Filmmaker Edgar Wright first had the idea for his hit crime-thriller Baby Driver — in which Ansel Elgort plays a tinnitus-stricken getaway driver — over two decades ago. Along the way, the British filmmaker road-tested the film’s distinctive mix of music and action on a couple of projects. In 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, he and cowriter-star Simon Pegg featured a scene in which a zombie is beaten with pool cues in time to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. And around the same time, Wright directed a video for “Blue Song,” by electronica duo Mint Royale, in which comedian Noel Fielding is a getaway driver grooving to music while awaiting the return of his criminal associates, portrayed by Michael Smiley, Nick Frost, and Julian Barratt. In addition to helping prove the workability of Wright’s concept, the video also found a notable fan in the form of J.J. Abrams.
“We had a little screening and people came with whom I had been talking about Baby Driver for years,” Wright recently told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s funny when you see them and it’s like, ‘This is it! This is the thing I was telling you about!’ Like, J.J. [Abrams] was there, and seven years ago, at the Los Angeles Film Festival, he was doing a sort of career talk with me, and he specifically wanted to show the Mint Royale video. While we were showing it to the audience, J.J. leaned over to me and whispered, ‘You know, I think this would make a great movie.’ And I whispered back, ‘I am way ahead of you! I started writing it already!'”
Watch the trailer for Baby Driver below and the video for Mint Royale’s “Blue Song,” above.
Baby Driver is out now.