Guardians of the Galaxy: James Gunn On David Bowie & Vol. 2 Soundtrack

Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn pays his respects to the late David Bowie and reveals that Vol. 2 may include another Bowie tune.

When the world the world woke up this morning, we discovered that things would forever be a little less cool. David Bowie’s death last night at the age of 69 has left an almost unfathomable void in the fabric of so many lives. Whether he’s your Thin White Duke, your Goblin King, or your Ziggy Stardust, The Man Who Fell to Earth has finally ascended from our realm, rising upwards and onwards to forever lord above us all.

News of his death sent shockwaves around the world and across social media, and stars of yesterday and today have kept a steady stream of personal remembrances and recollections regarding the groundbreaking superstar flowing in our newsfeeds and timelines. It’s a testament to the wide influence of the musician that so many people were touched by his art and feel his loss. Amidst the firestorm of condolences and grief, there a came a message from a distant quadrant of our galaxy. One pertaining directly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Like so many of us did, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn awoke this morning with a heavy heart. Upon hearing of Bowie’s death, the director took to social media to express his grief, delivering one of the most powerful Facebook eulogies of the dearly departed musician yet given today. In the post, Gunn described his heartbreak over the loss of such a seminal talent.

“I usually find out about people dying on Twitter these days, as it's one of the first places I check on my phone when I wake up in the morning. It's only been about fifteen minutes or so since I learned of David Bowie's passing there, and I'm reeling. And horribly sad. 69 years old. Goddammit. I know we're supposed to be positive in situations like this, but that's just seems too young to me. Fucking cancer.”

James Gunn and Michael Rooker filming Guardians of the Galaxy
James Gunn and Michael Rooker filming Guardians of the Galaxy

Clearly heartbroken, Gunn goes on to describe the influence Bowie had on him both personally and artistically, saying,

“The use of ‘Life on Mars’ in [Lars Von Trier’s] Breaking the Waves was one of the linchpins for me and the use of music in Guardians: much of what I did was imitating that perfect blend of oddness and familiarity, of irony and aptness. My pop cultural connection to Bowie goes deeper as it was the music that was playing the night I hit bottom on alcohol and drugs as a very young person. I got sober that night, and those songs - "TVC15", "Star", "Suffragette City" - are now deeply embedded in my psyche. They all have a frightening, almost-religious context in my personal history.”

In the midst of his mourning, Gunn also dropped a bombshell about a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cameo that now can never be, detailing his desire to have Bowie make an appearance in the upcoming sequel - which, given Bowie's skills as an actor, could have been amazing. Additionally, the director detailed plans to include a Bowie track on the Vol. 2 soundtrack.

“Just a very short while ago Kevin Feige and I were talking about a cameo role in Guardians Vol. 2, and he brought up Bowie's name. I told him nothing in the world would make me happier, but I heard from common friends he wasn't doing well. We heard back that he was okay and it could potentially happen. Who knows what that was about? But, for whatever reason, it made my Twitter revelation more of a surprise. Bowie was an idol of mine, huge and omnipresent. Few artists in any field have had as an indelible impression upon me as he has. To my mind, Ziggy Stardust is perhaps the greatest rock and roll album of all time. We featured ‘Moonage Daydream’ in Guardians, but I always thought the album's character was felt far beyond that, in the aesthetics, in the integral and seemingly-natural linking in popular culture of '70's rock and space opera. I've been trying to work another song from Ziggy into the sequel, which would make Bowie the only artist to have a song on both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. I thought this was fair and appropriate.”

David Bowie in Jim Henson's 1986 film Labyrinth

The spaced out, otherworldly vibes of Ziggy Stardust do fit well within the themes of Guardians of the Galaxy, and it feels appropriate to include a piece of that world into a piece of the MCU. And while it’s true that Bowie doesn’t need the exposure an inclusion on the soundtrack would garner, it seems a fitting tribute that he might, in fact, become the only musical artist to be included on both the original Guardians soundtrack and the soundtrack for its sequel. It’s a high honor, especially considering the high sales that the first Awesome Mix had.

Moreover, it’s a lovely way to keep the music of David Bowie flowing into the next generation, many of whom have had yet to be fully exposed to the virtues of Ziggy Stardust. It’s pleasing to think that a kid buying a soundtrack to their favorite movie might get exposed to Bowie’s music and seek out the artist’s other works. And it’s nice to know that his sound will become further entrenched into the pop cultural lexicon.

For now, though, this is all up in the air. And while it’s true that “Moonage Daydream” did appear on Awesome Mix vol. 1, even Gunn points out that the scene it was to be used in was cut from the final script. Still, given the director’s affinity for Bowie, and his overall acclaim and reach, finding a way to include him in Vol. 2 would be a touching reminder of the lives he touched with his music and his art. We’ll keep you posted on any and all developments as they happen.

NEXT: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 To Film With 8K Cameras

Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.

Source: James Gunn

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