Shaun and Ed looking confused in "Shaun of the Dead"
(Rogue Pictures)

Simon Pegg Did Not Mince Words in His Feelings on More ‘Shaun of the Dead’

Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg’s beloved rom-zom-com, celebrates its twentieth birthday this year! That might have nostalgic fans wondering if we’ll ever get more, and Pegg himself has some thoughts on the matter.

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The movie came out September 2004 in the U.S. and kickstarted the careers of Pegg, co-star Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright. To this day, it’s still one of Pegg’s most beloved movies, and that’s really saying something, as the guy is the king of British comedy flicks.

So needless to say, Pegg has been asked about Shaun of the Dead a lot this year. He talked about the movie (as well as his role on superhero satire The Boys) in a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter. Fair warning: If you were hoping for more Shaun of the Dead movies sometime in the future, look away now. The idea is obliterated like a zombie being shot in the head.

Pegg hates the idea of more Shaun

When asked if there would ever be more Shaun of the Dead films—reportedly, someone somewhere is “badgering” Pegg about it—Pegg answered, “I mean, Universal [Pictures] owns it. If they choose to reboot it, then they can if they want I guess. Although Edgar [Wright] and I would be incensed.”

He explained, “Shaun of the Dead is incredibly personal. There’s so much of us in that film.” He ran through some of moments in Shaun that were inspired by the antics of himself, Wright, and Frost before adding, “The whole thing with Shaun’s mum, the stepdad, I had a problematic relationship with my stepfather. It was Edgar’s idea to kill the mum. I couldn’t believe it when he said that, but it was the best decision. There’s so much of our own heart and soul in that film.”

Everyone who’s seen Shaun of the Dead would agree with Pegg there. It’s a film about relationships at its core, and the real-life Pegg-Frost-Wright relationship translated into comedy and tragedy gold onscreen. “If someone was to reboot it, it would be a cynical and exploitative exercise,” Pegg told the Hollywood Reporter. “I would hope that people are in love with our Shaun enough to resist a reboot.”

It’s hard to imagine Shaun of the Dead fans reacting any way but negatively towards a reboot—but what about a sequel with all of the actors (well, the ones whose characters survived the original movie) returning? Pegg doesn’t like that idea, either.

If you were to see Shaun again, if the zombies came back, there’s just not a story to tell it. We’d have to reset everything that we created in Shaun of the Dead, the journey that Shaun goes on and completes. He becomes a new person, but we’d have to then dismantle that in order to give him a new arc. Why? The best thing we can do with cinema is to challenge people and get them to see things they haven’t seen before and experience new things.

So we can probably safely say that Shaun will never return to the silver screen—at least, not in a way any of us want, if the original team feels this way about it. But that’s alright! At some point there may well be something new and different from Pegg and Wright. “Edgar came over to my house last year and stayed for the week, and we just sort of talked about films and what we want to do next. We just need the time to do it,” Pegg said. “So it really is a question of when, not if.”

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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.