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Shaun Of The Dead Sequel - Will It Ever Happen?

Kicking off the zombie craze with style and panache, "Shaun of the Dead" hit horror fans in the face like a baseball in 2004 and is still remembered by many horror fans as the best zombie movie ever made. It was a riotous ride through a zombie apocalypse brimming with social satire that offered a critique of modern-day mundanities, but also marked the first big screen collaboration between director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, setting the stage for one of the most beloved movie partnerships. It also introduced audiences to Wright's distinctive directing style, characterized by quick-cut editing, incisive visual gags, and plenty of jabs at the genre.

The story centers on Shaun (Pegg), a hapless loser who finds himself smack dab in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Alongside his slovenly best friend, Ed (Frost), Shaun sets out on a quest to save his friends and family while trying to stay alive amid a horde of undead. With an impeccable balance of humor and heart, the film cleverly weaves blood-curdling horror and gut-busting comedy into a poignant story of friendship.

But since its release audiences have been asking for a sequel, wondering if there really is a chance that the famously mercurial filmmaker Wright could revisit the world of one of the most cherished horror comedies of all time. Well if you're one of those who's wondered, read on, because we're here to answer the question: Will a "Shaun of the Dead" sequel ever happen?

What has Edgar Wright said about a Shaun of the Dead sequel?

In a 2021 interview with SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar), Edgar Wright confirmed that he would not be making "Shaun of the Dead 2" and outlined some of his reason for doing so. Wright explained, "I haven't gone back to horror-comedy, because with 'Shaun Of The Dead' I felt like I had said much of what I wanted to say with that movie." Wright emphasized that he was aware of the interest in a sequel and noted that he had been approached by filmmakers who wanted to make the movie with him involved as a producer. While he appreciated the interest, he stated, "I find it difficult to cover the same territory again."

One of the other issues with Wright committing to developing a sequel to the film is the sheer amount of time involved in bringing a movie from a conceptual phase to the theatre. While fans may think that a sequel might come together quickly, Wright noted, "It's like, these films take three years to make, you've got to really, really love it to do it."

With a film as beloved as "Shaun of the Dead," perhaps it's best that Wright hold off on a sequel until — or if — he finds the proper motivation. Nonetheless, fans can always enjoy the rest of the "Blood and Ice Cream" trilogy, all directed by Wright and featuring both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, while they wait for a movie that may never come.

What has the cast said about a Shaun of the Dead sequel?

Since "Shaun of the Dead" first debuted, the cast and crew have been assaulted with questions about the possibility of a sequel. After all, when Hollywood has a hit on its hands, it always wants to do more. And sure, we know that Edgar Wright doesn't want anything to do with it, but what do the actors think? Over the years, they've had plenty to say too, and sadly, they don't seem to feel much different than Wright does about a sequel.

Talking to iNews in 2017, Nick Frost spoke about his long relationship with Wright and was asked whether we could ever see another "Shaun of the Dead" film. "It will never happen, no way," Frost said defiantly, before referencing Hollywood's penchant for endless parades of sequels. "It's not 'Hot Fuzz,' 'Hot Fuzz 2' ... where would it end?" Nevertheless, he did leave the door open just a crack, even if sarcastically. "If we ever do a sequel it's because Edgar or Simon have got a massive tax bill." 

As for Pegg, he seems adamantly against the idea of doing a part two. In a June 2023 profile by The Guardian, the actor explained that he's moved on from his "geeky guy" phase and thinks our pop cultural nostalgia is "a neurological disorder." On that note, here's what Pegg had to say about the sequel: "If I ever do an Instagram Live or whatever, people are always like, 'I need 'Shaun of the Dead 2' in my life.' And I'm like, 'No, you don't f****** need 'Shaun of the Dead 2!' The last thing you need is 'Shaun of the Dead 2!' It's done. Move on!'"

What would be explored in a Shaun of the Dead sequel?

There have been plenty of zombie movies that have gotten sequels, from George Romero's seemingly endless "Living Dead" films to Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later" and even Zack Snyder's "Army of the Dead." Heck, "The Walking Dead" managed to produce a decade of stories and multiple spin-offs, so there's no reason there can't be a continuation of "Shaun of the Dead." But Simon Pegg isn't so sure it can.

In the SoHo House interview, Pegg was asked about the prospect of sequels to his many famous projects — from "Spaced" to "Shaun of the Dead" — and he's perpetually confused by the demand for such follow-ups and noted that the passage of time would be a concern for a sequel story. "People still ask me, 'When is there going to be a third series of "Spaced?'" It was 23 years ago. I'm a 52-year-old man! Who wants to watch a sitcom about that?"

As for the story of a "Shaun of the Dead" sequel, Pegg isn't sure it even makes much sense. "It baffles me how there possibly could be a 'Shaun Of The Dead 2,'" he told the outlet. "Because most of the main characters are dead. One of them is a zombie, in a shed ... which would be boring."

Who would star in a Shaun of the Dead sequel?

For a "Shaun of the Dead" sequel to satisfy fans, it would almost certainly have to feature the return of its star cast, which includes Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Martin Freeman, Peter Serafinowicz, and Lucy Davis. The real problem with this prospect, of course, is that as Pegg rightly pointed out, the first film's story doesn't really end in a way that allows them to all return since Ed is undead, and others are killed throughout the story. The bigger problem though is that neither Pegg nor Frost seem all that keen to return, alive or undead.

With Pegg feeling a sequel would be boring, and Frost only interested if he found himself in need of cash, getting a follow-up together is a tough ask, but if it were to happen without them, there might be a way. Several of the first movie's key side characters are alive and kicking, including Liz (Ashfield) and Dianne (Davis), and a story focused on a different but connected set of best friends could help provide that new and different angle that Wright is looking for. 

Similarly, a world where zombies have been used as laborers for 20 years might also provide some fresh social satire. The only question is if anyone is even really interested in coming back, as so far everyone involved has repeatedly squashed any thoughts of a return.

Pegg and Wright envisioned an alternative sequel to Shaun of the Dead

While Edgar Wright has been forever uninterested in a sequel that continued the story of "Shaun of the Dead," he has talked about an alternative remake of sorts as a spiritual successor. "This is going way back," Wright told Empire. "But there was at one point a really silly idea, one of those fanciful, pie in the sky ideas that we were excited about for about an afternoon ... where we thought of doing a sequel for 'Shaun Of The Dead' where it would be an alternate reality." 

Rather than continue the story, Wright envisioned retelling it, but with a twist. "Shaun would turn left instead of right and instead of it being a zombie film, it would be –- I don't know -– a bodysnatchers film. And it's funny, because we talked about it very excitedly for about an afternoon and then thought it would be impossible because we'd have to do it right now, or the actors are going to look older and it'll all look weird."

While the opportunity to make it the way he wanted has passed, Simon Pegg has talked about his excitement for the idea, too, and he even had a title in mind for the project. "I jokingly wrote a treatment for 'From Dusk Till Shaun,' which was a sequel," he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. But it doesn't seem the idea was ever close to being a reality. "It was all just pub talk."

Shaun of the Dead already has a spiritual sequel

The biggest fans of "Shaun of the Dead" probably know that the zombie movie actually does have a sequel of sorts, but it's a spiritual sequel: a movie that reunites the cast and crew of a prior film that tells a similar story, if not in the plot then in tone. That movie, of course, is "Hot Fuzz," a dark comedy once again written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. That's because Wright prefers new stories rather than just recycling old ones. "We got offers to make sequels to both 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz,'" said Wright (per The Week). "They never really interested us, because we like having these endings where it seems very final, but could hint at some kind of future adventure that you'll never see."

In "Hot Fuzz," Pegg and Frost play good friends, but this time they're a couple of cops in a small English village. Like his plans for an alternative "Shaun of the Dead," Wright puts in an unexpected, jaw-dropping heel turn midway through the movie that totally upends the story, turning it into a shockingly violent action-comedy.

But what makes "Hot Fuzz" a spiritual sequel is more than just sharing the same star cast and its director, but its themes, too. "They're all about an individual versus a collective," Wright said in a chat with Junkee in 2013. And that theme continues into "The World's End," which caps off Wright's so-called "Cornetto Trilogy."

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg produced a short parody sequel

2020 was a tough time for many as the world essentially shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The global mood was understandably low, and everyone was looking for a way to lift the spirits of their friends and loved ones who they couldn't see in person. While Gal Gadot got a crowd of celebrities together for an ill-conceived and much-mocked rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine," Simon Pegg and Nick Frost decided it was time to cheer people up by giving them what they really wanted: the return of Shaun and Ed from "Shaun of the Dead."

It all happened in March of 2020, just as social distancing policies were in place in most areas, quarantine procedures were enacted, and businesses and workplaces shut down just as the World Health Organization had officially classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic. With "Shaun of the Dead" also centered on a deadly pandemic, Pegg and Frost decided to get together virtually and recreate an iconic scene from the film, but this time it isn't about an outbreak of zombie fever, but Covid-19.

More than just a spoof to entertain, the short also serves as a kind of public PSA that urges people to stay home and do their part to help curtail the virus. It also packs in a few tidy meta jokes about the original movie, too, including a jab at some of the dated humor that hasn't aged too well.

There may yet be another Cornetto sequel

If the comments from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost are to be believed, we may never get to see a sequel to "Shaun of the Dead." Yet, that doesn't mean there isn't a follow-up still to come, as there has recently been talk that the trio could reunite for a fourth film in their "Cornetto Trilogy" that seemingly concluded with 2013's "The World's End."

"With Edgar and I, we have to just get our schedules in order so that we can write together again," Pegg told ComicBook.com in 2022. "We're talking about stuff, there's been ideas thrown around and we're circling something. But obviously he's really busy, I'm really busy. It's not like the old days when we were just trying to get seen and we had all that time." 

Less than a year later, though, Pegg posted a promotional image from their last film to his Instagram with the caption, "Hey [Nick Frost] and [Edgar Wright], it's about time we assembled again, isn't it?" Pegg's post elicited an excited response from his co-star, with Frost replying, "Hell yeah!!! (I'm free from September!)," while Wright himself chimed in, playfully posting "New number, who dis? X." From there, fans began posting in the comments with giddiness, and even fellow stars chimed in. "Please assemble. I'll come and be the tea boy," said Thomas Turgoose, star of the U.K. sci-fi series, "Intergalactic."

Fans desparately want a sequel

If there's any constant in the universe it's death, taxes, and fans repeatedly asking Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost if they'll ever make a second "Shaun of the Dead" movie. In fact, it's become so unceasing that it's become frustrating for them. "I constantly get asked about making a 'Shaun of the Dead' sequel and it drives me insane," Pegg said in an interview with Lightspeed Magazine. But all the questions about them doing another only underscores just how passionate the movie's fans really are. Because to this day, they are still gathering online to talk about how badly they want more.

Over on Reddit, "Shaun of the Dead" remains a popular subject of discussion, as fans of the film gather to celebrate its greatness. "This film was such a breath of fresh air when it came out," said one user. "Even compared to American comedies today it stands out thanks to its timeless visual and audio gags. Edgar Wright just is a director that really understand [sic] and appreciates visual comedy." But fans who've been asking for a sequel often chime in too, with ideas of their own on how it could work.

"Integrating zombies into the 'normal' world is an interesting premise," said a fan in 2022. "I would imagine, 20 years later, there's room for 'Z-day deniers', who argue the zombie apocalypse never happened, or if it did happen, it was really only a minor event, and BTW it's all fake news anyway."

Pegg and Frost reprised their roles in a kid's cartoon

Believe it or not, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have actually reprised their roles from "Shaun of the Dead," but it was in the last place you'd probably ever expect — in an episode of the Disney children's cartoon, "Phineas and Ferb." The series, which revolves around a pair of stepbrothers and their wacky misadventures, often works in pop culture references, and it's appropriately in their Halloween episode in 2014 that Pegg and Frost make an appearance.

In the installment, titled "Night of the Living Pharmacists," a contagious virus spreads through the city, turning innocent, otherwise ordinary townspeople into un-living pharmacists. At the height of the plague, when most of the population has been pharma-fied, animated versions of Shaun and Ed — voiced by Pegg and Frost — converge in the street and face an eerily similar situation to the one they dealt with in "Shaun of the Dead." 

Shaun, however, is rightly confused about the nature of the plague — after all, it doesn't make much sense why a virus would cause people to change clothes and become a pharmacist — while Ed tries to rationalize that perhaps the contagion infects clothes. While they argue over the minutiae, a pharmacist touches them and turns them into one of his own. Though it's only a 25-second gag, it might be the closest we ever get to a sequel to the iconic 2004 film.

How a Shaun of the Dead sequel could still happen

Despite what those involved have repeatedly claimed about not wanting to produce a "Shaun of the Dead" sequel, we still think there's a chance it could happen. After all, actors who once swore they'd never return to a beloved franchise have come back, and filmmakers who were adamant that they'd never do a sequel have wound up coming back for more. This includes the likes of James Cameron producing "Terminator: Dark Fate" and Harrison Ford reprising his role as Han Solo in "Star Wars." So as much as they claim they'll never do it, there's no reason to assume that Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, might not someday want to return to their own zombie story for one more round. 

For Wright, there would need to be a story that felt worthy of returning to that world, and for Pegg and Frost, it would mean finding a way of giving them some fresh and exciting material to make a comeback more than 20 years later seem worth doing. But somehow, we don't think it would be much of a stretch to find a clever new twist on the story involving a normalized world full of domesticated zombies. If there's anyone who can pull it off, in fact, it's probably Wright and Pegg.