American audiences were first introduced to Edgar Wright and Nick Frost when their rom-zom-com "Shaun of the Dead" became the surprise hit of 2004. Okay, so maybe it wasn't that big, but it's a movie whose profile continues to grow with each passing year. Currently traveling the country to promote the U.S. DVD release of their latest collaboration, "Hot Fuzz" (sans star and friend Simon Pegg), the dynamic duo hosted a press conference at the San Diego Comic-Con for a select group. Bullz-Eye was one of the lucky publications invited to the event where the guys discussed the new DVD and their upcoming projects, and we even managed to sneak in a few questions of our own.
Reporter: May I ask the first question?
Edgar Wright: You go right ahead. We can't answer – just for the record – we can't answer any questions about "Heroes."
Reporter: So how much better does a pint look when it's shown in HD high quality?
EW: That's a good question.
Nick Frost: I'd say 30 percent better.
EW: You know I haven't actually got an HD player yet, so I haven't seen either of our films in HD. But now you said that, I'm gonna check it out. Good, I expect.
Reporter: I hope so. Your movies always make me thirsty.
EW: That's good. I think you could do good drinking games with both "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz."
Reporter: Is there one yet?
EW: Uh, I dunno. I suppose if you sort of took like a – I mean how would it work – you had a pint of beer every time they had a pint, and a shot every time you heard the f-word…
NF: A pint of beer every time you see a policeman.
Reporter: I've always been fascinated with movies shot in supermarkets. What made you want to have a finale in a supermarket?
EW: I used to work in a supermarket; I used to work in the very supermarket that's in the film. I was shelf stacker – that was my Saturday and holiday job for like five years, so when they stormed the outside of the supermarket in the car lot, that's where I actually used to work. So, I think when I was a teenager I was daydreaming about kind of fucking the place up. (laughs)
Reporter: On the "Shaun of the Dead" DVD, you guys had a lot of extras including those animated extras that showed other parts of the story. Are you gonna do that kind of thing for this one too? Is there a lot of extras on this one?
EW: Yeah, absolutely. There's loads and loads of extras. We did a lot of – even whilst we still had some film we were doing DVD content – and we kind of produced the DVD extras ourselves, and some of them aren't on this DVD. The HD-DVD has everything and also the, I think, Wal-Mart has the kind of two-disc edition as well. So it's basically like reams and reams of extras, but we really enjoy doing the plot holes, which are the bits, the animated things that are on "Shaun of the Dead. So we tried to do the thing the fans liked on the last DVD, like the plot holes and the Funky Pete extras – I don't know if you remember that – where we tried to do the TV safe version. And actually, we did get in trouble with Universal because we never completed our TV version, and contractually, you have to do that. So this time around we did all of our swear word replacements, and we had a lot of fun doing it, and that's on the DVD called Hot Funk. And that's sort of say – basically I wanted to, when it eventually turns up on American Airlines, I want it to be at least entertaining, and it's kind of like the clean version. Cause I always thought the TV versions of '80s action films like "Lethal Weapon" and "Die Hard" and "Robocop" were amazing in terms of giving us things like "melon farmer," "muddy funkster," and you know, "forget you." So, we wanted to come up with some good ones, so we got "funk," "silt, "Mother Hubbard"…
NF: "Peas and rice"…
EW: "Peas and rice" is a good one. So we had a lot of fun doing the TV safe film version. And also, to replace the c-word we had to take from "The Nutty Professor" the word "klump," so that's a good sort of dialogue replacement as well.
Reporter: Isn't that ruder than the actual word?
NF: It can be…
EW: It can be, yeah. I think that's what's sort of funny about it. I think Patton Oswalt does a funny routine about that, about dialogue replacements that sound even ruder than the swear word.
Bullz-Eye: Nick, I noticed that on the single-disc DVD for the US release you weren't on the audio commentary…
Bullz-Eye: Was that a conscious decision or did they just not tell you about it?
NF: Uh, it'll be on the HD, it'll be on the, uh - I can't even say the company – Wal-Mart, and it's on the Wal-Mart double-disc.
Reporter: Nick, I was just wondering about that. So this is an exclusive Wal-Mart thing? How did that happen – I've never even heard of it…
NF: You've never heard of Wal-Mart? It's this...
Reporter: I've never heard of Wal-Mart having a special edition set, especially with you guys – it's just kind of weird.
"Uh, I dunno. I suppose if you sort of took like a – I mean how would it work – you had a pint of beer every time they had a pint, and a shot every time you heard the f-word…" - Edgar Wright on a Hot Fuzz drinking gameNF: Well, on the Wal-Mart one throughout the whole film – in the bottom left – it just says "Wal-Mart" very small… it never leaves. (laughs)
Reporter: And so has the movie been released on DVD overseas?
EW: Yes, yes it has. It's out in the UK.
Reporter: And how has reaction and sales…
EW: It sold a million copies in four weeks.
Reporter: And you guys broke records when it opened in theaters over there. Did the studio do anything for you guys – buy you a car or a hot air balloon or anything?
NF: (laughs) We got a case of Cristal, which, it doesn't seem much...
Reporter: Could you talk about what you guys have coming up next?
"EW: Well, we're both still writing at the moment. We're in a furious writing period. Simon is writing with Nick, and me and Simon are going to start writing something later on this year, which will be – I think it will be the third in the trilogy, in what we're calling the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy – and I'm writing two adaptations, both of which I've been doing before "Hot Fuzz." And then we only really finished doing the press tour for the actual film last month in France, so we're just getting into writing now.
Reporter: Do you guys switch off? Is that why Simon isn't here?
NF: Well he's shooting a movie at the moment…
EW: Simon Pegg actually said "I hate all geeks. I'm never going to Comic-Con ever again." You can put that on record. (laughs)
NF: I think he fears what he loves most.
EW: (laughs) He came here three years ago. He saw a Batman made out of Lego and he's never recovered.
NF: Well, he never thought it would get any better than that…
EW: (laughs) So he never came back.
Reporter: Can you talk a little about "Ant-Man" and "Them"?
EW: Uh, no. Only that they're being worked on at the moment. One of which I'm co-writing and "Them" – which is not a remake of the giant ants film – it's actually a Jon Ronson book that I'm been developing with Mike White, and he's been writing that.
NF: So you're doing a film about a small ant and a big ant?
EW: Yes. (laughs)
Reporter: There's an article entitled "Movies That Deserved Much Better," referring to box office results, and almost every reader was listing "Hot Fuzz," "Hot Fuzz," Hot Fuzz." Does it ever get frustrating for you guys to make a film that is so good and gets received so well, and audiences just love, and yet the in-theater American box office results don't reflect that?
EW: It doesn't disappoint it us, because by the time it opened in the U.S., like, we already made our budget back four times in the U.K. It's nice that in the U.K. it was a huge hit – like, it made $40 million in the U.K. alone – and then over here it's sort of a cult thing, and that's kinda cool.
Bullz-Eye: Nick, your performance in the film is highly underrated – especially with all the attention Simon gets – and I think that from "Spaced" to "Shaun of the Dead" and now this, you've really grown as an actor. Do you think that experience has helped you in maturing or is it something completely different?
NF: I think I've come to think a little more about my job now, you know, because I was never an actor. I don't think I did any acting until after "Shaun of the Dead," really. I think everything up to that point I was just pretending to be an actor. But then after "Shaun of the Dead" I kind of really put the effort in, I think. You know, I learned to enjoy it and I learned kind of how to enjoy the nerves, and not feel like it's the worst job in the world. Yeah, so, thank you.
Reporter: What if you were offered a role in "Doctor Who"?
NF: I wouldn't do it.
EW: Why not?
NF: Because I'm not a big "Who" fan.
EW: I was asked to direct the first episode of the new season and I didn't do it, and I am a big "Doctor Who" fan, but I couldn't kind of make it work and my mother's never been more disappointed in me.
Reporter: Any developments in terms of an American release of "Spaced"?
EW: We hope so. I honestly, like, every sort of couple months, I email producer and say "What's happening," but basically it's the same case of we're still trying to get some music cleared and the hopefully we'll have the Region 1 release. We don't want to release it if we have to change the show, because I think it would be weird to have to go back and change it, but we're hopeful that we can do that.
Bullz-Eye: Speaking of "Spaced," I know there's been several talks about you guys getting back together – and you guys are obviously way too busy to do it now – but do you ever plan to do a one-off special?
EW: Well, we never say never in terms of… well, there's not going to be a third season, so I think the only option would be to do something that catches on ten years later – which can work brilliantly in the case of something like "Before Sunrise." Maybe we can do "Muppet Babies Spaced"…
Bullz-Eye: If you don't do "Spaced," are you ever thinking about doing another project with Jessica [Stevenson]? Because I know she showed up briefly in "Shaun," but…
EW: Yeah, if it was the right thing. It tends to come out organically of the story. You know, there was a nice part for Jessica in "Shaun," but there wasn't really the right part for her in "Hot Fuzz." And that's something we kinda felt was – you know, she's such an amazing actress – you really have to design something for her.