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Why Edgar Wright Made His First Documentary About ‘The Sparks Brothers’ (Video)

Sundance 2021: The filmmaker tells TheWrap’s Steve Pond that making the movie was easier than explaining to friends who the band was over dinner

Edgar Wright never made a documentary before but as a fan of the band Sparks, Wright found the idea of making the documentary “The Sparks Brothers” about them easier than telling dinner guests which Sparks albums they should buy.

“I always entertained the idea of doing one but I think as you’re waiting for the right kind of subject that you’re really passionate about to come along,” Wright told TheWrap’s Steve Pond. “Before I was even a fan I was intrigued by them as a child seeing them on TV, they’re definitely incredibly striking to me, and then as I got older they’re a band that kept about coming back into my life. I guess it was something that I just found them, beyond even the music which I really liked, and came to sort of enjoy more and more as I got older.”

“So the thing is as a fan you always become like especially as a Sparks fan when you end up becoming an evangelist for the band, and there was a certain point where I figured it might be easier for me to make a documentary than to sort of be trying to explain to people over dinner who Sparks were and what albums they should listen to,” Wright added.

A certain filmmaker friend of Wright’s suggested he should be the one to direct the documentary, which will be screening Saturday and Monday in the Sundance Film Festival.

“The question started to answer itself as I thought the reason that they’re not as big as they should be is because they don’t have a documentary saying how influential they are and at a certain point, I think my friend Phil Lord was the one who said you should make that movie,” Edgar Wright said. “I was like, yes, I will and as soon as I pitched the idea to Ron and Russell backstage at one of their concerts, it was like a vocal contract that I couldn’t go back on and here we are two and a half years later.

As keyboardist and older brother Ron Mael tells it, the band turned down opportunities to make a documentary previously.

“We’ve declined and it isn’t that we felt desperate for a documentary but we really felt if there ever was going to be one this was really the ideal situation,” Ron Mael said.

“After we had talked about the kind of emphasis of the film with Edgar we knew it would be a documentary about Sparks that would cover all of the periods of Sparks but also would have his sensibility shining through it is as well,” vocalist Russell Mael added.

Watch the full interview in the embed above.