When in costume Nick Frost and Simon Pegg often were assumed to be police officers. Many strangers asked them for directions and instead of telling the truth they went along with it. They claimed it made them feel powerful.
The filming of Angel and Skinner's first meeting at the supermarket was filmed over the course of two days. The conversation was filmed entirely from Timothy Dalton's perspective first. The next day, early in the morning, they were to film the conversation with Angel's perspective and close-ups. Dalton, much to the surprise of the crew, showed up early the next morning, and even though he wasn't going to be on camera for that particular portion of the filming, he sat off-camera in Skinner's chair and played the role so that Simon Pegg would be able to have him to work with while filming his part as Angel. Pegg stated it really showed Dalton's professionalism.
Edgar Wright originally wanted to name the movie "Hott Fuzz". Simon Pegg objected to the suggestion, fearing he would have to explain the additional "t" in "Hott" in every single interview about the film.
As this is the second part of the unofficial Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, the blue wrapper makes its appearance in the film. Nick and Danny are seen eating vanilla flavor ice-cream. According to Edgar Wright, blue represents the police, which is the main motif in the film. For Wright's other films, Shaun of The Dead, it was red / strawberry flavor, representing blood and zombies while the final part, The World's End, it was green / peppermint with chip representing science fiction and extraterrestrial elements.
At a Q&A session following a screening of the film in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Edgar Wright revealed that the film featured disguised cameos by two Oscar winners: Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson. Jackson appears as the Santa Claus who stabs Nick Angel through the hand during the opening montage, and Blanchett appears masked as Angel's ex-girlfriend who is a Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO), which is the Metropolitan Police's term for an officer who collects and processes forensic evidence at the scene of a crime (roughly analogous to a CSI).
The names of the townspeople of Sandford are almost all words for occupations or activities: Cooper, Porter, Turner, Shooter, Prosser, Hatcher, Paver, Butcher, Skinner, Fisher, Walker, Thatcher, Weaver, Roper, Tiller, Reaper, Messenger, Staker, Treacher, Cocker, Blower, Draper, Merchant, Cartwright, Wainwright.
While Nicholas is chasing a shoplifter through the supermarket, Danny is reading the tag-lines of the cheap action films in the half-price bin. "Police Story 3: Supercop (1992). Meet the cop that can't be stopped". When he realizes the chase is on, he throws the DVD back into the bargain bin where we see it land beside a DVD copy of Shaun of the Dead (2004) but called "Zombies Party", the release title of "Shaun of the Dead" in certain countries.
To indicate how behind the times Sandford police station is, the sound of a very old Apple Macintosh startup tone is heard in the background. This startup tone hasn't been played by any Mac for more than ten years.
When Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg went to Brixton Police Station hoping to get some anecdotes from serving coppers, even offering to take them to the pub, every officer refused to speak to them. The liaison officer had wrongly told the officers that Mr. Wright and Mr. Pegg were journalists. The liaison officer has never been forgiven.
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright interviewed many real police officers while doing research for the film. Many lines in the film such as "I prefer to think my office is out on the street" came directly from those interviews. The stylized scenes of Nick doing paperwork were inspired by the officers noting that paperwork is a huge part of the job but it is never depicted in cop shows and films. The visual style was inspired by Tony Scott's films. Roger Ebert's "Bigger" Little Movie Glossary was also used as a reference source.
When inspector Frank Butterman appears at the town's council after Nick discovers them, his police uniform is a Victorian one (notice the letters VR -Victoria Regina- on his helmet). This details reinforces the idea of Sandford as a town "frozen in time" and their inhabitants reluctant to change.
Before filming the lay-by scene, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reportedly had an argument. Pegg claimed Frost was getting cocky and making the ADs get him coffee, whereas Pegg wanted him to get his own. As a result they took four hours to do that scene and they didn't talk to each other at all except when acting.
Somerfield used to be a real UK supermarket chain, and all of the exterior scenes were shot at one of their stores. Edgar Wright chose to use it as he worked there as a shelf-stacker as a teenager, and in a nod to this, he makes a blink-and-miss-it cameo as a shelf-stacker in the Somerfield store.
In the movie, director Edgar Wright's hometown of Wells, Somerset, UK, doubled as Sandford. The alley down which Nicholas Angel pursues the shoplifter is where the director used to walk to school, and where he had his first kiss. The scene during the chase where Angel spots the swan was shot outside the house of one of the director's friends.
Edgar Wright said that the role of Simon Skinner was written with Timothy Dalton in mind, so they were thrilled when he signed on to play the character. Simon Pegg says that he and Wright shared a thumbs-up when Dalton first played the character in the read-through, as they both knew they'd gotten the perfect person for the part.
Nicholas Angel's service number is 777, this is often seen as the mark of God just as 666 is seen as the mark of the devil. The only character to call him by that number is Timothy Dalton, who played Agent 007 in The The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).
Whilst doing research for the film, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg discovered that a disproportionate number of police officers were named either Nick or Andy, which led to the character names of Nicholas Angel and the two Andys. The Angel part of Nicholas Angel was named after the film's music director, and the joke where the local paper misspelled Angel's name as "Angle" was based on several incidences where this happened to him.
Just before the climax, two sight gags are visible briefly - an advert for Romeo and Juliet featuring the replacement actors for Blower and Draper and a headline from the Sandford Citizen reading "A Fete Worse Than Death" regarding the church picnic (fete).
According to the director, actor Paddy Considine sneaked two Robert De Niro impressions into the movie, the first a facial mug in the incident room during Angel's "Murder rant", the second during the final stand off in the pub.
Bill Bailey plays two different characters in the film. One of the characters reads "Complicity" by Iain Banks, while the other reads two novels by Iain M. Banks. They are in fact all written by the same author (Iain Banks), the "M" simply shows that the books are science-fiction rather than normal fiction. (One of the Iain M. Banks books is "The State Of The Art"). This split is clearly supposed to symbolize differences in the two characters' personalities.
Danny (Frost) shoots Dr. Hatcher in the leg with an air rifle. In Shaun Of The Dead (2004) Frost's character Ed is told he shouldn't use the gun because he shot his sister in the leg with an air rifle.
In the script, Frank's wife's name was Iris, but since Jim Broadbent had recently won an Oscar for playing the husband of a woman named Iris in Iris (2001), he thought viewers might see it as a reference to that, so he asked for her name to be changed, which it was - to Irene.
Quite a few actors from Shaun of the Dead (2004) crop up in Hot Fuzz (2007). E.g. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Nighy. And they're both directed by Edgar Wright. As well as similar sequences and familiar sights. E.g. both films have a pub in them. Cornettos. Wright uses the same rapid zooms and cross-cuts. And the scene where Shaun jumped over a fence and collapsed it is given a comic spin in this film where Angel perfectly clears them and even somersaults over one at the end. He even uses a similar line.
The phrase Nick Frost uses, "By the Power of Grayskull...(I Have the Power!)", was made famous by the fictional character He-Man from the animated series "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" (1983-1985). The same character portrayed by Dolph Lundgren (1987), on film.
Despite their homespun image many members of the NWA are actually veterans of the action genre. Paul Freeman was in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stuart Wilson was in Lethal Weapon 3 and No Escape whilst Timothy Dalton played James Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill. The head of the NWA, Edward Woodward was voted the greatest British action star for his roles as secret agents in the TV series Callan and The Equalizer.
When the two detectives Andy Wainwright and Andy Cartwright (Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall) are referred to together, they are called "the Andes," spelled in the captions like the South American mountain range because of a brief reference to those mountains in the dialogue.
The 'gingernut' child at the end of the film is not called Aaron Errand - his name is Aaron A. Aaronson, in a nod to the Andes' earlier "childish" comment about calling everyone in the phone book, starting with Aaron A. Aaronson.
Before Somerfield was chosen to feature in the film, writers originally made a fictional store chain called "Summeraisles" referring to the island in The Wicker Man (1973) also starring Edward Woodward.
Features four actors from various Lord of the Rings adaptations. Peter Jackson plays "Father Christmas" in the opening montage. Bill Nighy played Sam Gamgee in the BBC Radio broadcast. Cate Blanchett played Galadriel in Peter Jackson's films. Martin Freeman went on to play Bilbo Baggins in Jackson's films of The Hobbit.
The place where Angel is going to live is located on "Spencer Hill", which is probably a reference to Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, one of the funniest movie couplings ever, and who featured in many films during the 70's and 80's.
There was debate of what Age Restriction 'Hot Fuzz' was going to be released due to the amount of strong language and violence in the movie. In the USA the movie was released as an 'R' and was released as an '18' in the UK and most of Europe.
During the church fete scene, members of the Air Cadets (the largest cadet force in the UK) can be seen in the background. 6 cadets and 2 Non-Commissioned Officers from 1955 (City Of Wells) Squadron featured in the film.
In this film, Edward Woodward plays a conspirator against a naive police officer. In The Wicker Man (1973) he played a naive police officer that was being conspired against. In both films, his character meets a fiery end: in The Wicker Man, he is burned alive inside a giant effigy; in this film, he's blown up by a sea mine.
Edward Woodward is known for his roles in the TV series "Callan" and "The Equalizer". Woodward's characters he played in those series are both government agents. Robert McCall, Woodward's character in "The Equalizer" is a former government agent turned vigilante.
In the scene which Nick chases the shoplifter at the supermarket. If you look carefully, you can see a DVD of "Shaun of the Dead" among the DVDs for sale. "Shaun of the Dead" was also directed by Edgar Wright and starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
When Danny (Played by Nick Frost) looks through the bargain bin of DVDs for a split second you can see the DVD for Shaun of the Dead (the first movie in the cornetto trilogy) with the Portugese title called "Zombie Party" on it. The price tag covers Simon Pegg's face to keep from breaking the fourth wall.
In the scene where Nicholas Angel interrogates Skinner in the supermarket, you can see an exact resemblance of Skinner's facial appearance on a picture in the background wall just as he says spool through and smiles.
This is the only movie in The Cornetto Trilogy where Simon Pegg's character doesn't fall off a fence. In Shaun of the Dead, Shaun tried jumping over it and it fell once he was on top. In The World's End, Garry jumps on the fence and knocks it over. However, in Hot Fuzz, Nicholas (Simon Pegg) jumps over all of them successfully and Danny (Nick Frost) knocks the fence down.
Timothy Dalton is famous for playing British secret agent James Bond. Anne Reid starred opposite Daniel Craig, whom succeeded Pierce Brosnan in the role of James Bond, in the 2003 romantic drama "The Mother".
In the store, when Nicolas is chasing the robber, there is a quick glimpse of the movie Shaun of the Dead found in the DVD rack. Shaun of the Dead is part of the Cornetto trilogy, which this film is also part of.
Steve Coogan: playing a Metropolitan Police Inspector; appears on screen to speed the transfer of Nicolas Angel out of London. Reappears near end with Bill Nighy as Met Chief Inspector to plead with Angel to return to London.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Timothy Dalton has said this film, particularly the sequence where Skinner and Angel are shooting at each other during the chase, was the most fun he's ever had on a film. Jim Broadbent stated it was a thrill for him to be driving "James Bond" around during that sequence. Simon Pegg also stated the sequence and the fistfight between Angel and Skinner was the same type of thrill for him to shoot, staying it was very much in the front of his mind that he was being shot at, and fighting with "James Bond".
When Timothy Dalton raises his glass to the "memory" of Eve and Martin, Dalton very briefly looks into the camera. Director Edgar Wright liked it so much he synchronized the sound of a cash register "ching" at the same time.
It's said that a swan can break a person's arm with its wing. At the end of the movie, having been made to crash by the swan in the car, you can see Jim Broadbent's arm in a sling as he's loaded onto the ambulance.
Throughout the first half of the film, Danny asks Angel a number of annoying questions like "Have you ever shot two guns at once while diving through the air?" to which Angel responds "No - you've been watching too many cop movies! The job isn't like that." Then in the second half of the film, every single thing that Danny has asked about, Angel has to do. He does shoot two guns while leaping through the air, etc. The only thing that Nicolas doesn't do is shooting into the air and screaming. Danny does that. Also, when the police crew are in the pub (on Nicholas' first day), the Andes mention that in small towns everybody carries a firearm, especially farmers and their mothers. Not only are they correct (at least in Sandford), but the first people who shoot at Angel are a farmer and his mum.
In preparation in writing the script for Hot Fuzz, writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg read a book by film critic Roger Ebert which includes all the clichés from action movies, so they could include them all. They include: having a character wake up in a dark hotel room and flick on the light switch without having to fumble for it (Nicholas Angel does this), having a shot of the median lines on a road from a moving camera (used in the sequence when Angel is driving back to London), and having a genial person in charge actually being the bad guy (Frank Butterman is the bad guy and this is the same as the James Cromwell part in L.A. Confidential (1997)). Other clichés were taken from Mad Max (1979), Lethal Weapon (1987), Man on Fire (2004), Bad Boys (1995) and Chinatown (1974).
On the day of filming the fight between Michael Armstrong (one of Skinner's thugs), and Nicholas Angel, Simon Pegg's stunt double broke his collarbone and Pegg had to do the fight himself, though he had to be pretty careful.
The character of Simon Skinner having a mustache was Timothy Dalton's idea, and was not specifically written for the character. Dalton thought that it would add an extra bit of sleaze to the character, and it hearkened back to his days of playing Prince Barin in Flash Gordon (1980).
When Angel and Butterman are discussing the first four victims, trying to figure out how they might be connected, Angel actually says what the ultimate motive was in each killing. The head of the Drama club was a terrible actor, his young lover had a "distinctive laugh," the reporter was a bad speller, and the rich land developer had an ugly house.
Skinner falling and getting his chin impaled on the model of the village church is a nod to a scene from the 1994 film "No Escape" which the chief villain Walter Marek (Stuart Wilson) falls and is impaled on a spike. Stuart Wilson stars in the film as Dr. Robin Hatcher.
During the climactic confrontation between Sergeant Nicholas Angel and the Sandford citizens, Angel walks in slow motion while surrounded by birds. This is a trademark used by action director John Woo in such films as Mission: Impossible II (2000), Face/Off (1997) and Just Heroes (1989), the action of diving through the air while firing two guns.
When Angel fights Skinner, manager of the Somerfield supermarket, in the model village, Skinner drops his gun. It is briefly seen crashing into the front entrance of the model Somerfield supermarket. Few shots later, when Skinner attacks with a box cutter, he steps on a model Somerfield delivery-van and slips as it's rolling away.
The film bears some plot similarities to the 1981 film "Outland," which was a remake of the classic western "High Noon". Nicholas Angel is transferred to Sanford and begins investigating the gruesome deaths of members of the community, believed to be accidents and he begins to believe that the deaths were no accidents, but murders and uncovers a conspiracy behind it and discovers Inspector Frank Butterman and other residents of the village are behind it.
There is some foreshadowing at the fete air rifle scene; Dr Hatcher is accidentally shot by Danny in his foot, and Nick says "He's a doctor, he can deal with it". This happens again later in the film when Nick returns to Sandford near the start of the climax.
This is the first time that Olivia Colman(PC Doris Thatcher) plays a cop. The second time is in the tv series 'Broadchurch'. She plays Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller with David Tennant who plays Detective Inspector Alec Hardy. Both David and Olivia also play in Doctor Who as the Tenth Doctor and Prisoner Zero respectively even though they weren't in the same season as Olivia was in Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor)'s first main episode.
This is the second time Jim Broadbent has played a dodgy cop who eventually gets arrested as he also did in Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003) where he played DCI Slater "the slag" who got arrested for diamond smuggling