Filmmakers Edgar Wright and James Gunn worked together to make sure their pop-infused soundtracks for Baby Driver and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 didn’t overlap. Coincidentally, the two movies star a character who spends most of his time listening to music. Star-Lord, of course, has his trusty Walkman by his side with awesome mixes on a loop, while Baby boasts an impressive collection of iPod classics with a wide variety of tunes ranging from classic rock to modern hip hop. In both films, the music is as much a character as any of the actors, fueling the action and making individual scenes stand out. It’s impossible to picture Baby Driver‘s frantic foot chase without humming “Hocus Pocus” or Guardians 2‘s opening credits without Baby Groot dancing to “Mr. Blue Sky”.
Since the films were released in close proximity to each other, it isn’t surprising to hear Wright was concerned about the notion the soundtracks might contain the same songs. In an effort to ensure the albums would be completely different from each other, Wright reached out to his friend and ended up having an amusing conversation about their respective musical selections.
In an interview with KPCC, Wright opened up about his fears Guardians 2 would use one of his Baby Driver songs and how he went about calming those nerves:
“Earlier this year, before Guardians 2 had come out, I suddenly had a panic, I thought, Oh, what if one of my Baby Driver songs are in Guardians 2? So I texted him and we had this funny text conversation…where I said: ‘Hey man I was just panicking that some of my Baby Driver songs are in Guardians 2’. And he goes, ‘Well, do you have any ELO?’ And I was like, ‘No. Do you have any Queen?’ He said, ‘No. Do you have any Sweet?’ And I said, ‘No. Do you have any Barry White?’ And he goes, ‘No. I was going to use a Barry White song but I didn’t.’ And I said, ‘Well I’m using Barry White.’ Neither of us divulged what the song was… we just went back and forth, and then we figured out that neither of us were using the same songs.”
Wright’s paranoia is understandable given how he incorporated music in Baby Driver. He didn’t just select catchy tracks to play in the background; the film is meticulously edited to whatever song is playing at the time. The director even included song titles in the script, an illustration of how planned out this all was. If Gunn had planned to use, for instance, “Neat Neat Neat” by The Damned for a high-speed spaceship chase, it could have created the awkward situation of Baby Driver “copying” Guardians 2 in the eyes of casual viewers. The prominence of their soundtracks meant enough people were already going to compare the two on a surface level, so the last thing anyone needed was for Baby to drive away while blasting “Fox on the Run”. Fortunately, there was no crossover and moviegoers got to enjoy all the sounds.
If things pan out, Wright and Gunn could be having a similar talk a couple years from now. The latter is already working on the track list for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, while the former admitted he’s open to making a Baby Driver 2. Since Peter Quill is now in possession of a Microsoft Zune, there’s a chance Vol. 3 has a more diverse collection of songs from various eras (and not exclusively retro pop), so the two auteurs may have to do their brainstorming sessions together so they don’t end up crossing the streams.
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