Music can be a tricky thing in the film industry. While some artists/estates/companies will happily permit filmmakers to use their songs in movies for a minimal price, there are others who feel that it's an opportunity to demand a whole lot of cash. The latter is a common occurrence in the industry, and one such example can be found in the backstory of Todd Phillips' War Dogs. While the writer/director wanted to have "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses play during a key sequence in the feature, he hit a brick wall when it came to the cost.
The use of music in War Dogs was one of many aspects of the film that I recently talked about with Todd Phillips during a phone interview. The new movie has a wonderful, eclectic soundtrack, but I was curious if there were any songs that wound up being just out of reach. It turns out that the aforementioned hit from the 1987 album "Appetite for Destruction" was one such title. Said Phillips,
The sequence to which Todd Phillips is referring is towards the middle of the movie, and follows David Packouz (Miles Teller) and David Packouz (Miles Teller) as they travel to Las Vegas for an industry convention described as "Comic-Con with grenades." I call recall the sequence at one point using "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" by Dean Martin, though I don't know if that's the song that wound up replacing "Paradise City" (or if one song exactly did).
Discussing the subject of music in War Dogs further, I was curious how Todd Phillips worked the various songs into the mix -- the soundtrack featuring a wide variety of different sounds, including The Who, 50 Cent, Pink Floyd, and House of Pain. Phillips noted that his choices begin in the script stage, though they are always open to change during the post-production process. He explained,
Given that War Dogs carries the spirit of early 1990s Martin Scorsese, it's only fitting that the movie feature an epic soundtrack- and it most certainly does. You'll be able to hear it play out in the film this Friday, as the movie hits theaters August 19th.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.