The World's End (2013) Poster


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The main characters' surnames all have royal/court connections: (Gary) King, (Andy) Knightly, (Peter) Page, (Steven) Prince, (Oliver) Chamberlain.
As this is the conclusion of the unofficial Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, the characters are seen eating peppermint with chocolate chip ice-cream - as what the Cornetto green wrapper represents. According to Edgar Wright, green represents science fiction and extraterrestrial elements, which is the main motif in the film. For Wright's other films, Shaun of The Dead, it was red / strawberry flavor, symbolizing blood and zombies while the second part, Hot Fuzz, it was blue/ vanilla symbolizing the police.
The girl sitting next to Gary in the opening group therapy scene is played by Nicola Cunningham, who had previously appeared in Shaun of the Dead (2004) as "Bloody" Mary (the zombie girl who shows up in Shaun and Ed's garden).
The poster for "The King's Head" pub features writer and actor Simon Pegg as a king in a painted portrait.
The fruit machine in The King's Head has the same tune as the fruit machines that are featured prominently in both Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007).
All of the parking lots in Newton Haven (with the exception of side streets that the shot passes on) are populated with Vauxhall Amperas in different colors foreshadowing the underlying uniformity that is affecting the town. Also the Vauxhall Ampera is a plug-in electric car which is another reference to the robots.
The movie poster is a reworking of the poster from the not-so-appreciated End of the World (1977), which was based on alien doubles on world conquest.
At the end of the opening monologue/flashback, when Gary and Andy are looking out over the town from the hillside, to the upper left of the screen, a shooting star can be seen for a quick instant.
Early in the film when Oliver is on the phone with his sister Sam he teasingly asks "You get lost on the ring road again?" Much later in the film she says she is late because she got lost on the ring road.
They mention that Sam and Steven were in a production of 'Cabaret'. Moments later Gary greets Sam with the words "Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome" which is title of a well known song from 'Cabaret'.
The film progresses through three increasingly larger negative formats: The opening flashback footage is standard 16mm, from then up until the robots appear it's 3-perf Super 35, and from then it's 4-perf Panavision anamorphic until the ending scenes, which switch back to Super 35.
The irony of a pub crawl in Letchworth is that until 1995, the town (designed by Ebenezer Howard) only had 4 pubs and 2 hotel bars, which for a British town of 30,000 is incredibly low. Even now, and with a 2011 population of just over 37,000, has only 7 and a single hotel bar.
In addition to references to the movies The Thing (1982) and The Stepford Wives (1975) (see Connections section), Edgar Wright credits the posters for these movies as inspiration. Though it does not appear in the actual film it promotes, the image of the man standing and his head is lit up, obscuring his appearance, from the poster for The Thing led to Wright's idea that the blanks have their faces light up. On the poster for the original The Stepford Wives, Katharine Ross's head lies shattered on the floor, like a Christmas bauble or an Easter egg. This inspired Wright to have the blanks' heads be very breakable.
Nick Frost's character works for the Beckingham Davies Knightley LLB law firm. Beckingham is Simon Pegg's father's surname.
The Majority of the film was shot in Letchworth Garden City, with some extra filming taking place in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. With many of the local pubs being used like "The Tavern", "The Collonade", and "The Three Magnets". The actual pub named "THE WORLDS END" in the movie is actually a pub called "The Gardeners Arms" located on Wilbury Hills Road Letchworth Garden City Herts. Other Places used in filming include the Broadway cinema that was renamed "The Mermaid" and Letchworth Train Station that was renamed "The Hole In The Wall".
The location of Letchworth Garden City where the majority of the movie is filmed is also home to the United Kingdom's First Roundabout, which was built in 1909.
This film completes what Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright refer to as "The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and 'The World's End'.
Throughout the movie you can hear some GSM-interference-like noises blended into the film's score. This foreshadows the true nature of the alien invaders "the network"
This is the second film in the unofficial trilogy to include a former James Bond (Timothy Dalton had been in Hot Fuzz (2007)), and the first to include a former Bond babe: both Pierce Brosnan and Rosamund Pike had previously worked together as antagonists in Die Another Day (2002).
After he follows her into the ladies room Gary tells Sam "You gave me the sign." A few minutes later she literally gives him a sign.
Rosamund Pike almost didn't make it into filming as she was pregnant when filming was meant to take place. Eventually, work was rescheduled for all of them.
Luke Bromley (Young Oliver) wore a prosthetic nose to create a closer likeness to Martin Freeman (II) (Oliver Chamberlain).
Thomas Law (Young Gary) was about an inch and a half taller than Simon Pegg (Gary King). To make both actors the same height, Simon Pegg wore lifts in his shoes.
In the scene where he beats up the Blank of the school bully, Pete (Eddie Marsan) grabs a branch off a tree and starts repeatedly smacking him on the back, almost identically to a famous scene performed by John Cleese in Fawlty Towers (1975). Darren Boyd, who plays the school bully, has previously played Cleese in the BBC comedy Holy Flying Circus (2011)
The poster for 'The Mermaid' features three mermaids: two blondes and a redhead in the middle, a reference to the Marmalade Sandwich.
Gary says to Andy, "Twist the melon, man," which is a line from "Step On" by Happy Mondays earlier used in the film.
At the first pub, after Gary is mocking Andy for drinking water. Andy replies by saying "There's nothing 'ooh ducky' about being teetotal, about walking into a pub after a rugby match and ordering a tap water at a bar packed full of big ugly bastards wearing warpaint. That, my friend, takes confidence, yeah? I'm talking balls." Gary does exactly this at the end of the movie.
Gary also says to the guys "I'm free to do what I want, any old time" which is a line from the song "I'm Free" by The Soup Dragons.
The movie has two BBC Radio references, appearing right near the beginning of the film. The first is part of the fast-talking introduction to "It's That Man Again" (ITMA), starring Tommy Handley, a comedy show which buoyed up British morale during the worst of WWII. The show was well-known for its rapid-fire delivery. This is perhaps to set up the character of Gary King as a glib, charismatic, persuasive leader-type. This is followed almost immediately by the soothing narrator who told stories to mums and their toddlers in the late 50s on "Listen With Mother": 'Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin.' This is possibly just a jokey way of saying, 'Now that we've introduced Gary, here's a story about him.'
The pubs used in the film were renamed. In Welwyn Garden City, The Cork was temporarily The Famous Cock. The Parkway Bar was renamed The Cross Hands. The Doctors Tonic became The Old Familiar and The Peartree was transformed into The First Post.
Three of the actors in this movie have also starred in recent adaptations of the classic character Sherlock Holmes. Martin Freeman and Jonathan Aris have portrayed Dr. John Watson and Dr. Anderson in Sherlock (2010) respectively. Eddie Marsan portrayed Inspector Lestrade in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and its sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).
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Of all the actors in the unofficial Cornetto trilogy, only five have appeared in all three films. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, and Rafe Spall.
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All of the Blanks wear Blue or Green
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The appearance of Gary and the four blanks at the end of the movie, when they are approaching the Rising Sun, is a reference to the Fields of the Nephilim, another seminal goth band from the 1980s (besides the Sisters of Mercy) whose image has always been that of dusty, post-apocalyptic cowboys.
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Film debut of Thomas Law.
Simon Pegg and Eddie Marson both appear in a Mission Impossible movie.
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Andrew Knighley's law firm is called "Beckingham, Davies & Knightley LLC". "Beckingham" is the last name of main actor Simon Pegg (Pegg is a shortening), "Davies" is most likely a change on the name "Davis" which is the last name of the actress "Lucy Davis" who played Dianne in "Shaun of the Dead" (the first installment in The Cornetto Trilogy).
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Each of the names of the 12 pubs featured in the movie foreshadow events that take place there. The first pub they visit is 'The First Post'; The interior of 'The Old Familiar' is exactly the same as 'The First Post'; Gary King is finally recognized as the banned teenager in 'The Famous Cock'; they get into a fight at 'The Cross Hands'; The guys all drink in unison at the "Good companion" the drug dealer Reverend Green is met in 'The Trusted Servant'; the bitchy twins are met in 'The Two-Headed Dog'; at 'The Mermaid', the characters are tempted to their downfall by beautiful women; the characters fight off swarms of enemies at 'The Beehive'; at 'The King's Head', Gary King makes a last stand and decides to continue his journey without anyone else's help; a car is driven through 'The Hole in the Wall', leaving a hole in the wall and the events that transpire at 'The World's End' lead to the end of the world.
Aside from the appearance of a Cornetto ice cream cone, a uniting theme of the three movies in the Cornetto Trilogy is a gag where one character tries to hop over a fence, only for it to collapse under him. In this movie it occurs when King is trying to outrun the blanks on his own.
As the young Gary in the opening flashback stares out at the dawn, a shooting star (later referenced as the alien arrival) can be seen quickly zipping across the sky.
Toward the beginning of the film, just before the gang arrives in Newton Haven, Gary King states that "There should have been Five Musketeers. That way, two could've died, and there'd still be three left." This foreshadows the deaths of O-Man and Peter.
Look closely at the decor of each one of the pubs. The 'number' of the pub (according to the order it is visited in The Golden Mile) will appear prominently somewhere on a chalkboard or sign within it, or on the table that Gary and the group are sitting at.
The couple that Oliver is showing the house to in the beginning of the film is the same couple that his blank is showing a house to at the end.
Edgar Wright admitted that a lot of thought went into the costumes of the characters. Some of the clothes foreshadow what happens to the characters in the film: Peter and Oliver wear blue, foreshadowing that they will become Blanks, and both Steven and Sam wear red, foreshadowing that they will become a couple. Gary dresses in the same outfit as his teenage self as an homage to a way a soldier might 'suit up' before going into battle or committing suicide.
The opening narration by Simon Pegg about the original pub crawl the friends failed to complete is a blow-for-blow foreshadowing of what happens to the characters later on in the film.
When the town is first seen from the top of the hill as the characters drive past, Gary King remarks that they should get a good look at the colors, because they're going to paint the town red. At the end of the movie, this shot is mirrored, with the town on fire and glowing red.
Gary King is adorned by merchandise for Sisters of Mercy, a seminal goth band from the 80s. His post-apocalyptic cowboy attire closely resembles attire worn by Andrew Eldritch, the lead singer of the Sisters of Mercy, in their music video for "Black Planet".
In the last scene of the movie, when Gary says "They call me the king" he strikes the same pose as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Each movie in the "Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy" features a different flavor of Cornetto. There is a red Cornetto in Shaun of the Dead and a blue one in Hot Fuzz. The final Cornetto makes its appearance here during the epilogue, when Andy says he does not miss processed foods. A green Cornetto wrapper then blows into the fence in front of him, and he follows it longingly with is gaze as it drifts away.
The final tavern in the post apocalyptic world visited by Gary and the four robots is "The Rising Sun".
The dialogue heard at the close of the prologue ("We wanna be free...") is part of Primal Scream's song "Loaded" (which is itself sampled from The Wild Angels (1966)). Gary later quotes the same dialogue to The Network.
Gary mentions the "knife game" from Aliens (1986), a scene in which it is revealed that Bishop (Lance Henriksen is a robot. In the previous film, Alien (1979), Ash (Ian Holm) is revealed to be a robot. In this film, Oliver (Martin Freeman) is revealed to be a robot. Holm and Freeman have both played Bilbo Baggins.
Peasants in the Czech lands (at the time a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) who revolted against rich landowners in the late 19th century were called "robotniks," derived from the Czech words for "work" and "forced labor" and an older Slavic term for "slave."
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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