Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the third and likely final installment of the franchise that is spearheaded by James Gunn.
Gunn made his MCU debut as the director of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, which featured an all-star cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.
The ragtag group of cosmic heroes with a heart was propelled by an impressive story and chemistry between cast members, thus earning box office success that eventually led to a sequel being greenlit. The same thing happened during Vol. 2, with the film's standalone story serving as the highlight alongside powerful emotional beats throughout its narrative.
Many would agree that the common denominator of the Guardians' success is its soundtrack. The franchise greatly benefited from Gunn's musical choices through his Awesome Mixtapes, which were further bolstered by the film's score.
Tyler Bates, who worked on films like Watchmen and Super, served as the composer of the first two Guardians films. Gunn has been vocal about Bates' work, admitting that he is impressed by his approach when it comes to crafting a perfect score.
Now, as Guardians inches closer to its finale, it looks like the franchise mainstay has been replaced by a Marvel newcomer.
Veteran Guardians Composer Not Returning for Vol. 3
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn sat down with CinemaBlend to talk about the behind-the-scenes development of the threequel.
During the interview, Gunn confirmed that Tyler Bates, who worked as the composer of the first two Guardians films, had been replaced by The Suicide Squad's John Murphy.
Apart from the confirmation, Gunn also gave a rundown of the planning stages for the threequel:
"I had to get off of a Zoom right before this Zoom because I was talking to all of my heads of department. We were going through the finale of the film from shot to shot, to shot, to shot and explaining exactly how each shot was going to be done. Now, this stuff we're going to shoot in May. So this is about just planning. After I get off of this, I'm going to have to go listen to some music that John Murphy wrote that we're going to be playing during the movie. … I guess I'm spoiling the fact that John Murphy is doing the score for Guardians. So you guys got a scoop."
Vol. 3 will serve as Murphy's debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Aside from The Suicide Squad, Murphy is also known for his work on Kick-Ass, 28 Days Later, and Miami Vice.
The Suicide Squad Composer Sets MCU Debut
Murphy might be a Marvel newcomer, but he is definitely not a stranger when it comes to scoring superhero movies due to his experience with The Suicide Squad.
Murphy's previous working experience with James Gunn during the DCEU film is definitely a plus since it should allow for a smooth transition from one project to another.
Specific details of why Tyler Bates will not return as composer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are unknown, but it's possible that he might have another project in the works or the pandemic forced him to give up the movie.
Not much is known about Murphy's approach when it comes to crafting a score for Vol. 3, but previous interviews could shed some light on the matter.
During the production of The Suicide Squad, Murphy revealed in a previous interview that Gunn hand-picked him for the DCEU hybrid sequel, with the director asking him to begin scoring it while principal photography was still ongoing.
This same approach could potentially be adapted to Vol. 3, and it's safe to say that Gunn, who has a keen sense of music, would also be hands-on in the scoring department.
It's no secret that Vol. 3 will be an emotional film due to previous teases that this will be the last movie of the current iteration of the Guardians. That said, it looks like Murphy could go all-out in terms of delivering a powerful score to reflect the emotional beats of the threequel.
In addition, Bates' previous score could also be honored within Murphy's music, combining it with his own theme to create another memorable composition for the Guardians' third installment.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to premiere in theaters on May 5, 2023.