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SYFY WIRE James Gunn

James Gunn reveals Guardians Vol. 3 soundtrack is locked, talks comparing song choices with Edgar Wright

By Matthew Jackson

Fans have come to expect a lot of things from James Gunn projects, and a killer soundtrack is definitely one of them. Ever since Peter Quill slipped that homemade mix tape into his walkman in Guardians of the Galaxy, the world has known that Gunn movies bring the tunes, and according to the filmmaker, he's already got a whole new Awesome Mix lined up for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

After the project was delayed by certain complications, including Gunn heading over to Warner Bros. to make The Suicide Squad after Disney briefly let him go from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians 3 is finally set to begin shooting later this year for a planned 2023 release date. That means Gunn is gearing up to deliver the full Guardians experience yet again, and that means having the soundtrack 100 percent chosen in advance as part of his writing process. Earlier this week, while answering fan questions on Twitter, Gunn confirmed that the music selection portion of his creation is indeed done and ready to blast out of speakers on-set.

It's not surprising that Gunn already has Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3's Awesome Mix ready to play. During a Q&A revolving around music choices earlier in the week, the director noted that he generally writes all of his soundtrack choices into scripts, does his best to make sure he has the rights to his picks before the project starts shooting, and then plays the songs on set to set the right tone.

And, because he's working with heavy hitters like Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. these days, he generally has pretty good luck when it comes to landing rights. With the exception of one song for the upcoming Peacemaker HBO Max series, Gunn seems to have gotten all of his soundtrack wishes on his upcoming projects.

But of course, it's not just a matter of getting the right songs based on what's in your head. For Gunn, it's also a matter of making sure you're not bringing the same needle drops as other major releases. Elsewhere in his music discussion this week, Gunn noted that he once reached out to fellow genre director Edgar Wright to compare soundtrack notes for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wright's music-centric action flick Baby Driver, because they were both coming out amid the same summer movie season.

What songs has Gunn picked for Guardians Vol. 3? He's not telling yet, but we'll find out soon enough. The film is set to hit theaters May 23, 2023, following the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in 2022. The Suicide Squad, which will boast its own set of cool needle drops, hits theaters and HBO Max this August.