Home » I Just Learned That The Cult-Classic Movie ‘Baby Driver’ Is Literally A Two-Hour Version Of A Music Video

I Just Learned That The Cult-Classic Movie ‘Baby Driver’ Is Literally A Two-Hour Version Of A Music Video

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Baby Driver is a stylish action-packed flick that engages car enthusiasts and folks who just love good entertainment. Across its 155-minute runtime, the 2017 film depicts several practically shot chase scenes in Atlanta and carries with it a believable and engaging storyline. It wasn’t until today, though, that I learned that the whole film is based on a three-minute British music video from 2002. In fact, a stamp of approval from J.J. Abrams pushed the director to make that music video into a movie. 

The action in Baby Driver kicks off with a six-minute high-stakes bank robbery and getaway. The titular character, Baby (played by Ansel Elgort), has a signature quirk — he drives while listening to his own eclectic playlist. Over the course of the first two minutes and thirty-nine seconds of the film, the direction mimics that of the music video Blue Song by Mint Royale almost shot for shot. 

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

That video features comedian Noel Fielding as the main character, a getaway driver who times his crew’s bank robbery to the Blue Song itself. Nick Frost also appears as one of the crew in the car. Synced up to one another, the two videos are almost shot-for-shot remakes, and that’s all by design says the director of both, Edgar Wright. 

Here’s what he told NME back in 2017 when Baby Driver first came out. “That is a clip from the music video for ‘Blue Song’ by Mint Royale that I directed after Spaced and before Shaun Of The Dead, which was basically a dry run for this movie.” As a nod to the music video he even includes a quick clip of it in the movie as Baby is channel surfing. 

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It turns out that Wright saw the potential for a movie soon after directing the music video. A little A-list Hollywood encouragement helped him get it over the line though. According to Entertainment Weekly, it was J.J. Abrams who pushed Wright to turn the music video concept into a feature-length film. 

““Seven years ago(2010), at the Los Angeles Film Festival, J.J. Abrams was doing a sort of career talk with me, and he specifically wanted to show the Mint Royale video,” says Wright. “Whilst we were showing it to the audience, J.J. leaned over to me and whispered, ‘You know, I think this would make a great movie.’ And I whispered back, ‘I am way ahead of you!’”

Wright had already begun to develop a script by that time and Abrams’ seal of approval gave the idea a boost. Today, it stands up as one of Wright’s most exciting films and a great blend of high-speed car chases and great music.

Anyway, just thought I’d share this given that Baby Driver is a staple in the car-enthusiast-film space What music video do you wish would get turned into a movie?

[Ed note: It cracks me up every time that Noel Fielding looks and talks, a little, like our own Thomas Hundal – MH]

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Image Credit: Baby Driver/Mint Royale, Hat tip to Nick in the Discord!

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Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
9 days ago

Hmm. At least in the past decade or two that film, Baby Driver, with Kevin Spacey, Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx, might be second only to the 2010 film Get Him To The Greek, with Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Sean Combs (P. Diddy), and Aziz Ansari for number of male leading actors whose personal lives are problematic (to say the least.)
Apparently some 95 percent of the film was shot in-camera and the shooting for the freeway sequence in the opening scene had to be done within 8 hours because they couldn’t shut down I-85 in Atlanta; the stunt coordinators used Matchbox cars to help plan the shoot just prior to the filming: https://www.inverse.com/article/33512-how-baby-driver-did-car-stunts-edgar-wright-george-miller-ansel-elgort
Pretty impressive, problematic cast notwithstanding.

MikuhlBrian
MikuhlBrian
9 days ago

Another really great thing about this movie, and especially in the opening chase scene, is the editing. Everything is cut to the beat of the music. All of the scene cuts happen on the beat. Every bit of action; opening of doors, slamming of trunk, firing of shot guns, traffic lights changing, windshield wipers, vehicle collisions, is done on the timing of the music. Even some of the visuals mimic the music. For example, at 3:05 in this clip as the WRX is being chased by the cops you hear a fast snare drum… at the same time the WRX speeds past a row of trees… the visual of the trees is exactly with the snare drum… and then the cop car passes the same trees… to the same sound of the snare drum.

https://youtu.be/6XMuUVw7TOM?t=184

It is really well done and really adds to the movie in a way that most people don’t really get.

A lot of the movies action scenes are shot and edited this way.

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
9 days ago
Reply to  MikuhlBrian

Oh yeah, the little attention to details like that are what really make Baby Driver great. Like, in nearly every scene that doesn’t have music playing there’s a slight ringing from Baby’s tinnitus.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
10 days ago

I got excited for the movie precisely because it was based on this video, which I’d known for many years as it is included in The Mighty Boosh DVD box set. Decent song too, although I never cared much for Mint Royale. I was excited just for the tenuous Mighty Boosh connection, if we’re being honest.

The movie has some cool stuff, you can tell Edgar Wright is trying to make something of it, but there’s some very bad writing in there that makes it silly beyond comprehension at times. Still a fun watch, especially if you go in ready to laugh at some supposedly emotional scenes and can supress your gag reflex every time Kevin Spacey appears.

Gubbin
Gubbin
9 days ago

It’s too bad you can’t really do the giant cellphone gag anymore.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
10 days ago

How the hell can a movie, that just came out be a cult classic?

Oh, 2017… 7 years old. Well to me it seemed like it had just come out…

Like our great leader, Chairman Pao, I myself have also passed the half century lifespan, so that whole time thing is becoming a bit fuzzy I guess 😉

Has many advantages too: Just bought a 1991 VW T4 Eurovan, and to me it seems so modern and quiet and hi tech 😀

Last edited 10 days ago by Jakob K's Garage
10001010
10001010
10 days ago

I expected Richmond to be listening to Cradle of Filth. It changed his life ya know.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
10 days ago
Reply to  10001010

“We’re just like you really, except that we listen to Cradle of Filth.”

Outofstep
Outofstep
10 days ago
Reply to  10001010

“Richmond is out of his room! He’s not in his room! He’s supposed to be in his room! What is he doing out of his room?!”

Tim Cushing
Tim Cushing
10 days ago

I bounced off this movie. Hard. And I’m the kind of guy who will hand out extra points to bad movies if their soundtracks are good enough (see also: Cool World, Showgirls) and will *always* value style over substance (Night Watch/Day Watch [the Russian ones], Lucky Number Slevin, both Sin City films). And yet, this felt like something someone thought was cool when they were 22 and living in the year of our lord 1986 but somehow got it made in 2017 without any alterations.

It had the elements I like but always felt like someone trying to be cool rather than just having the confidence to *believe* it was cool. And that’s the difference between the things I love (listed above) and this flick.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
10 days ago
Reply to  Tim Cushing

The biggest problem with it is that there are superior entries in the genre.

Sure, Drive is fantastic, but what really rules is Walter Hill’s The Driver from 1979. It’s so lean and mean it puts movies like this to same. “Go home.”

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
10 days ago
Reply to  Tim Cushing

Star for the Cool World reference. What a soundtrack.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
10 days ago
Reply to  Tim Cushing

Yeah, the movie just felt lacking. I never watched it in theaters, but I wanted to. I finally got around to watching it a year or two ago and I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was lacking. But you’re right; it’s like a 1986 movie that was shot today.

Plus, for driving being such a central part to the movie, outside of the first scene, the driving was meh. Heck, even that first driving scene was more about a few clever driving maneuvers than it was about a cool driving scene.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
10 days ago

For another bit of Mint Royale/car-related movie coolness, the underrated (but with an amazing soundtrack) Vanilla Sky uses From Rushholme with Love for that terrific scene where Tom Cruise abandons a Ferrari GTO in the middle of an eerily empty Times Square.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jack Trade
Tim Cushing
Tim Cushing
10 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

From Rusholme With Love is a goddamn classic

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
10 days ago

Apart from the one small fact a Mk2 Ford Granada is orders of magnitude cooler than a fucking WRX.

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
10 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I do appreciate him cleaning the bird droppings off the bonnet, even though the clearcoat is absolutely rooted

Phuzz
Phuzz
7 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

With the grandad-spec beaded seat cover no less.
(The only person I ever knew who had one was my grandad, so they always remind me of him)

TheNewt
TheNewt
10 days ago

Found the Baby Driver soundtrack on vinyl recently. It is eclectic, but a great listen.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
10 days ago

Umm…
https://youtu.be/z9wMhudMfi0?si=kBbd7hOdUlVdwsxB

Or maybe just 3 hours of Radar Love and driving at night in LA?

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Fantastic, great visuals, lots to take in, and a great example of how AI art has no true understanding of what it is doing.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
10 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Well, my cameras, my paint brushes, and most of my electric guitars have no idea what they’re doing. I do have a couple electric guitars that seem vaguely possessed in a rather pleasant way, but they certainly don’t know what they’re doing.

I’ve also been messing around with what they used to call travisty generators since the late 1980s, and I can assure you that saying AI does not know what it’s doing vastly overestimates AI, not only does it not know what it’s doing, but it’s not actually doing anything.

In terms of art, it’s pretty much a tool/toy for surrealism.

I have to admit it has some real potential for finding novel, molecules and drugs.

Mondestine
Mondestine
9 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

“I have to admit it has some real potential for finding novel, molecules and drugs.”
Remember that that type of AI has been around for years and has become incredibly important in medicine and science research. If science ever ends up actually finding a cure for HIV AIDS, various cancers, or even manges to find another habitable planet out in the cosmos, it will be likely because of machine learning’s ability to sort through pools of information that would otherwise take humans centuries.
But that type of AI is not “generative AI”, which has become all the rage recently, is a complete disaster, and which has unfortunately become shorthand to the public as basically the singular face of ALL ai.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
9 days ago
Reply to  Mondestine

I agree. Visual Generative AI is sort of a neat parlor trick where, as I understand it, someone took the tools and data generated to get machines to describe things in plain language to build some other tools that could identify what a picture was of and use that information to remove visual noise based on what the identified objects looked like statistically. From there, it was pretty simple to skip the image, identifying part and feed the system some random noise, tell the system what the random noise was supposed to be a picture of, and then just let the system remove the noise until it came up with an image that could be described With the description that you had given .

It’s really a very cool trick Especially considering that most of the work wasn’t originally done for the purpose of generating images of sexy rabbit robots in flying saucers, battling squid in space, just to pick an example.

Text generating generative AI is similar if somewhat simpler. The thing I find interesting/funny is that the people that are trying to sell this is being a useful tool talk about what they call hallucinations as though they were a problematic artifact when in fact, the hallucinations are the entire point. Its all hallucinations.

Generative AI does a very fine simulation of an erudite self educated sociopath, with better than average grammar and spelling. Sort of like the unibomber or William Buckley or those guys that write up business plans in their basement, but thousands of them. I think that might be a bad idea.

But sexy rabbit robots in flying saucers, battling squid in space? Sure!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Well, that was a fun ride. Like watching Heavy Metal on acid: you can’t quite process all of it. He did one to White Rabbit as well.

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
10 days ago

Welcome back, Rivers!

I’d heard of the music video, but never watched it before. I like how Noel Fielding’s character starts raising suspicion and has to dig through pre-prepared excuses for parking there!

Jeff Gorvette
Jeff Gorvette
10 days ago

Another fun Baby Driver fact is that the Subaru in the opening sequence was originally supposed to be a Corolla since it would be more practical and blend into traffic, but the publisher thought that was boring so they went with the WRX.

I wish we could get a 1:1 remake of this movie with the two lead roles recasted to decent people.

Mondestine
Mondestine
10 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Gorvette

Yeah….that aspect of it all is a real bummer. Its still wild to think that this movie was released just before the floodgates opened on Spacey. Plus if I remember correctly, Bernthal has talked about how he was a complete POS on set, not related directly to anything that has happened, but just as a human being – just a toxic bully who made everyone miserable.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
10 days ago
Reply to  Mondestine

Don’t characters that are toxic bullies who make everyone miserable need to be played by toxic bullies who make everyone miserable?

Mondestine
Mondestine
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

I suppose there is some irony that Spacey is the one who is Baby’s mentor/father figure and an all-around good dude (As far as crime lords go), while Bernthal and Hamm, seemingly two decent human beings, are the psychos.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
10 days ago
Reply to  Mondestine

About Jon Hamm seeming like a decent human being… He was arrested after a hazing incident in college where he allegedly beat a fraternity pledge and set him on fire. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/10/report-jon-hamm-star-of-mad-men-was-arrested-in-collge-for-brutally-hazing-another-student/

Mondestine
Mondestine
10 days ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

I hadn’t seen that before. Jesus Christ.
Not really sure what to say about that, other than it’s eerily a real life version of something that Dee Reynolds literally did in Always Sunny (She set her roommate on fire in college).
And on that note, that’s enough internet for me today!

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
9 days ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

Oh, geez, that article actually sugarcoats what Jon Hamm did and doesn’t include the full details about the nature and extent of the harm that classmate suffered at the hands of Hamm. As far as I know, to this day Hamm has never issued an actual apology and has yet to express any remorse for what he did even as that classmate has lifelong medical problems because of him. I’m given to understand that nowadays interviewers are admonished against asking Hamm about all that. Good grief.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
10 days ago
Reply to  Mondestine

But on the positive side, it was also, IIRC, one of the first movies where we got to see that Jon Hamm could do more than just Don Draper.

Mondestine
Mondestine
10 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

My God Hamm is so f*cking good in that movie. Just pure and utter psycho

Mondestine
Mondestine
10 days ago
Reply to  Mondestine

Seriously, Hamm’s scene in the diner is just a master class of mustache twirling villainy. He’s completely lost everything important to his life at this point and just wants to drag Baby to hell with him. God DAMN Jon Hamm is such a good actor.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=baUMaa7VQIc

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
10 days ago
Reply to  Mondestine

I’ve always thought his whole performance exuded that same calm dangerousness that Steve McQueen brought to The Getaway.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Gorvette

Why? What’s wrong with Ansel Elgort?

Bings

Ooooh, yeah, I see what you’re talking about

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
10 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Gorvette

And a serious re-writing. Some really badly written stuff in this movie. You know what could be excellent though? A 2D animated version.

A. Barth
A. Barth
10 days ago

“That is a clip from the music video for ‘Blue Song’ by Mint Royale that I directed after Spaced and before Shaun Of The Dead, which was basically a dry run for this movie.”

You may also remember Edgar Wright and Nick Frost from such films as Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. They – along with Shaun of the Dead – formed the celebrated Cornetto Trilogy.

Maymar
Maymar
10 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

The World’s End also had a scruffy Mk2 Granada!

Phuzz
Phuzz
7 days ago
Reply to  A. Barth

If you liked those films, go watch Spaced, it’s the series they all made together before Shaun.

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