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James Gunn On Selecting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Music

During this interview, James Gunn discusses selecting the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 music — what his process is like and more.

James Gunn On Selecting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Music

James Gunn On Selecting The Music For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Many will agree that James Gunn is the King of needle drops. He always selects the perfect songs for the perfect moments in his films, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is no different. But how did he select the music for what is quite possibly the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie he ever makes? He has loved these characters long before many even knew who they were, so what was it like?

James Gunn admits that it is difficult for him because the first two albums have become such huge hits, that they have literally changed the lives of some of the artists who now have big hit songs. That pressure is not lost on him.

“I know that when I’m choosing a song, a lot of people are going to listen to it. I want to give good music to people by good bands, and I snuck a couple of favorites in there. I snuck my friends, The Replacements, in there. I snuck Alice Cooper, my hero, in there. Actually it is a pretty big sequence in the movie. But when I write the script, I put the music in along with the script. I write it in.” 

Gunn goes on to admit that some times he changes it, but he does prepare the script along with the songs that he plans to use in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, or whatever the movie he is working on is. He even plays the music on set.

James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Press Day. Photo Credit: Louise Manning Bishop /

“It was very difficult choosing the music for this movie, because in the first two movies, they were basically all 70s pop hits. Yondu gives Peter Quill a Zune at the end of the second movie, and it’s music from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. And I could choose from anything. It’s like at the end of Hurt Locker with him looking at all the stuff on the shelves and not knowing how to make this choice. So it was very difficult because of that.”

When he is listening to music does he think, oh I need to include this in a movie? James Gunn admits that he does that all the time.

“I keep a list of like hundreds of songs that would be Guardians 3 type songs. There’s things that I have on a list that I could never use. Like Cruel To Be Kind by Nick Lowe has been on every list that I’ve had for movies and I’ve just never found a place to work it in, you know? But yeah, mostly it’s like what fits the scene and oftentimes it’s a song I don’t know very much.”

Get ready to be wowed by yet another killer soundtrack when you see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theaters, starting May 5th.

NEXT: Guardians of the Galaxy Cast Reveals Guilty Pleasure Songs


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. © 2023 MARVEL.

About Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

In Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past.

Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life—a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.

The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova.

James Gunn is the director and also wrote the screenplay. Kevin Feige produces with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nikolas Korda, Sara Smith and Simon Hatt serving as executive producers.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 comes to theaters May 5th.