Baby Driver's main protagonist is a getaway driver who lives and breathes for his iPod playlist. Although he and his passengers are escaping from the clutches of the law, Ansel Elgort's character uses the melody of the music to guide his path to safety on the road.
This might not be the exact narrative from a music video that director Edgar Wright helmed in 2002, but it laid the foundation for a title that has enthralled audiences and critics around the world. Speaking with The Playlist about his history of meshing music with visuals, the Englishman offered an insight into his inspiration for Baby Driver and why it comes across as an action musical.
Wright: Mint Royale Were My Test Tube For Movie Experimen
With the 43-year old looking back on his body of work, Wright explained that Baby Driver has long been a passion project of his. The first thought of the concept developed more than two decades ago.
"22 years ago, I was 21, I was living in North London and I had edited my first film, but I was not in the film industry at all yet," he recalled. "I was broke, trying to figure out what to do and I listened to 'Bellbottoms' by Jon Spencer on an audio cassette of (the album) Orange, and I couldn’t stop thinking about a car chase. I just had this vision of a car chase."
Going onto secure the acting talents of Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx for the smash hit, it would be a British television personality who helped him play out a draft of the story. That would arrive via The Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding for Mont Royale's music video 'Blue Song.'
"I did a dry run about 15 years ago for this music video for Mint Royale with Noel Fielding, called 'Blue Song.' I think it’s been erroneously reported that the movie is an expansion of that video, but the truth is I already had the idea … but it’s like I had to hand in a treatment for Mint Royale. I don’t have any ideas, but maybe I can use the start of Baby Driver? So that’s why the video is very similar to the first scene, it’s a dry run."
Baby DNA Derives From Crazy Car Classics
Not satisfied with sitting back to soak up the acclaim, Wright wants to embrace his inner fan boy by showcasing some of his favorite car chase features at various events.
"I actually programmed two different seasons of movies," he remarked. "One at the BFI in the U.K. that was called Car Car Land, which is the silliest title ever. Then there’s another at BAM which starts on Friday is my season of heist movies. So I tried to put together a list of movies that inspired me. The BFI car chase one — and look there’s been a lot of amazing car chase movies recently like Mad Max: Fury Road and Bourne Supremacy and even the Bad Boys II chase is pretty amazing."
Referencing some of the best action pictures of the 21st Century, Wright would outline how some of the vintage movies would operate as a building block to make Baby Driver what it is.
"But the BFI one was specifically about movies that came out before I started directing cause I had to draw a little line there. Those ten in chronological order are: Bullitt, The Italian Job, The French Connection,Vanishing Point, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Freebie And The Bean, Smokey and the Bandit, The Driver, The Blues Brothers and To Live And Die In LA. So just in those ten movies you get the DNA of Baby Driver."
Source: The Playlist