We learned why Beer = TARDIS from the World's End panel at Comic-Con

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Jul 19, 2013, 5:05 PM EDT

Leave it to Edgar Wright to deliver the line of the day during an early Friday panel at Comic-Con.

Near the start of the panel for Wright's new movie, The World's End, moderator Chris Hardwick remarked that the film reminded him of a Doctor Who episode, to which the director responded, "If you ever watched Doctor Who and thought it would be funnier it the Doctor was hammered, then this is the movie for you."

He added, "Our TARDIS in this movie is beer."

Is there a better answer than that?

In fact, Wright may be close to the mark. The World's End -- the third film in the Cornetto Trilogy that also includes Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz -- follows five friends who reunite in their hometown after 20 years to complete a legendary mile-long pub crawl, only to learn that since they've left, their town has been taken over by alien robots.

The movie reunites Wright with Shaun and Hot Fuzz stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (who also co-wrote and co-produced), and the trailer looks as wacky and bizarre and extremely British as the first two entries in the trilogy.

Pegg plays the irresponsible one in the group, who never grew up and is wearing the same clothes he wore 20 years ago, while Frost's character has become a buttoned-up banker who doesn't even drink anymore. Also appearing are Martin Freeman, aka Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike and Paddy Considine.

Wright, Pegg and Frost were on hand for the panel, which kicked off with the trailer and a short featurette recapping the first two films and focusing on the relationship of the three men.

For the uninitiated, Wright explained that a Cornetto is a British type of ice cream and that it features in each film -- red in Shaun of the Dead for blood, blue in Hot Fuzz for the police, and mint green in The World's End for aliens.

Asked if he ever envisioned making a (loose) trilogy while they were shooting Shaun of the Dead years ago, Wright said he could never have imagined it, adding, "We were so proud to make a British film and see audiences over here laughing at it -- so that encouraged us to keep it British."

Hardwick asked Pegg if it was strange to go off and work in movies like Star Trek Into Darkness (in which he plays Scotty) when not working with his buddies Frost and Wright. "Sometimes you forget that breaking wind isn't funny to everybody," admitted the actor.

Nick Frost chimed in: "It's like having a brief love affair, then you come back to your marriage, which makes it stronger."

The three men agreed that making a movie about friends reuniting mirrored real life, since it's been seven years since they all collaborated on a film.

Wright also said that Martin Freeman is "fantastic" in the film and was a "real trouper," coming back the day after a worldwide press tour for The Hobbit to complete his last scenes. Pegg said that the shoot, which involved a number of complicated fight scenes, was "grueling," adding, "We invented a new martial art called Pub Fu."

If it's anything like its predecessors, The World's End will be both hilarious and a loving tribute to the film genre it's spoofing. Asked by a fan if there is a way to make the movie into a drinking game, Wright said, "It's simple: Take a drink every time one of the characters takes a drink."

The World's End is out on Aug. 23.