Edgar Wright Explains How He Came Up With the Idea For the Cornetto Trilogy

Subtle themes in films come about in all kinds of ways, some of which are obvious, while others lead to funny stories down the line. In the case of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, it is most definitely the latter. Here’s the explanation behind the connection between these three beloved comedies, directly from Wright himself.

Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright | John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images

What is the Cornetto Trilogy?

Though none of the characters are the same and the plots don’t (overtly) connect, the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy consists of three films directed by Edgar Wright. All of the movies feature at least a small reference to one of the three flavors of Cornetto ice cream cones (which are popular in Wright’s native U.K.).

More similarities between the movies include the stars (always Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with others who appear in two or three of them), the writers (Wright and Pegg), and the overall horror-comedy genre.

The first film is Shaun of the Dead

Kicking things off is 2004’s Shaun of the Dead (a play on zombie movie Dawn of the Dead). The movie depicts the eponymous Shaun (Pegg) as he learns of a zombie apocalypse in the wake of a recent breakup, and jumps into action in a way he never has before. Frost portrays his friend, Ed, who is hungover in one scene, and Shaun brings him a strawberry-flavored Cornetto cone. Wright later said, in reference to the trilogy, that the color represents the bloody nature of the film.

Second in the trilogy is Hot Fuzz

In 2007, the second movie, Hot Fuzz, premiered. In it, Pegg plays an over-achieving cop, Nick Angel, who finds himself in what appears to be a sleepy town, but is soon plagued by a series of murders. Frost plays his partner, Danny, and the two eat Cornetto cones together. This time, the packaging is blue (the original flavor), which is a nod to them being members of the police force.

It was after this film came out that Wright was asked about the reference to Cornetto both movies. Though it started out as a joke, the director embraced the idea of a trilogy, and went about creating the third movie in order to things up.

The final movie is The World’s End

The last movie in the series came out several years later, in 2013. Titled The World’s End, it stars Pegg and Frost as Gary and Andy who, along with friends from their childhood, attempt an epic pub crawl. Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, and very strange things begin to happen along the way. This time, the nod to Cornetto was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in which a green wrapper (the mint chocolate chip flavor) is seen floating away.

Edgar Wright revealed the hilarious explanation on Twitter

Unsurprising to anyone who is familiar with Wright and his films, there’s a silly reason that all of this occurred. In a Twitter post celebrating 15 years since Shaun of the Dead was released, he explains that they got free Strawberry Cornetto cones at the premiere’s after party, which prompted he and Pegg to add a mention to Cornetto in their next movie, in hopes of getting more free ice cream. Sadly, this didn’t work out in their favor, but it did lead to an epic trilogy of celebrated films, so it seems like it as all worth it in the end.

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