Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has a list of 500 songs(!) to choose from for his Awesome Mixes

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films are some of the most beloved and unique in the MCU, thanks in no small part to their impeccable soundtracks. But did you ever wonder where those tunes come from? On the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (opens in new tab) Blu-ray commentary, Gunn revealed he keeps an extensive list of music on-hand while working.

“The truth is I have a list of about 500 songs that I think of as ‘Meredith Quill songs’ – songs she would really love.” Meredith Quill, in case you’ve forgotten, is Peter Quill’s mother, and the person who gave him Awesome Mix and Awesome Mix Vol. 2. And dang, there must be at least 50 more Awesome Mix volumes kicking around out there if Gunn has that many songs associated with her.

“And in that list I keep that on files on my computer, and as I’m writing the screenplay – actually as I’m writing the treatment before the screenplay – I’ll go through it and find songs that fit a moment or a place that needs a song, and I’ll search out a song that will fit the moment.” So if you’ve ever wondered why the Guardians movies sync up so well with their music, now you know.

What I found particularly charming, however, was the fact that apparently Gunn makes his own mixtapes (well, mix CDs) and gives them to Marvel executives when he turns in his treatment. “I’ll give that story to Marvel and I’ll give them a compact disc, an old school compact disc with the songs on it, so that they can listen to all of the music along with the treatment and know exactly what we’re getting into,” Gunn said.

Of course, at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Peter’s adoptive daddy Yondu gives him a Zune with hundreds more songs. I wonder how big Gunn’s list of music for that is. 

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