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 with The Lotus Eaters, Thomas Lang, and Claudia Brücken. He has collaborated with directors Danny Boyle, Guy Ritchie, Michael Mann, Matthew Vaughn, Stephen Frears, and James Gunn. His awards include the Silver Award (1st Prize) at the Cannes Film Festival, a British D&AD Award, and a BMI Award.[citation needed]

John Murphy
Murphy at the 2022 WonderCon
Murphy at the 2022 WonderCon
Background information
Birth nameJohn Murphy
Born (1965-03-04) 4 March 1965 (age 57)
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
GenresFilm score, electronic, instrumental, alternative, post-rock
Occupation(s)Film composer, musician, music producer
InstrumentsGuitar, piano
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, 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 titled 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 2019 he scored "Les Miserables" for the BBC, and in 2020, he composed the score for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.



Year Title Director Notes
1992 Leon the Pig Farmer Vadim Jean
Gary Sinyor
Composed with David Hughes
1994 Beyond Bedlam Vadim Jean
A Feast at Midnight Justin Hardy Composed with David Hughes
Dinner in Purgatory Kerry Kieman
1995 Clockwork Mice Vadim Jean
Proteus Bob Keen
1996 Darklands Julian Richards
1997 Behind the Mask Ngozi Onwurah Short film
The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous Robert Knights Television film
Stiff Upper Lips Gary Sinyor
1998 What Rats Won't Do Alastair Reid
The Real Howard Spitz Vadim Jean
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Guy Ritchie Composed with David Hughes
1999 One More Kiss Vadim Jean
The Bachelor Gary Sinyor
2000 Snatch Guy Ritchie
Liam Stephen Frears
Chain of Fools Pontus Löwenhielm
Patrick von Krusenstjerna
2001 Hang Time Ngozi Onwurah Short film
Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise Danny Boyle Television film
Shooters Dan Reed
Mean Machine Barry Skolnick
2002 All About the Benjamins Kevin Bray
New Best Friend Zoe Clarke-Williams Composed with David Hughes
City by the Sea Michael Caton-Jones
28 Days Later Danny Boyle
Friday After Next Marcus Raboy
2003 Intermission John Crowley
2004 The Perfect Score Brian Robbins
Millions Danny Boyle
2005 Guess Who Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Keeping Up with the Jonesers Craig Borders Short film
The Man Les Mayfield
2006 Basic Instinct 2 Michael Caton-Jones Themes by Jerry Goldsmith
Miami Vice Michael Mann Composed with Klaus Badelt
2007 Sunshine Danny Boyle Composed with Underworld
28 Weeks Later Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
2009 The Last House on the Left Dennis Iliadis
Janky Promoters Marcus Raboy
Armored Nimród Antal
2010 Kick-Ass Matthew Vaughn Composed with Henry Jackman, Marius de Vries and Ilan Eshkeri
2021 The Suicide Squad James Gunn Replaced Tyler Bates
2023 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3


Year Title Director Notes
1996 Where the Bad Girls Go Chris Bernard Documentary short
Eunice the Gladiator
2000 The Valley Dan Reed
2013 Love Never Fails/Forever Found Kelsey Shaw McNeal


Year Title Notes
1997 Modern Times Episode: "The Bubble"
2011 Dispatches Episode: "The Battle for Haiti"
Frontline Episode: "Battle for Haiti"
2018 Les Misérables Miniseries
2022 Peacemaker TV series
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Special

Charting discographyEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"In the House – In a Heartbeat" 2012 89 28 Days Later: The Soundtrack Album
"Pumped Up Kicks"
(featuring Ralph Saenz)
2022 1 Peacemaker (Soundtrack from the HBO Max Original Series)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  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. ^ "CZ - Radio - Top 20 Modern Rock - John Murphy" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved 20 January 2023.
  5. ^ John Murphy page

External linksEdit