Jamie Foxx would often stay and watch Kevin Spacey's scenes, even when he wasn't in the scene. Foxx says it's nice to have the opportunity to watch great artists performing their roles. He claims he watches a lot of foreign movies and independent movies as well, and said he'd love to watch Allan Miller performing a theater play or even a music concert in USA, as Foxx considers Alan Miller "an amazingly talented kid who became a breathtaking adult actor" (Foxx's own words).
The Mike Myers masks actually were supposed to be the masks of Michael Myers from the Halloween series but the producers were unable to obtain legal permission. Edgar Wright then reached out to the comedian Mike Myers about using masks of his likeness instead, who thought the scene was funny and gave his blessing.
In an introduction from Edgar Wright, he revealed that there was little to no CGI or green screen used to film the car chase sequences. The driving is all practically done.
The character Joseph was originally written to be much older, around the mid-80s. CJ Jones (who plays Joseph, a deaf character) was discovered and recommended by casting director Francine Maisler. Jones is deaf in real life; Ansel Elgort had to learn sign language to communicate with him.
The tracking shot in the beginning of the movie where Baby gets coffee took 28 takes. The 21st take is the one used in the movie.
The extensive collection of sunglasses and iPods that Baby owns were not bought by him; they were taken from cars he stole. In an interview, Edgar Wright said: 'If he has been stealing cars since he was 12, the main thing he would have inherited from these stolen cars are people's sunglasses and iPods.'
Jon Hamm's role was written for him, and he is the only actor from the first table read to end up in the final film.
In almost every scene where no music is playing, you can hear a slight ringing in the background (the sound of Baby's tinnitus).
Whenever Edgar Wright had Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey in the same shot, he would whisper to a colleague: "Double Oscar shot!"
According to Edgar Wright, each script sent to the main actors that are wanted for their respective roles includes an Ipod that contains list of songs that is to be played (arranged in specific order) while reading a particular scene for the movie in order to emphasize the tone.
When Baby is flipping through the channels near the beginning of the film, several lines of dialogue from different movies can be heard ("you are so beautiful," "they grow up so freaking fast," "how's that working out for you?" and "we're partners. There's nothing that matters to me more than our friendship"). Each one of these lines appears later in the film as a line of dialogue.
On the first day of filming, Jamie Foxx watched Jon Hamm on the monitor and uttered to himself "he handsome."
Edgar Wright had been sitting on this idea for a film for many years. His first use of it was a music video he directed for British electronic duo Mint Royale and their track "Blue Song". The video stars Noel Fielding as a music-loving getaway driver for a group of bank robbers, one of whom is Wright's regular Nick Frost. A clip from the video is featured in the film when channels are being flipped through on the television in Baby's apartment.
Barbra Streisand's experience with tinnitus was the basis for a scene in the movie where Jamie Foxx's character is required to say, "Do I look like I know a f*cking thing about Barbra f*cking Streisand?" Knowing Barbra is close friends with Jamie in real life (who knew?), Edgar was worried about how she would react. Jamie's response to Edgar's worries was "Barbra's gangsta." In 2016 Jamie Foxx sang a duet with Streisand on her ENCORE album.
Emma Stone was originally sought to play Debora, but dropped out to make La La Land (2016).
In a recent interview with THR ( The Hollywood Reporter) Edgar Wright explains why Baby (Ansel Egort) doesn't use smartphones for his music and calls. It's because modern day technology like smartphones can be tracked, so by using burners and iPods, Baby can stay off the grid.
The first R-rated movie to be given permission to show footage from a Disney film (Monsters, Inc. (2001)). Pete Docter, the director of "Monsters, Inc.", is given a 'special thanks' credit as a result.
When Edgar Wright wanted Ansel Elgort to be more stern in a shot, he used the code words "Man Driver!" He taught him the "Kubrick look" by showing Ansel a picture on his phone of Malcolm McDowell in character in A Clockwork Orange (1971).
During the opening credits, when Baby is going to get coffee and listening to "Harlem Shuffle," lyrics to the song can be seen on graffiti, signs, and posters as he passes them.
Baby and Debora are frequently dressed in black and white. In an interview, Ansel Elgort said it was to contrast with the other characters and to give their love story a more timeless feel.
This film is named after Simon & Garfunkel's song "Baby Driver" from their 1970 album "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The song appears in the film during the end credits.
In the restaurant scene, Doc is seen talking to Big Boi (of Outkast) and Killer Mike (of Run the Jewels). They also contribute a song to the film's soundtrack.
Edgar Wright started to work on this film in 1995, but didn't finish the script until 2011, and the film until 2017. However, he received the advance for it in 2007. He introduced the world premiere of the film at SXSW by thanking his producer for not suing him for this.
Worried he would lose communications link with his actors or cameras, Edgar Wright had himself strapped to the shooting car, rather than being in a follow car. Jon Hamm joked that he had to perform while looking at a "sunburnt muppet" flopping about - referring to Edgar.
A song is played in the background of nearly every scene in the film. Also, whenever a song plays in 4/4 rhythm, a shot almost always cuts in one of the four beats.
There are multiple references to the "Back to the Future Trilogy" with Kevin Spacey's character named "Doc" (Back to the Future) and Jon Bernthal's character is named "Griff" (Back to the Future Part II). Flea, the bass player from Red Hot Chili Peppers, who played the character "Needles" in Back to the Future Parts II & III plays a small role in this film as "Eddie." The character "Doc" in the film also mentions a past job called "The Spirit of 85" (referencing the Atlanta freeway I-85), which is the year the first Back to the Future was released (1985).
When Doc plans the heist for Bats, Eddie, and JD, his dialogue can't be heard over Baby's music. The dialogue is present in the trailer, however, because Edgar Wright thought it deserved to be heard in that context.
Originally set in LA, the film was finally shot in Atlanta. Other cities with tax incentives were ruled out as being too cold or fell through at the last minute. Wright had local writers and location scouts help him rewrite the film to make it authentically Atlanta.
The opening credits use a one take shot of Baby walking to buy coffee and then walking back, reminiscent of the famous opening of Shaun of the Dead (2004), where Shaun walks to the shop and then back home in one shot (which is later repeated once the zombie outbreak has begun).
In early 2017, director Edgar Wright tweeted Meryl Streep's in our movie!' After he quickly deleted it, many people speculated whether or not Streep was in the film. While she doesn't appear in the film itself, Streep does appear on a TV screen while Baby is flipping through channels in a clip from It's Complicated (2009).
During his interview on the Nerdist Podcast, Edgar Wright admitted to putting a bunch of Easter eggs in this film. He told Chris Hardwick one of the cars has a license plate that's represents the release date of another one of his films.
Director of Photography Bill Pope called the movie "a postmodern musical." Stating that "there's not singing and dancing in the street but the world acts to music."
All of the driving scenes were accomplished without the aid of visual effects or CGI.
In keeping with the musical theme of the film, singers and musicians make appearances throughout. In addition to the already-mentioned Big Boi and Killer Mike appearance, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Academy Award-winning songwriter Paul Williams appear in small roles. Jamie Foxx plays a major role.
During promotion, Edgar Wright jokingly referred to the film as part of a Simon and Garfunkel Cinematic Universe along with Marc Webb's The Only Living Boy in New York (2017). Both films are named after Simon and Garfunkel songs.
Michael Douglas was considered for the role of Doc. Edgar Wright was responsible for his casting as Hank Pym in Ant-Man (2015) before Wright left the project.
DIRECTOR CAMEO: Edgar Wright is seen reflected in the music shop window during the first coffee run. Wright said on Twitter he was following the shot and planned to remove the reflection in post, but decided to leave it in.
The studio requested that the scene in which Baby mispronounces the band, T-Rex as "Trex" be cut from the film because it made the character sound dumb, though Edgar Wright refused.
Blues rock singer Jon Spencer, whose song "Bellbottoms" is used in the first robbery, plays a jail guard.
When Edgar Wright began writing the script, he only had ten songs to start with. The final film had thirty, according to the published playlist. The song Smokey Joe's La La was a very late replacement for the B. Bumble and the Stingers' Nut Rocker during post-production as after several test screenings Wright felt that "it started to get on his tits" that he re-shot part of that scene. Also, Easy by The Commodores was included after Ansel Elgort was cast as Wright found out during audition that it was one of the songs that Elgort knows very well and could sing / lip sync. That moment won him the title role.
During the casting process, the actors were sent a playlist of songs and were asked to play the music while reading the script.
The studio pressured Edgar Wright to cut the foot chase scene because the movie was starting to go over-budget. Wright deferred a portion of his directing fee to ensure the scene was completed.
The song "Easy" by The Commodores was requested for the movie by Ansel Elgort after Edgar Wright asked him if there were any songs he knew by heart.
One of the red Subaru WRX used in the film was given to Ansel Elgort for his birthday after he pleaded with the filmmakers to give him the car after filming had wrapped up.
As this movie is filmed in Atlanta and Edgar Wright added many touches to make it authentically Atlantan, when the Bo's Diner chef answers the phone and says "what'll ya have?," this is most likely a reference to the famous Atlanta diner The Varsity, where the employees take your order by asking "what'll ya have?"
The diner was the only set built for the movie, everything else was filmed on location.
This is the first time since A Fistful of Fingers (1995) that Edgar Wright is the sole credited writer on one of his films.
Bats names three titles that are considered "hex songs:" The Guns N' Roses cover of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," The Eagles' "Hotel California," and Boyz II Men's "End of the Road." "Knockin'" was based on a superstition held by an ex-convict that Edgar Wright interviewed, where he said that a robbery gig would be called off if the song is played over the radio prior to executing the plan. "Hotel California" is one of the songs that in real-life Jamie Foxx absolutely detests (he ad-libbed that line). While there has yet to be an explanation for End of the Road, it highlights the complicated relationship between Baby and Debora throughout the film that he was forced to drop things for Doc's heists.
One of the film's technical consultants was Joe Loya, who served a seven year prison sentence for bank robbery in the early 90s.
Doc's car, the Mercedes Benz S550, had to have its computer systems modified for the chase scenes since the car is engineered to correct itself when it goes out of control.
Partially filmed in Juliette, Georgia, the same area that Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) was filmed. The Whistle Stop Cafe is still in business there.
Edgar Wright got the idea for Doc to bring his "nephew" while scoping out a bank after interviewing a real ex-con who revealed that he did just that prior to a robbery.
Edgar Wright generally doesn't allow improv on his sets, though he did make a few exceptions this time, namely for Jamie Foxx.
Chloë Grace Moretz was once attached to this project. She later dropped out of this film and The Little Mermaid (2018), among others.
Wright was insistent on filming most of the chase scenes in the daylight because it created an "extra air of collision tension."
Ansel Elgort had been trained in ballet and other forms of dance since childhood, a skill which proved to be useful for the musically choreographed action scenes.
Director Edgar Wright once parked his car in a parking lot, only to realize that, by complete coincidence, the car next to him had a stylized "BABY ON BOARD" sign, with Baby's (Ansel Elgort) face taken from the movie poster. Wright left a note on the car's windshield that read "From the director of Baby Driver, I approve!!!", complete with autograph.
The mural with the trumpet player seen in the title scene was painted by local artists in Atlanta after being requested by director Edgar Wright.
According to Edgar Wright, many people thought that the diner set was a real restaurant and occasionally groups would enter and sit down to have lunch.
Edgar Wright directly reached out to hip hop artists Big Boi and Killer Mike for cameo appearances in the film.
Both Ansel Elgort and Jon Hamm received a month of driving training to prepare for the extensive and elaborate chase scenes in the movie.
The car seen at the start of the film (Red 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX) is the same model of car seen at the ending of Edgar Wright's 2007 film Hot Fuzz.
During the second robbery, the characters wear Austin Powers masks from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). The song that plays during this sequence, "Neat Neat Neat" by The Damned, features the lyrics 'be a man, kinda a mystery man.'
For research purposes, Edgar Wright interviewed ex-convicts while writing the movie.
Edgar Wright initially came up with the idea for Baby Driver while listening to the song "Bellbottoms" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey are the fifth and sixth Academy Award winning celebrities featured in an Edgar Wright movie. Jim Broadbent, Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson were in Hot Fuzz (2007). Brie Larson was in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010).
A frequent issue the filmmakers encountered was finding copious amounts of leaves all over the streets of Atlanta. They often opted to shoot in urban settings in order to avoid them.
When star Ansel Elgort was given the script, it was given to him on an iPad with emojis that played music for their relevant scenes.
Over 40 streets in Atlanta were closed over the course of the production to film the movie's elaborate chase scenes.
In a scene featuring Baby's home audio rig, you can see an album cover of the Incredible Bongo Band's record Bongo Rock. One of the songs on this album, Apache, became famous for being used for mixing by pioneering hip hop deejay Kool Herc in the seventies. In fact most people consider him one of the first people to mix and scratch records to create new songs. The Apache break-sample is still used today. Thus the album cover can be seen as a reference to the early pioneers of mixing, being the predecessors of Baby.
During one robbery, the group wear Austin Powers masks. Kevin Spacey played Dr. Evil in the movie-within-a-movie "Austinpussy" in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002).
Ansel Elgort was in the shortlist of actors to play Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off. In most scenes of this movie, he wears the black jacket with the white sleeves similar to Han Solo's outfit.
Writer/Director Edgar Wright and star Ansel Elgort bonded over their mutual love of music.
In reference to the character of Doc, director Edgar Wright described him as "like one of those awful father figures who can be great in rare moments."
During the studio logos, you can hear a slight whine that resembles Baby's tinnitus.
Costume designer Courtney Hoffman suggested giving Deborah beat-up boots to show that "she's not committed to this life of being a waitress and can take off anytime."
Discounting Basic Instinct (1992), which was produced by Carolco, and District 9 (2009), which was released while the Tri-Star brand was used part-time, this is Tri-Star Pictures' highest-grossing production as a full-time studio since Hook (1991).
Fellow director and friend of Edgar Wright, Robert Rodriguez, suggested Eiza Gonzales for the role of Darling.
During one scene where Baby is flicking through channels a short clip from Blue song by Mint Royale is shown. Edgar Wright directed this music video and has stated this is where he practiced the opening scene to Baby Driver.
The Mercedes-Benz S550 driven by Doc was supplied by Mercedes-Benz; all of them used were destroyed and scrapped by the time filming wrapped.
Multiple actors auditioned for the role of Baby's foster father, Joseph, but CJ Jones was the only one who auditioned that was actually deaf.
Despite Edgar Wright insisting on using less CGI, visual effects company Double Negative provided around 450 VFX shots, mostly for clean-up, digital cars, background objects and combining practical shots.
According to production designer Marcus Rowland, the 50s themed diner where Debora works was converted from an abandoned Denny's.
A few 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX was used in the film with varying modifications to the car. Some of them were a stock WRX STI that had its spoiler swapped for a conservative WRX versions and another featured modifications with over 320 horsepower, a heavier clutch, and differentials from an STI. One of the cars was an automatic with seat and controls fitted to the roof to enable the crew to film the actors "driving," without them having to worry about actually controlling the car. Another, a WRX with a modest power boost up to the high 200-horsepower range and converted to rear-wheel drive was considered by it's stunt driver, Jeremy Fry, as his favorite to drive.
The collection of vinyl records in Joe's apartment hints that he may have been passionate about music prior to losing his hearing.
When Baby tunes in the Golden Earring song "Radar Love", the car he is in is painted the color Radar Purple.
During the action scenes of the final heist, two songs from Dutch bands are played. The first is Hocus Pocus by Focus, the second Radar Love by Golden Earring.
Costume designer Courtney Hoffman had Ansel Elgort try on 80 different jackets before settling on a look for Baby.
This film drew inspiration from The Driver (1978), Raising Arizona (1987), The Blues Brothers (1980), and Riding Bean (1989).
During the opening credits, title sequence, and song, some of the graffiti in the background of the scene perfectly matches up with the song lyrics.
Baby's first walk to get coffee (to "Harlem Shuffle") takes him out of the Healy Building on Forsyth St NW, around the first corner left into Poplar St NW, then to a coffee shop at the corner with Fairlie St NW. Several real landmarks can still be seen on Google Maps (such as Sidebar Bar), while other elements (such as the graffiti and the ATM) were obviously added by filmmakers.
The character, Bats, gets annoyed when asked if he knew about Barbra Streisand, though in reality Jamie Foxx is close friends with her.
Edgar Wright stated that the movie, The Driver (1978), was a major inspiration for Baby Driver.
The action scenes posed an interesting challenge for the filmmakers as they were timed to the music to which Baby was listening.
Three Oscar winners are featured in this movie, Kevin Spacey (who won two awards, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Usual Suspects and Best Actor in a Leading Role for American Beauty), Jamie Foxx (Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ray), and Paul Williams (Best Original Song for A Star is Born).
15 Dodge Chargers were supplied by Dodge in addition to a Challenger; by the time filming had wrapped, all but two were destroyed. 2 Chevrolet Blazers was used.
One of the cars, a 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX Limited, that was used as a stunt car had a number of modifications made for the film carried out by Allpro Subaru of Alpharetta, Georgia with further modifications for filming by Doug Wilkes at DBW Motorsport. This includes a conversion to rear wheel drive, upgraded rear differentials and a turbocharger from a 2004 WRX STI It also was used in the music video for 'Chase Me" by Danger Mouse, Big Boi & Run The Jewels (containing scenes of the movie) by Subaru and Sony for its premiere in LA. It was auctioned off in August 2017 for $69,100 (enough for two brand new WRXs) via eBay despite it had "a few minor dings and scratches", had been resprayed from Crystal Gray Metallic racked up 168,000 miles on the odometer and been described as in a good condition.
Jamie Foxx was asked if Barbra Streisand would be offended by the joke made at her expense. Foxx, a friend of Babs, assured the team that she should would not, stating "Barbra's gangsta."
The song "Know How" by Young MC (Marvin Young) contains the lyrics: "It's no hocus-pocus, I'll just get you into focus." The song Hocus Pocus by Focus is also used in the movie.
Nearly all of the movie is shot on location in Atlanta, you can see in the opening walk that Doc's office is inside the Healey Building, which is in Downtown. Oddly enough, the bank in the first heist (which is not a bank in real life), is in The Candler Building, which is less than three blocks away - not even a mile by car.
The chase scene following the second heist was partially shot on State Route 9 in Atlanta, also known as the Gladys Knight Highway.
Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey were in both Horrible Bosses (2011) and Horrible Bosses 2 (2014).
One of the red Subaru WRX used in the film was given to Ansel Elgort after he pleaded with the filmmakers to give him the car after filming had wrapped up.
Writer-director Edgar Wright conceived Baby Driver in 1994; he adapted the film's original planned beginning into a 2003 music video he directed for Mint Royale's "Blue Song," which starred Noel Fielding as a music-loving getaway driver for a group of bank robbers. A clip of the music video is shown briefly in the movie as the main character flips between television channels. Emma Stone and Michael Douglas were also being eyed to be in the cast. Wright enlisted Ryan Heffington as the film's choreographer to work on the actors' timing and movements in order to sync them with the music soundtrack.
The film was originally set in Los Angeles, but was changed to Atlanta when the production moved to Georgia.
Edgar Wright began developing the story for Baby Driver shortly after wrapping production on his film, A Fistful of Fingers (1995).
In the movie The Town (2010), Jon Hamm plays an FBI agent investigating a heist. In this movie he plays a member of a heist team.
The song played on the iPod in the red charger is called Know How by Young MC off his album Stone cold rhymin. The bass line on this track is played by Flea of the Red hot chilli peppers, who was in the film early on playing a crook called Eddie on one of the jobs.
Four of the people thanked at the end of the film starred in or are otherwise connected to Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Michael Bacall played pfc Michael Zimmerman, Mike Myers played General Ed Fenech, Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the film and Robert Rodriguez's sister plays Julie LaPedite.