Edgar Wright’s breakthrough feature Shaun of the Dead became an instant cult classic when it arrived in 2004, going on to earn a solid $30 million at the box office on a budget of $6 million, before instantly finding a new lease of life on home video.
It’s remained a staple of spooky season ever since, with Simon Pegg even wondering why the movie was trending just a few days ago. As it turns out, the reasons were simple; fans still celebrate the rom-zom-com on an annual basis, which is the least that it deserves.
However, Wright revealed during an appearance on topical comedy show The Russell Howard Hour that not everyone was convinced Shaun of the Dead was going to be a success. In fact, the filmmaker was even told by an extra that the acclaimed genre effort was destined never to see the inside of a theater.
“So we were in there, like, outside a pub in New Cross, and there was one like, there were a lot of extras there, and there was one guy that was in his seventies, an extra that you know was particularly amazing looking, and he came up to me thinking I was a runner on the movie, and he looked at the set and turned to me and he goes, ‘Straight to video for this one’. I just, uh, like the polite man I am went ‘Yeah..’.”
Suffice to say, the nameless extra will no doubt have been eating their words for seventeen years and counting, with Shaun of the Dead as popular now as it ever was. A sequel is almost certainly never going to happen, but that won’t stop folks from firing it up every twelve months or so to revisit the slice of cinematic fried gold.