It’s been nearly 20 years since Edgar Wright‘s classic horror-comedy, and fans are still clamoring for a sequel. Wright himself has made it clear that Shaun of the Dead 2 just isn’t in the card. However, Simon Pegg gave a blunt response in The Guardian to audiences who continue to beg for another go around with the horror-comedy: “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–king need Shaun of the Dead 2! The last thing you need is Shaun of the Dead 2! It’s done. Move on!”
It’s clear that Pegg and Wright have no intentions of making a follow-up to their classic film. But is there a need for a Shaun of the Dead 2? Wright stated that he said everything he wanted in the 2004 feature. That was nearly 20 years ago. The culture has changed since that time period, and maybe there’s more fun commentary to be had in a sequel to Shaun of the Dead.
Has The Modern Culture Changed So Much Since 2004?
In terms of overall, yes. The style, language, film and television are not the same in modern times. On the flip side, the zombie genre isn’t that much different than it was in 2004. The zombies are still slow. Sometimes they’re fast, but it’s not much of a game changer. Though the success of The Walking Dead has shaped the current culture, the show doesn’t deviate much from the traditional zombie premise that was established by George A. Romero in 1968.
There’s nothing much for Wright to add to the conversation. This is some of the issues that Zombieland: Double Tap had. The film was solid but felt lazy and ten years too late. The sequel didn’t add a unique twist to the concept itself and faltered because of it. Shaun of the Dead flipped the concept on its head by taking a comedic approach to its grim subject matter. Not only that, but it subverted expectations with its clever script.
There’s no new ground for the sequel to cover. Shaun of the Dead 2 would ultimately feel like an unnecessary sequel. Can the film still be good? Yes, but the original film still holds up perfectly. What makes Shaun of the Dead so memorable is the fact that it turned its concept on its head. Without taking a fresh perspective on the well-worn genre, then the purpose of a sequel feels meaningless.
Can A Good Shaun of the Dead Sequel Be Truly Made?
As stated in the previous paragraph, yes. There is some fun to be had by catching up with Shaun, Liz, and zombie Ed. In fact, there could be a unique approach to telling their story in modern times. Still, the film is part satire, and there’s not much commentary left on the state of zombie films. Wright set out to make a unique trilogy of features that took a jab at multiple genres across the board.
At World’s End, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead are perfect the way they are. Taking away the satirical aspects would make the sequel lose the appeal that the original films have. Edgar Wright is a talented filmmaker to come up with something bold and original. However, if he’s telling audiences that there’s nothing left to cover, then it’s better off that we don’t get another Shaun of the Dead. It’s rare that a forced film turns out to be a great film.
Besides, there are no lingering questions that need to be answered. Shaun’s journey has been completed, and he turns out to be a better person by the time the end credits. Not every movie needs a sequel, and that’s certainly the case for Shaun of the Dead.
It’s Time To Move On From Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead will always have an important place in cinema, and fans will never (nor should they) forget it. But it’s time to move on. One of the big reasons that Hollywood is afraid to fund original features is that audiences like to be stuck with familiar properties. That’s pretty much the reason behind the huge influx of reboots and sequels. The state of mainstream films is dire, and there needs to be that burst of creative and original energy in the mainstream again. Shaun of the Dead is one of the rare timeless films. Sometimes, it’s okay when a great story ends.