Though now known as the running reference and unofficial title for the trilogy, Wright wrote Cornettos into the script based on his experience using the UK brand of ice cream to help cure his hangovers.
Prior to working on Shaun, Pegg, Frost and Wright all previously collaborated on the short-lived but well-loved British sitcom Spaced, which ran for two seasons and 14 episodes on UK's Channel 4.
The series, co-created by Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, is credited as a key influence for the 2004 rom-zom-com, with numerous references and recurring jokes carrying over from the series, including Wright's kinetic direction and editing.
In addition to featuring multiple references to the original series, many of the stars who appeared throughout Spaced also went on to appear in Shaun and its "spiritual sequels," including Stevenson, Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Smiley and Reece Shearsmith, and fans of the series who won the chance to appear as extras.
Pegg and Wright have both attributed the first season's third episode, "Art," in which Pegg's Tim takes speed and becomes obsessed with Resident Evil 2 and hallucinates fighting off a zombie apocalypse, as a key influence in writing Shaun.
Part of the charm of the film for critics and audiences alike was seeing a zombie apocalypse from a group of downtrodden everyman characters who despite a clear lack of survival instincts still find a way to rally together and, mostly, avoid the harrowing apocalypse.
George A. Romero was privately shown a copy of the film upon its completion and, despite missing the quote reference to his 1968 franchise starter, was thoroughly impressed by the project, going so far as to cast Pegg and Frost in the fourth Dead film. The duo insisted they appear as zombies versus the more prominent roles they were offered.
One of the points of critical acclaim in the film came from the wonderful chemistry between leads Pegg and Frost as best friends Shaun and Ed. The characters' friendship was based on the actors' real-life friendship and their time as flat mates.
The film features numerous jokes and references to Spaced, including Shaun denying that Ed is his boyfriend whilst replying with "Thank you, babe" after the latter hands him a beer, and Shaun constantly being told he has red on him, a joke carried over from the artist character Brian in the series.
Unlike the zombies in the previous month's remake of Dawn of the Dead, the walking dead in Shaun are slow-moving rather than running. Pegg has stated in interviews the decision behind this was simply "Because death is not an energy drink."
In addition to the title of the film, Shaun features numerous references to Romero's classic Dead trilogy, namely Frost's Ed shouting at Shaun's mother on the phone "We're coming to get you, Barbara!," a twist on the line from Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead.
One of the many bits of fried gold in the film include Wright's subtle foreshadowing and seemingly throwaway cast members featured throughout the opening who later appear as zombies, namely store clerk Mary, who appears in Shaun's backyard the morning of the apocalypse.
Prior to choreographing an entire film to its music, Wright showed his talents incorporating music into key scenes in a film during a notable scene in Shaun in which he, Ed and Kate Ashfield's Liz fight the zombified owner of the bar timed to the tune of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."
In addition to the Cornettos, each film featured a running joke hailing back to one of its predecessors, namely Pegg's ability to successfully hop over a garden fence during a key chase, failing in both Shaun and The World's End while gracefully leaping over every fence in Hot Fuzz.
The film would be followed by Hot Fuzz and The World's End, each connected by themes of "perpetual adolescence" and managing relationships, as stated by Wright in past interviews. The films are also connected by the appearance of Cornetto ice cream, with each color connecting to the overall genre theme of its film.
In addition to directing the rest of the Cornetto trilogy, Wright went on to find a large following with the adaptation of the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim vs. the World which, despite its box office failure, was a large critical success, and the acclaimed heist thriller Baby Driver.
Following the success of the first two Cornetto films, Pegg found large international success thanks in part to J.J. Abrams casting him in the Mission: Impossible series as computer specialist Benji Dunn and the rebooted Star Trek franchise as chief engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.
Though Frost continued to find more success in the UK with film including the sci-fi horror hit Attack the Block, he did also land a leading role in the fan-favorite AMC martial arts series Into the Badlands.