John Murphy (composer)

John Murphy (born 4 March 1965) is a British film composer. He is a self-taught multi-instrumental musician who began his career in the 1980s, working notably with The Lotus Eaters, Thomas Lang, and Claudia Brücken. Since the beginning of his career, he has collaborated numerous times with several directors, mainly Danny Boyle, Guy Ritchie, Michael Mann, Matthew Vaughn, and Stephen Frears. He has received praise through the years and some of his awards include the Silver Award (1st Prize) at the Cannes Film Festival, a British D&AD Award, and a BMI Award.

John Murphy
Birth nameJohn Murphy
Born (1965-03-04) 4 March 1965 (age 56)
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
GenresFilm score, electronic, instrumental, alternative, post-rock
Occupation(s)Film composer, musician, music producer
Years active1980–present
LabelsTaped Noise

Murphy gained recognition in the film industry while working with Guy Ritchie on his film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Michael Mann's Miami Vice, Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass and scoring various films by Danny Boyle. His instrumental tracks "In the House – In a Heartbeat" from 28 Days Later and "Adagio in D Minor" from Sunshine have been featured in a variety of TV shows, commercials and film trailers.


Born in Liverpool, England, Murphy began composing music for films in the early 1990s and scored his first hit with Leon the Pig Farmer. Together with former OMD member David Hughes, he worked on several successful British movies, enjoying particular success with the soundtrack to 1998's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Since 2000's Snatch and Shooters, Murphy has worked independently and has been based in Los Angeles. His successes include Danny Boyle's box-office success 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later. He also collaborated with Underworld to score Danny Boyle's science fiction film Sunshine. In 2006 Murphy composed the score for Michael Mann's Miami Vice. In 2009, he composed the music for the 2009 remake of the 1972 film The Last House on the Left, followed by 2010's Kick-Ass, based on the comic book of the same name. Other excerpts from his scores have been released for advertising, in particular "In the House – In a Heartbeat" from 28 Days Later, and "Adagio in D minor" from Sunshine.

In 2014, he released an album Anonymous Rejected Filmscore[1] that had been, as the title suggests, composed for a film whose studio head had rejected for being too 'weird'.[2][3] Murphy promised the director that he wouldn't name the film. The score was allowed to develop in directions unconstrained by the original film's narrative[3] and the cover art is a photograph of Murphy's son, taken by his wife through her sunglasses.[3] In 2020 he completed the score for James Gunn's 'The Suicide Squad' and is currently working with James Gunn on 'The Peacemaker' for HBO.


Film workEdit

Feature films
Year Title Director Notes Distributed by
Leon the Pig Farmer Vadim Jean
Gary Sinyor

Composed with:

Beyond Bedlam Vadim Jean
A Feast at Midnight Justin Hardy

Composed with:

  • David Hughes
Dinner in Purgatory Kerry Kieman
Clockwork Mice Vadim Jean
Proteus Bob Keen
Darklands Julian Richards
Behind the Mask Ngozi Onwurah Short film
Stiff Upper Lips Gary Sinyor Miramax Films
What Rats Won't Do Alastair Reid
The Real Howard Spitz Vadim Jean New Line Cinema
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Guy Ritchie

Composed with:

  • David Hughes
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Gramercy Pictures
One More Kiss Vadim Jean

Composed with:

  • David Hughes
The Mob Film Company
The Bachelor Gary Sinyor

Composed with:

  • David Hughes
New Line Cinema
Snatch Guy Ritchie Columbia Pictures
Screen Gems
Liam Stephen Frears Lionsgate Entertainment
Chain of Fools Pontus Löwenhielm
Patrick von Krusenstjerna
Warner Bros. Pictures
Hang Time Ngozi Onwurah Short film
Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise Danny Boyle Television film
Strumpet Danny Boyle Television film
Shooters Dan Reed
Mean Machine Barry Skolnick Paramount Pictures
All About the Benjamins Kevin Bray New Line Cinema
New Best Friend Zoe Clarke-Williams

Composed with:

  • David Hughes
Tristar Pictures
City by the Sea Michael Caton-Jones Warner Bros. Pictures
28 Days Later Danny Boyle 20th Century Fox
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Friday After Next Marcus Raboy New Line Cinema
Intermission John Crowley Buena Vista Pictures
DreamWorks Pictures
The Perfect Score Brian Robbins Paramount Pictures
Millions Danny Boyle Pathé Distribution
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Guess Who Kevin Rodney Sullivan Columbia Pictures
Keeping Up with the Jonesers Craig Borders Short film
The Man Les Mayfield New Line Cinema
Columbia Pictures
Basic Instinct 2 Michael Caton-Jones

Themes by:

Entertainment Film Distributors
Miami Vice Michael Mann

Composed with:

Universal Pictures
Sunshine Danny Boyle

Composed with:

Fox Searchlight Pictures
28 Weeks Later Juan Carlos Fresnadillo 20th Century Fox
The Last House on the Left Dennis Iliadis Rogue Pictures
Janky Promoters Marcus Raboy Third Rail Releasing
Armored Nimród Antal Screen Gems
Kick-Ass Matthew Vaughn

Composed with:

Lionsgate Entertainment
Universal Pictures
The Suicide Squad James Gunn Warner Bros. Pictures
Year Title Director Notes Distributed by
Where the Bad Girls Go Chris Bernard Short film
Eunice the Gladiator Chris Bernard Short film
The Valley Dan Reed Suspect Device Films

Television workEdit

TV series
Year Title Notes
Modern Times


  • The Bubble


  • The Battle for Haiti


  • Battle for Haiti
Les Misérables


  • The Peacemaker

Charting discographyEdit

Year Single Peak position Album
2012 "In the House – In a Heartbeat 89 28 Days Later: The Soundtrack Album


  1. ^ Kaya Savas (26 September 2014). "Anonymous Rejected Filmscore by John Murphy (Review)". Film.Music.Media. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. ^ Gergely Hubai (August 2014). "Torn Pages: An Anonymous Exclusive". Film Score Monthly. Archived from the original on 27 November 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2017. Alt URL
  3. ^ a b c Kaya Savas (13 October 2014). "Composer Interview: John Murphy". Film.Music.Media. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  4. ^ John Murphy page

External linksEdit