It may not have been THE reason that Guardians of the Galaxy skyrocketed to the top of the Marvel Universe, but the mixtape soundtrack supplied by Star-Lord’s Walkman was definitely one of them. It remains, and likely will remain one of the most inspired and effective examples of meta-textual pop culture in recent memory – the songs didn’t just punctuate moments or add texture to scenes, but expressed Star-Lord’s personality and attitude, not to mention forming a rock solid connection between him and his mother. And with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there’s a while new mixtape to look forward to.
But don’t think it will be a remix of any kind, since director James Gunn has explained the importance of being just as original the second time around. The licensed music (as well as the film’s original score) will certainly be one part of that change, with a more diverse soundtrack of licensed songs that are even more famous, with a few lesser known tracks as well. While speaking with Marvel boss Kevin Feige during our visit to the set of Guardians Vol. 2, we got the chance to ask for more details in person.
Feige explained that the film is being assembled with all of the songs Gunn came up with during the scripting process, but also revealed that the cast of the movie will be sharing in Peter Quill’s passion for music in a brand new (and awesome) way:
[The Music] is all off the tape. It’s all off of Volume 2. I would say that the other Guardians now know that music is a thing for Peter, so in early scenes, what you see baby Groot here, which he’s just ‘Groot’ in the movie, but on set we call him baby Groot, he’s setting up these little outer space speakers so that the music can play for all of them, because Quill likes to hear music when he’s fighting. So, it does go to more than just his headset, but it’s all based off of Volume 2. And I would say that a couple of the songs, and particularly one song has very unique lyrics that play in much more specific part into the plot, than any song did in the first film.
Were you able to get all the songs you wanted?
We’ve cleared all the songs that were in the script, yeah, yeah. You don’t actually pay for them until you cut the movie together and decide. If you use the first movie as a track record, every song, maybe one or two songs came out of the movie that were, that had been in the script, for length more than anything else, but we’ll probably end up using the vast majority of them, and certainly the ones that play into the plot and dialogue are in.
Aside from confirming that ‘Baby Groot’ will be awarded yet another memorable interaction with the team, fans now know that the tape deck will be used to provide some musical background for the Guardians’ action (perhaps even in the film’s battle with the strange, interdimensional tentacle beasts seen in the trailers). It’s a further shattering of the fourth wall, allowing the characters to enjoy the choice of music right along with the fans. The only difference, we’re assuming, is that the stars have had a few months, at least, to each pick their favorites among the human mother’s personal library.
Since the first film concluded with the reborn Groot showing an affection for Star-Lord’s classic tunes, it only makes sense that he would embrace the medium. He wasn’t the only one who showed interest in the Walkman, but our hopes are high that the rest of the film’s heroes will find common ground with the human – and perhaps Earth as a whole – through the “Awesome Mix Vol.2”, whichever songs it may contain. That’s not even considering the impact it may have on the villains of the story, either. And we all know just how pivotal music was in Star-Lord’s distracting of Ronan the Accuser… perhaps Ayesha has a similar weak spot for Marvin Gaye?
For now, fans can debate what songs would contain lyrics tied to the story of the movie (“Cat’s in the Cradle” for Peter and his father, the planet, perhaps?), or which styles will gain the most traction among Drax, Mantis, or Nebula – and whether it’s actually possible for the second soundtrack to top the first.