Lucky attendees at SXSW this past weekend got to see filmmaker Edgar Wright’s new work “Baby Driver” with the reviews so far being quite gushing about what’s being dubbed a ‘car chase musical’.
Ansel Elgort stars as the titular Baby, a getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus and constantly listens to music to drown out the ringing in his ears. But as he strikes up a relationship with a local waitress (Lily James), his world comes into danger of crashing down. Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey also star.
Two trailers went online over the weekend as well and Wright spoke with Empire this week to break them down. He confirms that ‘Baby’ is a skilled lip reader and understands sign language so has no problems taking in everything whilst listening to music.
Wright explains the central premise of the film and Baby’s motivation:
“He’s somebody who’s in it for the buzz more than the spoils. Baby genuinely excels at, and likes, driving fast. What the movie becomes about is the idea that Baby can’t be in crime without becoming criminal. Can this getaway driver escape himself?
The idea with the progression of the movie is that the chase at the start is the dream chase where everything goes right. And then things start to go wrong. It’s the idea of pulling away the fantasy of being a getaway driver, to the nightmare reality of it. And in this situation, Baby sees that this is not a job he wants to continue with.”
Wright is very proud of the fact that the majority of the film’s stunts are practical and avoid the “Fast and Furious” style CG trickery:
“We tried to do nearly everything for real on the roads. This is real driving. These are real stunts. And it feels like a real getaway chase in terms of the short cuts, outfoxing the police, and hairpin turns… I tried to design it like a Hong Kong movie or a musical where there’s five setpieces. I’m a big fan of setpieces that radically change, where something goes wrong and the nature of the action changes.”
The film’s soundtrack is dictated by the central character and is a key part of his element:
“One of the premises of the movie is that Baby is pretty much soundtracking the movie. Every song you hear in the movie is actually happening within the scene. And in some parts of the movie he can’t really operate properly without the right music playing.”
We have to wait a long time for the film to hit as “Baby Driver” opens in cinemas on August 11th.