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Interview: Composer John Murphy Discusses Working with James Gunn on ‘The Suicide Squad’

No matter what he seems to work on, John Murphy gravitates towards unusual projects. I mean that as a compliment, too. Whether it’s 28 Days Later…, Kick-Ass, Sunshine, or especially The Suicide Squad, this askew view from both the films and the composer had led to special end results. Murphy seems to jive best with auteurs, as seen by his collaborations with Danny Boyle, Michael Mann, Guy Ritchie, and now James Gunn. It’s easy to see too just by chatting with him, which I was lucky enough to have done this week. Now, I’m pleased to share our Zoom conversation with you all today.

In my review of The Suicide Squad (here), I raved about it like so:

The Suicide Squad, for what it’s doing, is perfect. For as much as Suicide Squad was a misfire, this hits the bullseye. Not only is it absurdly violent and absolutely hilarious, it beats with the heart of a work that truly cares about its characters. I loved every second of it. Gunn’s choices all pay off, even the ones that seem like long-shots (and especially some of them, even). Ambition, confidence, and just a bit of insanity come together to form a masterpiece. When a giant silly thing is phenomenal, as well as a sentient rat (not to mention a man-eating shark) capturing your imagination, you know you’re in for a one of a kind experience.

Below, you can see my conversation with Murphy. We talk plenty about The Suicide Squad, but I was delighted just to shoot the breeze and learn about his process. Murphy is candid, casual, and just happy to be doing the work that he loves, and it all comes across here. So, that made this an absolute pleasure. Plus, loving his movie (and many of the projects he’s composed for) so much, I was game to hear anything he had to say. Where else can you hear Bruce Springsteen and Starro the Conquerer mentioned in the same interview?

Here now is my interview with The Suicide Squad composer John Murphy. Enjoy:

The Suicide Squad is in theaters and on HBO Max now!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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