Fact number one: Baby Driver is one of the year’s best, most original films and you absolutely must see it. There is no lie here, except the self-important one you may be telling yourself about why you haven’t already booked tickets to see something everyone is talking about. For those who have seen it already: congratulations on getting your future life colored in with an enlightened shade.
Fact number two: the film almost didn’t happen, and that is because director Edgar Wright spunked the idea in a music video for Manchester, UK band Mint Royale, back in the early 2000s.
In an interview with GQ, Wright explains that he used the concept of Baby Driver in a moment of panic, as he hadn’t come up with any other ideas. “Initially I was mad at myself. I thought, I’ve burned this great idea for a movie on this video,” he says. “But then it would be something where I could always point to it and people sort of said, ‘Oh, your movie’s like Drive or your movie’s like Guardian.” I would say, ‘Well, let me refer to this video I made in 2003.'”
And here, ladies, gentleman, procrastinating office workers and unwashed, scurvy-having students, is that video, for the Mint Royale track “Blue Song”:
You have eyes, obviously. But in case you’re the kind of person who reads before they watch, the clip features Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and frequent collaborators of Wright’s, Nick Frost and Michael Smiley—who have appeared in Hot Fuzz and Spaced, respectively. And, from the very beginning, there’s an immediate sense of how this video acts as the foundation for Baby Driver.
If you have seen the film, have no intention of doing so (why are you here?!) or have no care for spoilers, then it’s perfectly acceptable to now draw a comparison between “Blue Song” and Baby Driver‘s opening scene. In one way or another, the only difference is Noel Fielding’s character existing in an era where the iPod was little more than a hallucination in Steve Jobs’ mind. And, I guess, the fact Baby speeds off into the streets of Atlanta, while Fielding’s character is likely on his way to purchase some space-dust from a man hiding behind a grey stairwell in a dark corner of London.
Having watched Baby Driver, it’s fulfilling to see everything come full circle, as there’s a scene where Baby switches through TV channels and finds himself briefly watching “Blue Song”. To any aspiring directors, creatives or whatever out there, the existence of both “Blue Song” and Baby Driver is surely a lesson in how long it may take to create your dream piece of work. Which, really, should be inspirational enough to not give up on your future after three weeks of eating 19 cent noodles, like some people do—or to never let go of an idea even when parts of it have been hurriedly used in other pieces of art.
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(Lead image via YouTube)
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