Edgar Wright had been wanting to make a film like Baby Driver for his entire career. A heist movie that played like a series of music videos, Baby Driver plays into Wright’s unparalleled knack for diverse needle drops and kinetic action sequences, all layered in with his signature blend of comedy and drama. Everything about Baby Driver remains eminently rewatchable (well, maybe not Kevin Spacey), and it sits among the director’s finest films.
If you want to see just how far back Wright’s ideas for Baby Driver stretch to, all you have to do is watch the music video for British electronica act Mint Royale’s 2003 single ‘Blue Song’. Directed by Wright, the video features all of the essential elements for what eventually became Baby Driver: wisecracking thieves, car shenanigans, editing specifically cut to the song’s beats and arrangement. It’s in its nascent stages, but there’s denying that the video for ‘Blue Song’ is the proof of concept for Baby Driver.
The video stars Noel Fielding, right before he landed The Mighty Boosh on the BBC, as the getaway driver for a gang of bank thieves. Not unlike Baby, Fielding uses the timing of ‘Blue Song’ to dictate when to pull away from the heist. In the interim, he gets some sweet dance moves in as he grooves to the song’s techno-soul beat. As his co-conspirators hop back in the car, he chastises them for being a few seconds late, and drives off.
A couple of great, non Baby Driver related tidbits to the video; catching Fielding right before hitting his maximum saturation point is wild, as is seeing Nick Frost and Michael Smiley, both from Wright’s by then-defunct show Spaced, and Fielding’s fellow Mighty Boosh founder Julian Barratt. Also awesome is the CD player connected to the car stereo, with Fielding’s trusty collection of CD singles ready to play at a moments notice (Baby lucked out having the convenience of his iPod). All in all, it’s quite silly to see all of these figures and features of early 2000s British comedy right before they all exploded.
Initially, Wright felt that he extinguished his idea for Baby Driver in the ‘Blue Song’ video, but looking at it today, it’s clear that only the most basic blueprint of the film is present in the music video. Not even a year after the ‘Blue Song’ video was released, Wright would put out his debut feature film a professional director, 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, kicking off one of the most celebrated careers in modern cinema.
Check out the video for ‘Blue Song’ down below.