In recent years Simon Pegg, the multi-talented British actor/writer who has become a hero to geeks everywhere thanks to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, has been balancing out roles in big-budget Hollywood blockbusters like Star Trek and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with smaller and odder films like Paul and Burke and Hare. Most of Pegg’s fans tend to forget that he started his career in wonderfully out there British television series like Asylum, Big Train, and of course Spaced – the cult classic comedy he created with Edgar Wright and Jessica Hynes. Now that Pegg is a bonafide star and confirmed good luck charm for any franchise that wants to employ his talents (even the Ice Age movies), he has the clout to make darker, riskier films where he can do more than deliver funny lines with that priceless British comic timing of his.
Such a movie is Pegg’s latest, A Fantastic Fear of Everything, and the movie now has a trailer. You can watch it here below.
The directorial debut of Crispian Mills (who also wrote the screenplay) and Chris Hopewell, A Fantastic Fear of Everything tells the story of Jack (Pegg), a children’s book writer who dreams of genuine respectability and sets about writing a Victorian-era murder mystery. During the research stage he is forced to confront his crippling array of phobias, a damaged childhood, finding true love, getting shot by the cops, and a laundrette with the help of an oddball psychiatrist (Paul Freeman, who co-starred in Hot Fuzz and is best known for playing the villainous Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark). Clare Higgins (Hellraiser) and Amara Karan (The Darjeeling Limited) co-star.
The tone and imagery of this trailer brings to mind the films of Michel Gondry, Terry Gilliam, and Wes Anderson. Since I love all three of those filmmakers I take this as a good omen. Pegg and the directors look to be playing in some very thematically dark territory from which no easy laughs can be mined, but if they pull this one off their movie could be making a few “Best of 2012” lists come year’s end.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything doesn’t have a U.S. release date yet, but it will open in the U.K. on June 8, 2012.