to find that it puts them right in the middle of what seems to be an extra-terrestrial, and very apocalyptic, assault on mankind. Can the old friends keep their foamy heads, and make it to the final pub, The World's End, before the world ends?
And, as you might expect, we've scoured the trailer, frame-by-frame, looking for interesting insights, clues, and easter eggs. So, without any further ado, we present to you our World's End trailer breakdown. But be careful – spoilers, and wild speculation, lurk within, so don't read on if you want to remain unsullied come July 19th...
“Ever had one of those nights that starts out like any other?” asks Simon Pegg's Gary King over idealised, flickering, home video-style shots of the young Gary - clad entirely in black, like the prince of the Goth rebels - and his four mates, Ollie, Andy, Steven and Peter, playing Knock Down Ginger, "but ends up being the best night of your life? I did."
Over another shot of the guys, Gary's voiceover continues: “Our goal that night was simple - 12 pubs, 12 pints, from the First Post to The World's End." And then we get our first look at the signs for the 12 pubs that mark the journey - 20 years later - for our intrepid heroes.
In classic Pegg/Wright style, the script for The World's End is dense with set-ups, callbacks, references and hidden meanings. So the name of each pub will, in some way, hint at the action, or inaction, that takes place there. And, trust us, it builds and builds. Just wait until you get to The World's End.
"But that night, we never made it." Quick shots of the first pub crawl as it goes wrong, culminating in young Gary - and young Andy beside him, with young Steven in the background - sitting on a grassy bank, with a look of existential despair locked into his eyes. Something happens on that night that essentially renders Gary inert, so by the time we see him as an adult...
He's essentially the same guy, a teenager trapped in the body of a man about to hit the big 4-0. Here, we we see him at the offices of his former best friend, Andy Knightley (played, of course, by Nick Frost). All the guys have grown up and left behind their home town, even Gary. But the others have made something of themselves - here, we see that Andy is a solicitor, and...
Not best pleased to see his old pal. Which is an interesting spin on the Frost/Pegg dynamic that we've seen across Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul and, of course, Spaced. How will this play out? Will they rediscover the reserves of camaraderie and guy-love as the night wears on and they have to fight for their lives?
"Saw the boys the other day," Gary tells Andy. King is on a recruitment drive to get the group back together to complete the pub crawl, 20 years on.
"We're going back to Newton Haven." And so we see, for the first time, the map of the Glorious Golden Mile, the pub crawl that will see our heroes venture to all 12 pubs in Newton Haven - a deliberately nondescript name, and the film's working title on all callsheets, in an attempt to throw press off the scent.
We also get another sense that Gary is a different role for Pegg. There's not only the look, as far removed from Shaun and Nicholas Angel as you could hope to get without the use of CG, but also the energy. Gary is Shaun Of The Dead's Ed without the stoner vibe, and pushed to the max. He's a ball of sleazy energy, a man who's on the verge of frittering his life away, the sort of guy who can't remember his twelve times table. "Five guys, 12 pubs, 50 pints!" he tells Andy, excitedly. "60 pints," corrects Andy. "Steady on, you alkie!" giggles Gary.
Lovely stuff. Has Edgar Wright ever done a Strongbow ad?
"This is our chance to finally finish what we started," Gary tells Ollie (Martin Freeman), who's now an estate agent with a Bluetooth phone doohickey permanently glued to his ear. Note the reluctance from Ollie and the rest of the gang: Gary is someone they thought long gone from their lives, and he'll presumably have to go some to get them walking, staggering, crawling The Golden Mile.
"We're going to do the Golden Mile," continues Gary, and now we get our first look at Paddy Considine as Steven, now an architect. Steven was always in Gary's shadow, somewhat, but is now a successful guy in his own right. But, as Pegg and Wright have noted before, the old dynamics soon come back to play on the night out.
This is Eddie Marsan - making his Three Flavours Cornetto debut - as Peter, now a car salesman. "We're going to see it through to the bitter end," Gary tells a clearly unconvinced Peter. "Or lager end."
Gary leads the reluctant group into the first pub, the aptly named The First Post. "The prodigal son returns," says Gary to the barman, who he dubs 'Raymondo'. "What do you recommend?" "Beer," says a baffled Raymondo. And then the bombshell:
"One tap water, please," says a teetotal Andy, provoking an outraged reaction from Gary. Again, a different spin on the duo's on-screen relationship, and a very different comedic attitude for Pegg, after two films playing the dependable (well, sort of) straight man.
It's also interesting to note that, in one of the first shots from the film, which we ran exclusively a few months ago, Andy is clearly necking a pint with the rest of the guys in The Good Companions (the fifth pub). Something obviously happens along the way that jolts him out of his clean-living ways and back onto the booze with a vengeance. But what could it be?
It could just be the end of the world. As the guys walk through the Newton Haven town centre, they attract suspicious glances from numerous passers-by, including one chap who just turns around and stares at them. Which is just plain rude. "What the hell is this?" asks Andy, not unreasonably. "Why are we even here?” “We are here," says Gary with uncanny foresight, "to get annihilated."
You'll notice that, at this point, Andy has flecks of blue ink on his face and shirt. Where could that come from? Is it all about, as Sgt. Danny Butterman might say, to go off?
And now we get our first look at Rosamund Pike as a grown-up Sam, the sister of Freeman's Ollie and an old flame of Gary's. And she nails the sense of unease that settles over the group. "You come back and everything's sort of weird?" asks Sam, who's also an outsider returning to the town. And over more shots of people looking, well, sort of weird, we hear a familiar voice and...
Following a very quick shot of Darren Boyd, who plays someone who had a significant impact on Eddie Marsan's character growing up, we see a familiar face. "I suggest you get on your way," says Reece Shearsmith, an old alum of Pegg, Wright and Frost. Here, he's channelling the small-minded prig of his Spaced character, Dexter, with able support from Nathan Barley himself, Nicholas Burns. And he's not the only cameo in the film - Wright and Pegg have previously stated that virtually every significant actor from their past work shows up at some point. But, without saying too much more, you should prepare for appearances from people who haven't previously worked with the duo. Big names, people. And that's all we'll say about that.
Oh, and here's another cameo. Isn't that Michael Smiley (third from right), aka Tyres from Spaced? Why, yes, it is.
"They're going home," say the ominous title cards. "But it feels like another planet." And there you have it, ladies and gents. After months of hints, a full-on confirmation that whatever is happening in The World's End is of extraterrestrial origin. "It's not us that's changed,” says Gary. "It's the town."
And then on come the lights as it's revealed that virtually everyone in Newton Haven is an alien. Or something. Lights for eyes, lights for a mouth, it's like they're being attacked by the Lo Pan Fanclub. What have the guys got themselves into? And how the hell are they going to get out?
This, we reckon, is another chap with connections to a recent Wright project. Either way, he's not best pleased. That's three points on Gary's licence.
Here we see Peter in a wood, surrounded by an encroaching army of the mysterious creatures. Run, Peter, run!
It's always the quiet ones, isn't it? Note that, even as Steven, Andy and Sam prepare to face off against the bright-eyed bastards, Gary is necking a pint.
Earlier, in the Michael Smiley pub, there was a poster for a School Disco. And here we see it, with the guys on the floor at what we think is either The Mermaid or The Beehive. Look at those sultry ladies in their school uniforms, luring in a befuddled - and happily married - Peter. Beware of sirens, sir. And, like The Matrix Revolutions, that works on two levels.
"We are going to get to The World's End, if it kills us," says Gary. And, as the next shot shows him being propelled through a garden fence by a determined lady, it just might.
After the sedate pace of the trailer's first 40 seconds, it's all kicking off as things go to hell. Maybe even literally. Here, we see a car making a hole in the wall of a pub that we just can't identify.
Run, Gary, run! After Star Trek, and now this, this appears to be the year of Pegg utilising his pegs, as Gary desperately tries to escape the attentions of more than a few Newton Haveners. Rio is just three years away, Mr. Pegg.
And another cameo, as Spaced's Mark Heap pops up as a barman. This is his first appearance in a Cornetto trilogy flick, although Heap would have played Kevin Eldon's role in Hot Fuzz, but for a last-minute injury. You want facts? We've got a Heap of 'em. Sorry. Anyway, he says "Welcome home, boys" as...
Sam, with Gary in the front and what looks like Steven and Andy in the back, spins a car around at speed with skills that would make The Stig blush through his helmet.
Here, we see - in live action, 24 fps, and from a different angle to our exclusive pic - the guys downing a refreshing, and possibly sanity-restoring, pint in The Good Companions.
Now we see just one of the reasons why Rosamund Pike - action heroine star of Die Another Day and Wrath Of The Titans - was hired. Got herself a mean swing. And here, we see Andy really begin to freak out. With raw power like that on display, we're beginning to feel sorry for the poor buggers trying to kill them. If you see what we mean.
And now we see an explosion of pure energy, as Wright and Pegg's vision heads into an epic of epic epicness territory. This, presumably, is what Sam and co. are driving away from in that earlier shot.
Lovely spit-take from Pegg, as Gary - with Steven backing him up - gets his fight on (interestingly, there's no sign of any bright eyes here). Each of the guys has a different fighting style, masterminded by fight choreographer extraordinaire, Brad Allen. No kung-fu heroics, though. These are ordinary guys, so Considine's weapon of choice? A bruising right-hand overarm smash.
Here, Andy ducks under the spindly legs of... something. Seriously, what the hell is that?
Here something - and we're not quite sure where this is - has pissed Gary off, as he flips the double bird to a shadowy horde.
POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT!
We're not 100% sure, but the sign outside the pub would seem to be a dead giveaway. Is this The World's End pub? Is this what propels the ball of energy seen earlier? And do you think it's too late to get a burger?
Both Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz had cracking fence-jumping gags, and Pegg promised Empire that there would be a trilogy-ender here as well. Not “what's the matter? Never taken a shortcut before?” (it wouldn't make sense, as Gary's clearly on his own here and has no-one to say it to), but a variation as Gary, surrounded by Blanks, makes a run and jump for it... with unexpected consequences.
And, as the mayhem comes to a close, we revert back to a happier, quieter time when our heroes weren't fighting for their lives. Well, ish. This scene, as they emerge en masse, sweaty and dishevelled from the gents' toilets at the Cross Hands pub (steady... it's not what you think), appears to take place after their first major inkling that something is not right with the Newton Haveners. "What do we do?" asks Steven. "Let's finish our drinks," says Gary, trying to act normally and, on a facial expression from Martin Freeman that cracks us up every time we watch the trailer, that's it, folks. The end of The World's End.
We expect another trailer delineating the relationships and outlining a clearer idea of the threat may be forthcoming before July 19. But if not, this is more than enough evidence to suggest that this is a film that will stand proudly alongside Shaun and Fuzz. Want anything from the shop? Three Flavours Cornetto box-set.