‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: James Gunn Won’t Include This ’70s Hit in the Marvel Films

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films are known for their soundtracks, which typically feature musical hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The idea is that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) listened to most of these songs growing up, prompting them to play as his story unfolds. Classics like Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” and Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” have appeared in the movies, but there’s one song director James Gunn doesn’t intend to include: “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest.

James Gunn doesn’t have anything against “Dancing in the Moonlight,” but he finds it predictable

Given the decades covered in the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks, throwing “Dancing in the Moonlight” into the mix seems like a no-brainer. That’s why fans have questioned whether it will be featured in the upcoming third installment, but Gunn has shot down that theory. 

It’s not that the director has anything against the song. He took to Twitter to explain his reasoning, and “predictability” seems to be his main rationale for leaving it out.

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“I’m asked to include this song BY FAR more than any other,” Gunn wrote. “And this predictability is precisely why I’d never use it. In general, I’d rather be in the business of giving folks the thing they want that they don’t know they want rather than just the thing they know they want.”

Gunn compiled an entire playlist of potential ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ songs during quarantine

Of course, “Dancing in the Moonlight” isn’t the only mid-twentieth-century hit to be excluded from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, even if it’s one of the biggest. 

Last year, Gunn used his time in quarantine to compile an entire playlist of songs that weren’t utilized in the first two films. He did, however, suggest they could show up down the line — meaning fans should keep an eye out for these tracks when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 arrives in theaters.

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“Part of the master list of Meredith Quill’s favorite songs I considered for the soundtracks of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol’s 1 & 2,” Gunn wrote when sharing the 64-track list on Twitter. “I’m not promising I won’t use these in future films, but we could all use some joyousness during our time in quarantine.”

Among Meredith’s favorite hits are “Hard Luck Woman” by KISS, “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder, “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick, and many other well-known releases from the ’60s and ’70s.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ will likely be Gunn’s last chance to use his playlist

'Guardians of the Galaxy' director James Gunn wears a blue, white, and red checkered shirt at 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' premiere
James Gunn | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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Gunn may have 64 options when curating his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 soundtrack, but he’ll need to choose wisely when picking which ones make the cut. Responding to a tweet asking about a fourth Guardians movie back in May, the director suggested that the upcoming film will be the last in the series.

“Me? Never say never but I see Vol 3 as the end of the Guardians’ story I started telling back with Vol 1.,” Gunn wrote.

If the director does decide to end his involvement with the series after the third film, he’s only got one more shot at bringing fans a dance-worthy tracklist. Fortunately, he’s never failed them before.

Viewers will know which songs were up to snuff when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 23, 2023.