That well-travelled ambassador of British geek culture, Mr. Simon Pegg, is currently back here in Blighty, filming A Fantastic Fear of Everything, the debut feature from Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell.
Indeed, as this story is published – thanks to the magic of planning ahead – I'll be on the film's set down at Shepperton, and hopefully speaking with some of the talent involved and seeing what it is they have planned.
But why should I have all of the fun? I thought this would be the perfect time to share what I've learned about the film in the last few days.
So, here's the first image from the film's set that I was able to find, from the Kula Shaker website. Crispian Mills was the front man of that band, and it seems the site is still intent on keeping their fans up to date on what he's busy with.
From the same site, a statement from Crispian:
Once upon a time, long, long, ago… I said I was going to make a movie. Very happy to finally be filming 'A Fantastic Fear of Everything' with such an amazing cast (Simon Pegg, Clair Higgins, Amara Karan, Paul Freeman, and Sheridan Smith), shooting at Shepperton studios. Will know film website shortly and promise to send some pictures and news soon x
Paul Freeman, who is probably best known for playing Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark but who I particularly enjoyed as Moriarty in Without A Clue, was not on the previously announced cast roster, so consider him a nice bonus.
There's a listing for the project on the Keel Films website, including a longer synopsis than the one we previously had. Here's the full thing – though you may consider it to contain too much information, despite a lack of big spoilers, and want to skip it.
Jack is alone for Christmas. A former children's author, now turned crime novelist, Jack spends his nights pacing about, entrenched in his latest script 'Decades of Death' with only his gruesome research into Victorian serial killers for company.
A sensitive artist, who lacks even the simple courage to buy his own toilet paper, this research into all the most notorious hackers and poisoners of the late 19th century has made him paranoid and insomniac. Jack starts carrying a carving knife around with him due to 'an irrational fear of being murdered' and begins to suspect everybody he meets, from the waiter in the restaurant, to the newspaper vendor, to the friendly local ASBO hoodies. But when Jack is thrown a life-line by his long-suffering agent and a mysterious Hollywood executive takes a sudden and inexplicable interest in his script, what should be his 'big break' rapidly turns into his 'big breakdown', as Jack is forced to confront his worst fears; among them, love, laundry, and, serial killers.
It's because of his agent's unprecedented request that he 'look smart' for the big meeting, that Jack's career now rests precariously on his ability to tackle his irrational fear of launderettes. However, Jack soon has to deal with far more than the simple embarrassment of exposing his own soiled load in public. Harangued by the ghost of his ex-wife, and guided by the sage-like counsel of his psychotherapist (who once cured a girl of her phobia of open bananas), Jack makes his fateful 'trip downtown', taking him through the shadowy dystopia of a modern Noir London and onto the bright neon lights of the Lotus Laundromat, where his inability to operate a washing machine, (and the unfortunate fact that he's still carrying a carving knife), triggers a series of unexpected events bringing him face to face with real danger, real crime, real fear, and even reality TV; involving an encounter with the most beautiful girl in London, a highly embarrassing personal injury, a bruising encounter with the strong arm of the law, and ultimately an unexpected fight for his life at the hands of a real serial killer…
Note the laundrette in the set image above.
Even while it might be some months before I can tell you much about my set visit today, there's bound to be more on Fantastic Fear before long. Keep 'em peeled.