Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg claims adults obsessed with all things sci-fi stops us from thinking about real-life issuesJohn Phillips/Getty

Simon Pegg has apologised for the scathing comments he made about science fiction and confirms that despite recent events, he is "still a nerd and proud".

In the latest edition of Radio Times magazine (out on 19 May), Pegg reveals how he thought "genre films", sci-fi and fantasy in particular are "dumbing down" cinema and "taking our focus away from real-world issues".

For someone writing the script to an untitled Star Trek sequel after having starred in the films, Pegg's comments were somewhat bizarre, with him criticising blockbuster movies and sci-fi in one hit.

But with more and more people reading the interview and reacting negatively to an actor who has based a lot of his film work within the realms of sci-fi so openly bashing it, the 45-year-old took to Twitter to confess he was simply "being a little bit trollish" in the interview, becoming so "sick of [his] own opinions" that he must have started "espousing other people's".

His comments are interesting considering in the past decade, Pegg has played a comic-book geek who befriends a charismatic extraterrestrial in Paul while he also featured as Enterprise engineer Scotty in both movie reboots of the cult classic Star Trek.

Realising what an icon he is within the sci-fi world, Pegg retracted some of his comments by stating on Twitter: "I did not mean that science fiction or fantasy are dumb, far from it. How could I say that? In the words of Han Solo, "Hey, it's me!"

In the original interview, the Shaun Of The Dead actor claimed: "Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie And Clyde and The French Connection – gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed... I don't know if that is a good thing."

Simon Pegg Plans to Live Long and Prosper
Pegg is currently writing the script for the upcoming third instalment to the re-imagined Star Trek franchiseReuters

Looking back on older movies, Pegg goes on to say he believes "films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about... whatever".

But when it comes to modern-day cinema, he says audiences are "walking out of the cinema really not thinking about anything, other than the fact that the Hulk just had a fight with a robot".

He finished the interview by saying: "Obviously I'm very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema but part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we've been infantilised by our own taste. Now we're essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously."

In his Twitter explanation, he goes over his Radio Times interview and suggests that while he still stands by some of his points, the meaning behind them may have been lost in translation on reflection.

He clarifies that what he intended with his comments was to make people realise the hold that Hollywood has over these genre films and that sometimes it can become more concerned about creating money-making machines than intelligent films.

Pegg wrote to his followers: "I guess what I meant was, the more spectacle becomes the driving creative priority, the less thoughtful or challenging the films can become.

"It is interesting to see how a cerebral film-maker like Christopher Nolan took on Batman and made it something more adult, chasing Frank Miller's peerless Dark Knight into a slightly less murky world of questionable morality and violence.

"But even these films are ultimately driven by market forces and somebody somewhere will want to soften the edges, so that toys and lunch boxes can be sold."