Guardians of the Galaxy 2: James Gunn Previews the Film's Score

Guardians of the Galaxy Drax Monster

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuted with Captain America: Civil Warwhich released to the the tune of over $1 billion worldwide and positive reviews. Following Civil WarDoctor Strange hit theaters and took in an impressive $664 million, as well as a solid 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The MCU looks to continue going strong with this year's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the sequel to 2014's off-kilter MCU hit. Early screenings reactions suggest that fans can expect the same Guardians humor and charm in the sequel, with marketing doubling down on characters such as the lovable Baby Groot and the metaphor-challenged Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista).

Alongside the traditional marketing, Guardians of the Galaxy franchise writer/director James Gunn has taken to social media to highlight the film's original score. He recently introduced returning composer Tyler Bates and the Abbey Road Recording Studio with a video showing them preparing to record the Guardians sequel's score, before offering fans a sneak peak of the film's soundtrack itself being performed/recorded.

Gunn has followed up on that video with another clip from inside Abbey Road (see below). The operatic chorus sings a brief, multi-layered harmony which is used "extensively" throughout the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 score, according to the director.

Our last day at @abbeyroadstudios & we recorded the chorus, which we use extensively, and fills out our score in a big way. #gotgvol2 #score

A video posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on


Guardians of the Galaxy received acclaim for its soundtrack, chiefly for its collection of 1970s and '80s songs compiled as The Awesome Mix. Tyler Bates' actual soundtrack for the film is less memorable, a common problem for films in the MCU. In fact, original music was recently highlighted by a well-known video essayist as one of the recurring problems with the MCU franchise, as a whole. Tyler Bates may change the record with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but the emphasis on continuity and the reveal of Star-Lord's second Awesome Mix at the end of the first Guardians film suggests that the latter is likely overshadow Bates' orchestral efforts (again).

The trailer for the Guardians sequel begins with an epic chorus much like the sample Gunn released on Instagram. However, at around the halfway mark, a comedic turn allows the muted guitar of 'Fox On the Run' by Sweet to take over. It's still early and this clip has been released without context, but the marketing for the Guardians sequel suggests its original score may once again be overshadowed by its soundtrack. The Awesome Mix Vol. 1 reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart in 2014 and was the second best-selling album in the U.S. that year, so it will be interesting to see how Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (and again, Bates' score for the sequel) goes over by comparison.

NEXT: How a Groot Solo Movie Could Work

Source: James Gunn

Key Release Dates
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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