It isn’t too often that a lead character’s musical taste comes to have huge bearing on the movie, but that’s been the case on two major releases thus far in 2017: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,’ and ‘Baby Driver.’
‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ takes its name from the second volume of mixtapes given to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord by his dead mother (something which had been key to the original ‘Guardians’), whilst ‘Baby Driver’ centres on a young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who relies on his extensive collection of iPods to maintain his momentum.
This, it turns out, is something the writer-directors of both films, James Gunn and Edgar Wright, were well aware of while putting their respective works together – and Wright has revealed that the two were in contact to ensure they didn’t use any of the same songs.
Wright tells The Washington Post, “James Gunn, who’s a friend of mine, we had this funny Twitter conversation — a secret conversation, rather, DMs — where I sort of, I messaged him, and I said ‘I hope nothing in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ is in ‘Baby Driver.’
“And he goes, ‘Oh, that’s a good point,’ and he says ‘Do you use ELO,’ and I said ‘No,’ and I said ‘Do you use Queen,’ and he said ‘No.’ We just went back and forth: ‘Do you use Barry White?’ ‘I nearly used Barry White, but no.’
“So it just went back and forth like that, where we’re playing this amazing guessing game where neither of us would say what the tracks were but we’re just confirming that the same artists were not on the soundtrack.”
‘Baby Driver’ had been a passion project of Wright’s for some time, and its use of music is arguably even more vital than in ‘Guardians 2,’ particularly as most of ‘Baby Driver’s action sequences are edited to sync up perfectly with the song. As a result, Wright was naturally concerned to not use songs which viewers would associate too closely with other works.
“You’re just hoping that people won’t use some of the songs you have in mind. So occasionally they crop up in like adverts and stuff. ‘Hocus Pocus‘ was in a Nike ad and when I heard it I was like ‘Ahhhh, I wanted to use that.’ But then I thought ‘It’s not in a film, so’ [laughs].”
‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’ are both in cinemas now.