'The World’s End': What Exactly IS the Cornetto Trilogy, Anyway?

Whether you’re aware of it or not, director Edgar Wright and cowriter Simon Pegg’s pub crawl/sci-fi flick The World’s End isn’t just another cinematic reunion for the duo and their mates. It’s also the closing installment in their three-movie series, dubbed the Cornetto (Three Flavours) Trilogy. Stateside, most are asking what the hell a Cornetto is and do we need three of them?

In the U.K., the Cornetto is a massively popular brand of frozen treat (akin to our Drumstick cones), which also made cameos in Wright and Pegg’s previous films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Wright admits the Cornetto has long been his go-to hangover panacea, and that’s why it showed up as slovenly Ed’s (Nick Frost) same miracle munchies in Shaun of the Dead.

In any other film, that would be the inside joke en total. But three years later, Wright and Pegg had their Hot Fuzz heroes, Nicholas Angel (Pegg) and Danny Butterman (Frost), chowing down on some cones in their cop car, and suddenly it became a lightning rod for observant critics and fans. Wright was asked if there would be a third film featuring a Cornetto moment and the director cracked wise that yes, it would be their Cornetto Trilogy.

Definitely a bass-ackwards way to plan a trilogy, but once the press and fans ran with it, so did Wright and Pegg with their latest: The World’s End. The movie reunites five childhood friends, now middle-aged, back in their hometown to attempt a long aborted, epic pub crawl that goes very wrong.

Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End each features a unique Cornetto scene and each even has its own flavor: Shaun gets strawberry for the bloody allusions, Fuzz gets copper blue (chocolate) and End features a mint green cone for the alien weirdness that ensues.

Wright and Pegg also tied together the three films by sprinkling in some subtle, and some not so subtle, Easter eggs in The World’s End to reward longtime supporters and those with eagle eyes when it comes to spotting character actors.  

If you haven’t seen The World’s End yet, stop here and stay spoiler free. Otherwise, we’ve got some things to look out for that tie the trilogy together…


Martin Freeman

Aside from Pegg and Frost, Wright made sure that actor Martin Freeman made it into The World’s End cast as he also appeared in both Shaun and Fuzz. In this installment, Freeman plays Oliver, the pretentious yuppie of the grown-up mates. 


Character flip-flops

In Shaun, Frost played Ed, the boorish, git best friend of Pegg’s Shaun. In Fuzz, they were reluctant partners turned friends. In End, Pegg is the jerk Gary while Frost’s Andy is the nice guy. However, Pegg’s characters all tend to be the planners.

Shaun of the Dead – Shaun and Ed

The World’s End – Gary and Andy



Wright also made sure they got other key repeat actors to make an appearance in End, including:

Rafe Spall:  Noel in Shaun, DC Cartwright in Fuzz and a home buyer in End.

Julia Deakin: Yvonne's mum in Shaun of the Dead, Mary Porter in Fuzz and a B&B landlady in End.

Patricia Franklin: A spinster in Shaun, Annette Roper in Fuzz and a Beehive Lady in End.

Kevin and Nick Wilson: twins who play zombies in Shaun, butchers in Fuzz and... you’ll have to see in End.


Repeat gags

Wright and Pegg like to repeat some of their best gags framed in new ways, so keep an eye out for these repeat themes:

Unexpected Reveals:

Shaun of the Dead – Is She Drunk?


Pubs That Breed Violence:

Shaun of the Dead

Hot Fuzz

The World’s End


When No One Knows What’s Going on… Ask, “What Are You Doing?” 

Pegg Jumping a Fence:


Watch Wright, Pegg and Frost talk about the trilogy's origins:


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