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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
Somerfield is 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.
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.
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.
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. "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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
playing a Metropolitan Police Inspector; appears on screen to speed the transfer of Nicolas Angel out of London. Reappears near end with Met Chief Inspector to plead with Angel to return to London.
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).
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).
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".
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 farmer's 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.
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.
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.
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 Yi dan qun ying (1989), the action of diving through the air while firing two guns.
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.
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.