There have been few creative partnerships that can match the output of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The two British actors have combined to star in some of the most inventive, genre-blending movies of the century. But their first collaboration was a TV show that developed a cult following even though it wasn’t on the air for very long. The connection to their work is so strong that fans remain hopeful that Pegg and Frost will reunite for another project soon.
The Cornetto Trilogy introduced a wildly creative British trio to the world
The ties that bind the Cornetto trilogy together may be tenuous, but there’s no denying the effect of the three movies on a generation of fans. Each film takes a simple premise and adds so many clever jokes, esoteric references, and creative character moments to make them feel special.
Shaun of the Dead was the breakthrough. The entire cast is superb, but Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s comedic chemistry is the backbone of the movie. They portray absolute galoofs who stumble their way into heroism while attempting to deal with petty conflicts straight out of a sitcom.
In 2007 came Hot Fuzz, a movie that begins as a buddy cop comedy and ends as an absurd action showpiece. Inspired by the extravagance of cop movies like Lethal Weapon, the film follows an ambitious policeman from London who is sent to patrol a small town where he tries to solve a series of murders in the town.
The final leg of the trilogy was The World’s End, where a group of friends led by Pegg have their pub crawl interrupted by an alien invasion. This one doesn’t have the widespread reputation as the preceding movies, but the movie’s thoughts on getting older are poignant and bring out some of the best acting Pegg and Frost have ever done.
It’s impossible to overlook the role of Edgar Wright in the success of these movies. His point of view and directorial vision were substantial elements to nailing the vibe and technical execution of the Cornetto trilogy. It’s telling that the other projects Pegg and Frost have made together, which you can read about in this Screen Rant article, haven’t been as artistically or financially successful.
Their first collaboration was a great, but overlooked TV show that stands the test of time
The synergy between the three of them began on a little-seen Channel 4 show that inspires a cult following from those who have seen it.
Spaced follows Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim Bisley (Pegg), two twenty-somethings who pretend to be a couple so they can get an affordable flat in London. Frost plays Mike Watt, Tim’s best friend. The show is full of hijinks, pop culture nods (DVD collections of Spaced came with a “Homage-o-meter” that listed the references as they happened), and endless entertainment.
Spaced was slightly ahead of its time and was gone before most people ever noticed it was there. The entire series consists of 14 episodes over two seasons. But the quality of the show has stood the test of time. It currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100% from critics and 97% from audiences.
Will Simon Pegg and Nick Frost make movies together again any time soon?
In 2021, Frost interviewed with the Radio Times in support of the second season of the anthology series Why Women Kill. The conversation inevitably circled back to his defining work with Pegg. For fans of Spaced or Shaun of the Dead, these projects are endlessly rewatchable, but the star can’t bring himself to actively revisit them on his own time.
“I get that it’s great and people love it but I look at it and just think, ‘Ah, I shouldn’t have done that.’ Plus, [Spaced] was the first thing I ever did. Spaced and I will always have that.”
When it comes to the topic of collaborating with Pegg and Wright again, Frost makes it clear that they would like to get the old team back together, but they’re all too busy to make it happen.
“Well, Simon and I have a production company [Stolen Picture] so we speak every day really, we text each other a lot and we Zoom,” he said. “Edgar and I, Edgar’s been away shooting lots of things so yeah I mean, we always talk about it. There’s definitely stuff we’re gonna do but in terms of when the three of us are all free, it is really difficult… When it happens, it’ll happen.”