MP: Highly. How does a person decide to do “car movie driven by music”?
EW: It’s been in my head for more than 20 years, since I listened to this song by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion called “Bellbottoms” and became obsessed. I thought, ‘This is perfect car chase music’ and started to visualize a sequence. It gave me an idea: What if there was a getaway driver who can only excel at his job with the right music playing? Then, in 2002, I did this music video for a band called Mint Royale.
MP: For “Blue Song.” EW: Yeah, exactly. What’s funny is that I was annoyed with myself at the time, because I felt like I’d burnt this great idea on a music video. Like, ‘Why did I do that?’ Then, sometime around 2010, I did this thing for the L.A. Film Festival and [Star Trek director] J.J. Abrams was interviewing me, and one of the clips he showed was “Blue Song.” We’re showing it to the audience, and he leans over and whispers, ‘This would make a great movie.’
MP: That’s awesome.
EW: Well, it became a proto-version of the opening of this movie. The music video cost like £25,000, really cheap. The joke of it is the whole thing takes place while the driver is waiting outside, because we couldn’t afford to do an actual car chase. The new movie has a similar opening, but then I got to make a massive, massive car chase after. It took 15 years, but I did it!