James Gunn On ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Composer Tyler Bates’ Approach

Published 2 years ago by

Guardians of the galaxy concept art James Gunn On Guardians of the Galaxy Composer Tyler Bates Approach

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 1 & 2 installments have benefitted greatly from memorable and very-listenable musical scores, as put together by current in-demand composers such as Brian Tyler (The Expendables) and Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones). Moreover, the first Captain America and Avengers movies were both scored by Alan Silvestri, who penned the iconic theme music for such films as Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump, among many others.

By comparison, Thor director Kenneth Branagh worked alongside his own frequent music collaborator – the award-winning Patrick Doyle – to produce the soundtrack compositions for the God of Thunder’s solo vehicle debut. Writer/director James Gunn is following Branagh’s example with his own Marvel flick, Guardians of the Galaxy, by teaming up with his own frequent composer of choice: Tyler Bates, who also scored director Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen.

Gunn has teamed with Bates on his two previous directorial outings: the horror-comedy Slither and the real-world costumed vigilante flick Super. The Guardians of the Galaxy helmer posted the following update about his preferred composer on Facebook (thereby confirming Bates’ involvement with Guardians at the same time):

Grateful to be working with my favorite composer, Tyler Bates, on Guardians of the Galaxy. Unlike most films, Tyler writes huge chunks of the score first so that I can actually film to the music. During action scenes and huge dramatic moments we blare the score on set so that the cast, crew, and camera can move in harmony with the music. Music is often an afterthought in film, but never for us. And everything Tyler’s done so far has been amazing!

All things considered, the total benefits that come with Bates’ approach to scoring Guardians probably outweigh the drawbacks. That is, having segments of the final soundtrack completed ahead of time ought to allow Gunn and his cast to better work together on the same page from the get-go; yet, it still allows enough room and flexibility for improvisation or changes during filming, in the sense that Bates can alter his score accordingly later (if necessary). It probably makes life easier for all concerned; as opposed to, the situation with Brian Tyler providing the score for Thor: The Dark World (having replaced Carter Burwell) – that is, where the composer joins during post-production (allowing them less time to fall in sync with and understand the director’s vision).

Chris Pratt Star Lord Concept Art Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn On Guardians of the Galaxy Composer Tyler Bates Approach

Gunn and his Guardians cast are waist-deep in principal photography on the project right now, after they debuted the first footage from the Marvel cosmic superhero adventure back at the 2013 International Comic-Con in July. The film’s leads include Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Dave Bautista (The Man with the Iron Fists), with the villainous players being portrayed by fan-favorites like Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) and Karen Gillan (Doctor Who).

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for official confirmation that Vin Diesel will help to round out the Guardians team by voicing the CGI alien-tree-humanoid Groot; in addition to, seeing what comes of the newest Guardians rumor, suggesting that Bradley Cooper may wind up voicing the intergalactic raccoon with a machine gun (and final Guardian), who is appropriately known as… Rocket Racoon.


Guardians of the Galaxy opens in U.S. theaters on August 1st, 2014.

Source: Facebook

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  1. you guys forgot craig armstrong’s incredible hulk which was, alongside doyle’s thor, the best ones imo.

    actually they could have thought of armstrong to score thor 2. marvel liked the music he did for hulk that he was the only composer so far that had a 2 CD score album released.

    about this, i don’t like tyler bates at all but we’ll see if it was a good choice or not. if i had to choose i would went with Bear McCreary.

    • Actually, the only reason The Incredible Hulk got a 2 CD release was because the director pushed so hard for it. Marvel initially didn’t want to release it because they didn’t think it would sell very well.

      I enjoy The Incredible Hulk’s score, but I find it as one of the weaker Marvel scores.

  2. The only Marvel movie scores that I’ve found to be above average were for Iron man 1 and The Avengers (special mention for Iron man 3). The rest were decent but pretty generic sounding.

    Ironically Iron man 1 and The Avengers are also the best marvel movies.

  3. I sat in on a panel a couple years ago with Tyler Bates and two other composers and asked the panel about whether they ever got the chance to work on the soundtrack in pre-production. They were all so excited to talk about this, since it’s something that Hollywood almost never bothers to implement anymore. One of the composers mentioned the on-set “mood music” he created for the actors and the director to help create a consistent tone for a scene. Apparently for some scenes, it was so effective, the soundtrack wasn’t necessary for the final product.

    Soundtracks, like many other aspects of a film, are a crucial element to quality that few people notice, (or notice the value of). Mad props to James Gunn and Marvel for allowing the composer to be an integral part of the process!

  4. If any asistent star wars producers are reading this,please, use what I think what should happen in the new star wars film,and discrib the the skywalker kids and their friends.Leia now ruler of Nabo marries Han Solo and has two twin girls,named Lashandra and Shyan they would be in their early teens ,have brownish blond hair and brown eyes.Lashandra is like her dad and wants to be a Jedi like her uncle.Unlike her sister Shyan is more like her mother and be pritty,yet she wants to be a Jedi also.Description,Lasandra likes to act like her dad Han,learn to drive the millinean falcon,have her hair back and wear pants.Shyan likes to act like her mother Leia,put her hair in cute hair styles, play with her cousin Lyem,wear tunics with leggings,partying,hanging out with friends and listening to the stories of how her family was able to save the galexy from the evil galactic Empire.Now on to Luke’s boys.Luke is now a Jedi master of the new republic.Luke marries and has two sons named Ben and Anikin and adopts a third named Lyem.Description, Anakin is the younger son, has blond hair and brown eyes,likes to go on missions with Luke and Ben,spend time with his uncle when he has the chance,have his hair in the Jedi knight hair style and play pranks on his mother.Ben has brown hair and brown eyes,likes using the force,impress his girlfriend,going on missons,driving an x-wing,shooting tie fighters and joking with his cousins.Lyem has has dark brown hair blue eyes,likes to play with Shyan, pretend to be a hero agenst the sith, spend time with Han and Leia,and is looking forward to be trained to becom a Jedi.The Empire’s gost would posset Lasandra and attempt to take over the galexy a second time!It is up to Shyan,Ben,Anakin and the rest of the gain not only to save Lashandra,but to distroy the Empire’s spirt and restore the peace in the galexy.

    • Sweet mother of Luke that made my eyes and head hurt … and I only made it through two lines.

    • @Allyssa House

      You just made the worst script ever!! That sounds like some play writer wants to make a castle, princess Disney movie, no offense at all, please take this as information if you go into the business, anyways that was a bad Star Wars movie, BAD, sorry that is the truth, that sounds like some author wants a movie to be made of his book so he throws some kids in danger, so they can be buds an reunite. NO offense at all but that idea is pretty bad dude try again and make it more Star Wars, and less, Not Star Wars, btw lots of words I don’t even know what you were trying to say…

    • Ehhhhhhhhh…

    • Ooooor, we could just go ahead and NOT do that.

      • LOL! …Yeeeaah…

  5. I had a feeling James Gunn was going to go with Tyler Bates to do the score for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ unsurprisingly.

  6. That’s actually a pretty great way to score a movie!
    I wonder why more composers don’t score segments of the movie during pre-production.