Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
This morning we woke up to the sad news that legendary musician and the definition of cool, David Bowie, had passed away after a battle with the dirty bastard that is cancer. All over social media, fans are lamenting his passing, and James Gunn did the same by offering up another reason, in addition to countless others, to be bummed that Bowie is no longer with us.
Following learning the tragic news, Gunn revealed that he and Marvel’s Kevin Feige were trying to lock down David Bowie to cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And despite his illness at the time, there was apparently hope that it would actually work out. Gunn also offers up his own touching tribute to a man who not only had a huge impact on rock, but also sci-fi and fantasy.
In a heartfelt post on Facebook, Gunn mentioned the David Bowie Guardians of the Galaxy 2 cameo attempt:
Just a very short while ago Kevin Feige and I were talking about a cameo role in Guardians Vol. 2, and he brought up Bowie’s name. I told him nothing in the world would make me happier, but I heard from common friends he wasn’t doing well. We heard back that he was okay and it could potentially happen. Who knows what that was about? But, for whatever reason, it made my Twitter revelation more of a surprise.
He went on to talk about the inclusion of Bowie’s classic “Moonage Daydream” on the first Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack:
Bowie was an idol of mine, huge and omnipresent. Few artists in any field have had as an indelible impression upon me as he has. To my mind, Ziggy Stardust is perhaps the greatest rock and roll album of all time. We featured “Moonage Daydream” in Guardians, but I always thought the album’s character was felt far beyond that, in the aesthetics, in the integral and seemingly-natural linking in popular culture of ’70’s rock and space opera. I’ve been trying to work another song from Ziggy into the sequel, which would make Bowie the only artist to have a song on both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. I thought this was fair and appropriate. Although I cut the scene it was used in from the script, we have the rights. Who knows. Maybe I can figure a way out.
No soundtrack can be hurt by the sheer brilliance of Bowie’s music, and if the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack can feature just one more of his tunes in tribute to the icon, then everyone will be better off for it. The weirdness that exists in Guardians of the Galaxy is something that was great influenced by Bowie as Gunn explains:
It’s also fair that I come clean that the use of “Life on Mars” in Breaking the Waves was one of the linchpins for me and the use of music in Guardians: much of what I did was imitating that perfect blend of oddness and familiarity, of irony and aptness.
So even though we may never get to see Bowie back in the sci-fi realm on the big screen, his influence and imprint on pop culture will continue. We’ll leave you with Gunn’s deeply personal parting words to Bowie and just how much his music meant to the filmmaker:
My pop cultural connection to Bowie goes deeper as it was the music that was playing the night I hit bottom on alcohol and drugs as a very young person. I got sober that night, and those songs – “TVC15”, “Star”, “Suffragette City” – are now deeply embedded in my psyche. They all have a frightening, almost-religious context in my personal history. I’ll have to save those stories for another time.
I wish I could be more eloquent, but I’m gutted.
Thank you, David, for all you’ve given to my life, my relationships, and my career. Thank you most for helping me to make it through high school. Your music let me believe there was something magic out there, I only needed to hold on a few more years to experience it. I’m glad I did.
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