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James Gunn Reveals Playlist of Unused Songs


James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies have some of the best musical cues of any popcorn property in recent memory, and it’s no surprise that the director’s new film, The Suicide Squad, is shaping up to be another banger. Gunn has shared a playlist — not of the songs you’ll hear in the film, but the songs that didn’t make the cut.

Imagine leaving out the likes of Johnny Cash and Queen! But the two iconic acts, along with eight others, comprise James Gunn’s Not-In-The-Suicide-Squad playlist. “Here’s a list of songs that I almost used in The Suicide Squad, but in the end opted for other choices, & how I came to those decisions,” he wrote in his tweet, and shared a link to the playlist on Spotify, and another to a more detailed explanation of why he dropped the tracks, as told to Empire.

From avoiding a clash with another film to simply realizing that a different song worked better in a scene, Gunn’s reasoning gives an interesting insight into his creative process. For instance, he told Empire that he writes “all of the songs into the script” and that “Death on Two Legs,” by Queen, was “was briefly considered for the big Harley Quinn action sequence.” Other artists included in the playlist are The Pleasure Seekers, Aerosmith, Ana Tijoux, and more

The first track from John Murphy’s score for the film was released on July 8. Titled So This Is the Famous Suicide Squad, the classic rock-inspired song sets the tone for what we can expect from the rest of the soundtrack, and also teases the gruff spirit that Gunn’s, well, gunning for.


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The director’s move to the DC Extended Universe came after he was fired by Disney when controversial old tweets of his resurfaced. His removal from the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe resulted in a mass uproar among fans of the franchise, and also prompted the ensemble cast of the two Guardians movies to sign a letter demanding his reinstation as director for the third installment. Warner Bros. hired Gunn to work on the DCEU, and basically gave him carte blanche to take The Suicide Squad, an anti-hero team that had already been put on the big screen in director David Ayer’s 2016 film, and put his own spin on it. He was subsequently rehired to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a move that won Disney some brownie points with fans, but significantly delayed one of their most anticipated films.

The Suicide Squad will feature returning actors Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), and Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang). They’ll be joined by series newcomers Idris Elba (Bloodsport), Peter Capaldi (The Thinker), David Dastmalchian (Polka-Dot Man), Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher), Michael Rooker (Savant), Pete Davidson (Blackguard), Alice Braga (Sol Soria), Sean Gunn (Weasel), Sylvester Stallone (the voice of King Shark, with Steve Agee appearing as his on-set stand-in), and John Cena (Peacemaker), who will get an HBO Max spinoff. “From the horribly beautiful mind of James Gunn,” as the trailers declare, The Suicide Squad will arrive in theatres and HBO Max on August 6. Check out Gunn’s Not-In-The-Suicide-Squad playlist below.

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