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We asked ‘Shaun of the Dead’ director Edgar Wright about bringing a zombie apocalypse to London

Written by
Anna Smith

From stunt doubles to costume designers, we talk to the people who've helped make some of London's most iconic films. In rom-zom-com ‘Shaun of the Dead’, London experiences a zombie apocalypse. Director Edgar Wright explains why the setting still resonates with him.

Most of the film was shot in north London. Why that area?

‘“Shaun of the Dead” was conceived by me and Simon Pegg when we were both living in north London. He lived in Crouch End and I lived in Islington, so making the movie was literally like having a zombie apocalypse on our doorsteps. It holds a very special place in my heart as it’s a document of where and how we lived at the time.’ 

How important was it to you to shoot the film in London?

‘At one point in the development of the movie, our line producer asked if we would consider shooting on the Isle of Man for tax reasons. I said I would rather not make the movie if we couldn’t shoot it in London. We loved the idea of having the living dead invade the suburbs that you’d usually only see in Mike Leigh films.’ 

Do you still hang out at any of the places featured in the film?

‘The only scene not shot in north London was at the Winchester. That was at the Duke of Albany in New Cross (now turned into flats). It would make me misty-eyed if I went back. I have been back to the corner shop in Crouch End. I think fans go there and buy Cornettos. I’m not sure if the owner finds that funny.’ 

Here's everything you need to know about the BFI London Film Festival.

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