Entertainment Weekly senior writer Clark Collis’ first book is You’ve Got Red on You: How Shaun of the Dead Was Brought to Life, an anecdote-packed, 424-page look at the making of the 2004 horror-comedy. Collis interviewed dozens of Shaun of the Dead cast and crew members for the project, including director Edgar Wright, producer Nira Park, actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Bill Nighy, Lucy Davis, and Coldplay singer Chris Martin, as well as many of the extras who played zombies in the film. All helped to tell the story of Shaun of the Dead, from its origins as a back-of-a-taxi idea concocted by co-writers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg to the movie’s current status as a globally-beloved pop culture phenomenon. The book also includes commentary from many of the movie’s well-known fans including directors Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, and Zack Snyder, and Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero.
The Shaun of the Dead team initially struggled to find financial backing for the movie as executives rejected the script’s mix of horror, romance, and sharp British wit. The film was eventually green-lit on a relatively small budget and after a grueling shoot in London, would become a bona fide box office hit and cult classic. Shaun launched the big screen careers of nearly everyone involved, including director Edgar Wright, stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and producer Nira Park. Wright and producer Park have two films releasing in 2021 alone, the music documentary The Sparks Brothers and the psychological thriller Last Night in Soho, while Pegg will soon be seen reprising the role of Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible 7.
“Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite films and I thought I knew everything there was to know about it,” says author Collis. “I couldn’t have been more wrong. You’ve Got Red on You is full of never-before-heard tales of behind-the-scenes struggles, battles, and near-disasters. But it’s also the story of how a bunch of mates made their dream movie about people fighting zombies in a London pub and discovered that dream was embraced by audiences all around the world. I hope people have as much of a blast reading it as I did writing it.”
On Tuesday, October 19, 1984 Publishing will release You’ve Got Red on You in limited first edition deluxe hardcover packaging that includes red foil gilded page edges, foil cover treatment, and a black satin ribbon marker. Packaging is by HagCult (Mayra Fersner), who previously has worked on official merchandise for Vampira and Halloween. “Designing the cover as a wrap-around to showcase Shaun’s iconic work shirt and red tie was a fun way to create imagery that is instantly recognizable by fans of the film,” says Fersner.
The tome also includes over 70 storyboards, handwritten brainstorming notes by Pegg and Wright, and candid photographs. Most were sourced directly from the cast and crew’s personal archives.
The limited first edition of You’ve Got Red on You will debut worldwide on October 19
anywhere books are sold, including your local bookstore, Amazon or Barnes & Noble in the US, and Amazon or Waterstones in the UK. Wholesale inquiries should be made to Ingram.
Clark Collis is a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly magazine in New York. He grew up in Edgar Wright’s home town of Wells and, like the director, is a former employee of Wookey Hole Caves. Collis went to Cambridge University and studied history.
HagCult (Mayra Fersner) is an illustrator and designer based in Knoxville, TN who specializes in cult cinema and horror. She has worked with several licensed properties such as Vampira, Tura Satana, and Halloween. Mayra grew up in Los Angeles and studied at Otis College of Art and Design.