James Gunn's eccentric vision is what convinced Marvel Studios to allow him to bring the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise to life. While it began with his first Marvel film in 2014, Gunn's vision continued to flourish when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hitting theaters three years later.
While it had Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Drax meeting up Mantis and Ego, not to mention butting heads with Nebula once again, Gunn saved another epic piece of fun for the movie's home release. The digital and Blu-ray releases included behind-the-scenes featurettes, audio commentary, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and a gem of a music video for "Guardians Inferno." While all the additional content was most welcome, CBR is taking a closer look at what the song meant for the film and how it came to be.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GUARDIANS INFERNO?
"Guardians Inferno" is an original song composed by the man scoring the film, Tyler Bates, and Gunn himself based on an idea the director had but couldn't follow through on for the first movie. Gunn's never hidden his love for nostalgic pop culture and this song was influenced by the disco and psychedelic funk vibe of the '70s.
Gunn was obsessed as a teen with Meco's take on the Star Wars main theme which was done with a disco aesthetic, so he decided to make this happen for his franchise. He and Bates wanted to repay fans for their love, but also continue to show how their weird minds matched the cosmic landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The lyrics played up Chris Pratt's Star Lord meeting his father, Ego (Kurt Russell), but while it ran in the closing credits, Gunn also had a trippy video up his sleeve that didn't appar until the movie's home release.
HOW DID GUARDIANS INFERNO HAPPEN?
While the film was in post-production, Gunn and the film's cast filmed a video for the track. In the video, Gunn took on the role of a drummer and Dave Bautista was a guitar player with angel wings, and Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan and Sean Gunn all danced and hung out in a in a video directed by friend David Yarovesky. Pratt (disguised as a robot) and Zoe Saldana (Bond girl-esque dancer) would later appear after they missed the initial fun, filming their parts remotely and sending footage in.
The video fits the films' kooky tone, and the oddity of the enterprise is only compounded by David Hasselhoff singing the title track, which he did after becoming friends with Gunn in real life. Gunn formed a fake band called the Sneeples to act as backup to the Hoff, which pushed the absurdity of the video even further. The late Stan Lee also made an appearance, with the entire project supported by Kevin Feige and Marvel. Everyone involved seemingly knew it was magic in the making and something which would set the movie apart from everything else in the MCU.
WHERE DOES IT FIT INTO THE FILM?
The Hoff was given free rein as vocalist after he made a cameo in the sequel as the person Star Lord envisioned his dad as. It was a comedic moment which fit Peter Quill's absurd mind and after Gunn struck up a bond with the Hoff -- so much so the actor pitched ideas on a Knight Rider reboot -- the director made it clear the ex-Baywatch star needed to bring his pomp and circumstance to the track. The song appeared in the credits and indicated taht Star Lord had gotten over his father's betrayal and his attempts to reshape life in the galaxy.
While the "Guardians Inferno" video came as a total surprise in the wake of the credits, it made sense for Gunn to benefit from the mileage the Hoff offered him with the older demographic of fans. As for the younger ones, well, it was yet another peek into the past to see the pop culture icon Hasselhoff was decades ago. It summed up the way Gunn, Bates and the MCU's Star Lord viewed the world, not through rose-colored glasses, but in galactic Technicolor.