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Williams' unrealized scores we know about


Ricardo Mortimer
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John Williams' Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2.

 

https://www.harrypotterfanzone.com/david-heyman-david-yates-on-alexandre-desplats-deathly-hallows-music-john-williams-returning/

 

Though I do like Alexander Desplat's score.

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I believe he was the first choice for Treasure Planet.

 

I've seen people mention over the years that Alejandro Amenabar asked him to score Agora but can't find a source. Might have been interesting if true.

 

 

Ended up with a nice Dario Marianelli score.

 

Oh and of course Bridge of Spies and Ready Player One.

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17 minutes ago, E-Wan said:

1980:
Around this time, Williams bailed on two particularly infamous flops. Michael Cimino's visually staggering HEAVEN'S GATE had Williams attached at one point (and Morricone was also considered for the project), but Williams wisely departed (leaving The Missouri Breaks as his final Western score to date), and Cimino went in a markedly different direction with the young composer David Mansfield, whose folksy score proved to be one of the film's most popular elements; he went on to score three more features for the controversial director. 

 

Certain this was our Johnny? Weird coincidence if so, considering Deer Hunter famously uses a piece performed by the other JW....

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I remembered the Clash of the Titans, it was similar case to Meteor. Williams was asked, but recommended Laurence Rosenthal for the job. 

 

I still want to hear Williams' music for a historical epic film, like Miklós Rozsa did for Ben-Hur. Johnny never composed music for movie like this. It is paradoxical, Rózsa considered him as his successor in composing music for epic films, Williams composed music for another type of epic movies, but there were many opportunities in the early 00's...after the success of the Gladiator.

 

mrl008.jpg

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5 hours ago, Sandor said:

Titanic?

 

A seemingly accurate book on the making of Titanic I read years ago did claim that Cameron wanted JW to do it, but he was too busy. Early previews for the movie were temp-tracked with Far and Away music, including the Enya song.

 

Allegedly, Horner really wanted to do Titanic and sweet-talked his way into it.

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4 hours ago, E-Wan said:

Here are extracts from Scott Bettencourt's six-part article called "TIMELINES: JOHN WILLIAMS" which was published on FSM website in 2007:

 

1974:
Williams was originally announced to score Robert Altman's gambling drama, CALIFORNIA SPLIT, which featured his actress wife Barbara Ruick in a supporting role. Ruick died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemorrhage during the filming and Williams left the project, though despite his personal tragedy (which inspired his violin concerto), he kept working. 

 

1976:
Around the same time, Williams was announced to score Michael Winner's Satanic horror film THE SENTINEL, but wisely backed out at the last moment -- reportedly due to illness, but probably it was simply good sense, as anyone who has seen Winner's film can attest to. It was the first of many incidents were Williams would back out on a project that turned out to be a disaster. 

 

1979:
Williams was also announced to score two science-fiction films that proved to be expensive disasters. QUINTET was a bleak post-apocalyptic drama from Robert Altman, with memorable visuals but little in the way of narrative excitement or emotional involvement. It would have been fascinating to see what Williams could have done with such dark material -- especially since Williams' previous collaborations with Altman were so musically unusual -- but Williams left the project, and the striking score was written by Tom Pierson (who was later the music director for Altman's Popeye). 

 

METEOR was a big-budget disaster film with a George Pal flavor, but the troubled project ended up with a lengthy post-production period as the effects were redone (and still came out surprisingly cheap looking). Williams' departure may have been due to the scheduling delays, but it proved to be a commercially wise choice. Laurence Rosenthal's score had some fine passagea, especially his soaring main theme, and, ironically, unlike Dracula and 1941, his score was short-listed for the Oscar (in the last year of the Original Score shortlist) -- it was a rare year that Williams had new scores but no Oscar nominations. 

 

1980:
Around this time, Williams bailed on two particularly infamous flops. Michael Cimino's visually staggering HEAVEN'S GATE had Williams attached at one point (and Morricone was also considered for the project), but Williams wisely departed (leaving The Missouri Breaks as his final Western score to date), and Cimino went in a markedly different direction with the young composer David Mansfield, whose folksy score proved to be one of the film's most popular elements; he went on to score three more features for the controversial director. 

 

INCHON was an epic about a pivotal battle of the Korean War, financed by Reverend Sun Yung Moon, with Terence Young (From Russia with Love, Wait Until Dark) directing an all-star cast headed by Laurence Olivier as General MacArthur (no, really). The film's U.S. opening was delayed, as major subplots and characters were cut out completely, and it was released very briefly in the fall of 1982 before disappearing completely (as far as I know, it has never been released on video or cable). Jerry Goldsmith ultimately provided the score (which gave him the rare opportunity to write a second theme for MacArthur), a lively work which is practically the only thing about the movie that has survived. 

 

Considering how great a part of Superman's success his score was, it was only natural that he'd be invited to score SUPERMAN II, much of which was filmed concurrently with the first Superman (though Richard Lester replaced Richard Donner for the completion of the film), but ultimately the film was scored by Lester's regular composer Ken Thorne, basing virtually his entire score on Williams's themes and cues (effectively if unimaginatively). One of Superman's producers has claimed that Williams met with Lester about scoring the film but had such a negative reaction to the director that he turned the job down. Considering how famously easygoing both Lester and Williams are, this scenario is less than plausible -- it's far more likely that the Superman producers simply didn't want to pay Williams' fee (the Brando footage shot for Superman II was deleted for similar financial reasons, while Lester has said he worked on the Superman films mostly to get money owed to him by the producers from their Musketeers films). 

 

1994:
In the mid-90s, there were rumors that Williams was considering retirement (his leadership of the Boston Pops ended in 1993), and he didn't score any new films in 1994. He was originally announced to score Mike Nichols' offbeat werewolf thriller WOLF (which would have made a nice companion piece with Williams's Dracula and The Witches of Eastwick), but Williams ultimately left the project and Ennio Morricone wrote a typically striking score. 

 

1999:
Williams was originally announced to score Chris Columbus' megabudget project for 1999, the sci-fi comedy drama BICENTENNIAL MAN, with Robin Williams as a robot fighting for his rights as a sentient being, but the film ended up being scored by James Horner (and was a rare commercial failure for the director). Instead, Williams scored his only (to date) film for director Alan Parker, the underrated adaptation of Frank McCourt's best-selling memoir ANGELA'S ASHES.

 

Absolutely none of these are losses. So I am glad we did not miss out on anything great.

 

12 minutes ago, Ricardo Mortimer said:

I remembered the Clash of the Titans, it was similar case to Meteor. Williams was asked, but recommended Laurence Rosenthal for the job. 

 

I still want to hear Williams' music for a historical epic film, like Miklós Rozsa did for Ben-Hur. Johnny never composed music for movie like this. It is paradoxical, Rózsa considered him as his successor in composing music for epic films, Williams composed music for another type of epic movies, but there were many opportunities in the early 00's...after the success of the Gladiator.

 

mrl008.jpg

 

This indeed is a loss. I do agree I would love to see Williams write an all out sword and sandals score. You just know it will be great.

 

Maybe they think to hire him from the upcoming Cleopatra flm? But no, they will probably get Hans.

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1 minute ago, TheUlyssesian said:

This indeed is a loss. I do agree I would love to see Williams write an all out sword and sandals score. You just know it will be great. 

Maybe they think to hire him from the upcoming Cleopatra flm? But no, they will probably get Hans.

 

I can imagine that music, something like constant The Flag Parade style, you know  :yes: I thought I will write to him about Cleopatra and fans' wishes. 

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5 hours ago, E-Wan said:

Williams was originally announced to score Chris Columbus' megabudget project for 1999, the sci-fi comedy drama BICENTENNIAL MAN, with Robin Williams as a robot fighting for his rights as a sentient being, but the film ended up being scored by James Horner (and was a rare commercial failure for the director). Instead, Williams scored his only (to date) film for director Alan Parker, the underrated adaptation of Frank McCourt's best-selling memoir ANGELA'S ASHES.

 

Why Williams couldn't do Bicentennial Man? Maybe time? That year he had only The Phantom Menace and Angela's Ashes, but he recorded TPM on the beginning of the year, and the article implies that, instead of scoring BM, he scored Angela, but not that he did one because of another. 

 

Maybe Columbus was going over the budget, and the studio didn't want to pay Williams' fee. But then again, Horner wasn't exactly cheap, specially since he had won the Oscar on the previous year.

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8 hours ago, E-Wan said:

Here are extracts from Scott Bettencourt's six-part article called "TIMELINES: JOHN WILLIAMS" which was published on FSM website in 2007:

This was a fascinating read. Any chance you have more you can share from this 6-part article?

 

Edit: I was able to track down the six parts at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. For those interested, click this link, which should take you to Part 6. You can scroll to the bottom to find links to the previous five parts.

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4 hours ago, Ricardo Mortimer said:

 

I still want to hear Williams' music for a historical epic film, like Miklós Rozsa did for Ben-Hur. Johnny never composed music for movie like this. It is paradoxical, Rózsa considered him as his successor in composing music for epic films, Williams composed music for another type of epic movies, but there were many opportunities in the early 00's...after the success of the Gladiator.

Thing is, Williams would do a great Rózsa-esque First Wave Epic, but I'm not sure at all about the new age-ey, wailing woman-y identity the Second Wave Epics carved out for themselves.

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As I recall from interviews there was a specific window of like 6 weeks or something in the middle of TFA scoring where he was gonna take a break and write/record Bridge of Spies, Spielberg had worked it out with JJ and everything. That whole break ended up having to be taken up by his infamous pacemaker surgery and recovery.

 

He had been planning to do Ready Player One along with Last Jedi in 2017-18 so I assume scheduling got screwed up when The Post got thrown into the mix. I don’t think there was ever direct confirmation of what happened there but seems the obvious explanation. 

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6 hours ago, Ricardo Mortimer said:

I remembered the Clash of the Titans, it was similar case to Meteor. Williams was asked, but recommended Laurence Rosenthal for the job. 

 

I still want to hear Williams' music for a historical epic film, like Miklós Rozsa did for Ben-Hur. Johnny never composed music for movie like this. It is paradoxical, Rózsa considered him as his successor in composing music for epic films, Williams composed music for another type of epic movies, but there were many opportunities in the early 00's...after the success of the Gladiator.

 

mrl008.jpg

 

You're right, come to think of it. We never did get a JW score for a movie like that. Nor did we ever get a JW score for a film set in a traditional fantasy world like LOTR or GOT or WARCRAFT. Part of me longs for a John Williams sword & sorcery film score... I suppose SW is close enough for the most part, with all its strange creatures and magic and sword fights; it's just set in a very technologically advanced universe.

 

Which raises another interesting point of, when you think about it, really the only films JW ever did that were not set on Earth or in our galaxy, were the STAR WARS films (and maybe HEARTBEEPS; haven't seen it, so I'm not sure if there's a connection to our world or not). Which I suppose is normal enough for many composers, but still, when you consider JW's extensive output it's funny that the film cycle that will go down as his magnum opus, comprises practically the only films of his which are set in an entirely different world.

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I remember reading (but can't recall where...) that apparently Brian Singer wanted Williams for X-Men, but he refused. Also, for Superman Returns and Williams also turned down that. 

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2 hours ago, Tydirium said:

 

You're right, come to think of it. We never did get a JW score for a movie like that. Nor did we ever get a JW score for a film set in a traditional fantasy world like LOTR or GOT or WARCRAFT. Part of me longs for a John Williams sword & sorcery film score... I suppose SW is close enough for the most part, with all its strange creatures and magic and sword fights; it's just set in a very technologically advanced universe.

 

Which raises another interesting point of, when you think about it, really the only films JW ever did that were not set on Earth or in our galaxy, were the STAR WARS films (and maybe HEARTBEEPS; haven't seen it, so I'm not sure if there's a connection to our world or not). Which I suppose is normal enough for many composers, but still, when you consider JW's extensive output it's funny that the film cycle that will go down as his magnum opus, comprises practically the only films of his which are set in an entirely different world.

 

Does Neverland count?

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4 hours ago, DrTenma said:

I remember reading (but can't recall where...) that apparently Brian Singer wanted Williams for X-Men, but he refused. Also, for Superman Returns and Williams also turned down that. 

 

Yeah, I've read that as well. 

 

Which is too bad, I would like to hear a Williams' score for a darker, more serious comic book movie, more than 78 Superman.

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I have a better question. Why he wasted his precious time composing music for Heartbeeps? I do not understand this. Negative reviews, box-office bomb! He was a fan or friend of Andy Kaufman...or just lucky left him in choosing the project??? 

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According to the liner notes, he did it due to his relationship with producer Michael Phillips, who was also a producer on Close Encounters.

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Maybe it was after this movie bombing that he started to become more selective with his movies. "No more shitty movies, never again! Unless Spielberg or Lucas are doing them, in that case I will have no choice".

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That's very unlikely. The Eastwood/Niehaus team was set in 1995 and there's no way Clint would've passed on penning his own love theme by that point.

 

It ain't gonna get more mellow than Eiger Sanction, anyway.

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11 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Maybe it was after this movie bombing that he started to become more selective with his movies. "No more shitty movies, never again! Unless Spielberg or Lucas are doing them, in that case I will have no choice".

Monsignor was a year later ;)

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22 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

 

Does Neverland count?

 

Speaking of Neverland, there's also the abandoned PETER PAN musical project.

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On 1/25/2020 at 8:07 AM, rough cut said:

I am sure he and Spielberg talked about Bridge Of Spies, but that he had to now out due to time constraints.

 

No, its well known now Williams had to bow out because of health reasons. He was scheduled to score BOS.

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I think both Steven and John had originally planned to work on Bridge Of Spies, health issues aside, and I don’t seem to be the only one...

 

So, unrealized, it is.

 

On 1/25/2020 at 8:48 AM, mrbellamy said:

As I recall from interviews there was a specific window of like 6 weeks or something in the middle of TFA scoring where he was gonna take a break and write/record Bridge of Spies, Spielberg had worked it out with JJ and everything. That whole break ended up having to be taken up by his infamous pacemaker surgery and recovery.

 

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John had expressed interest in scoring Powder but had a clause in his contract that he could decline after seeing a rough cut. Goldsmith had no such stipulation, so he could commit without seeing a frame of film which made him a safer choice for the producers. 


Because John William's representatives explained to me that when John offers to score your film, you agree to the following protocol: You shoot the film, you edit the film and then John views the film with you -with NO temp score or music on the picture at all- and then decides if he will score the film or not. 
 

http://pohocounty.blogspot.com/2009/05/jerry-goldsmith-and-powder.html

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2 hours ago, MikeH said:

John had expressed interest in scoring Powder but had a clause in his contract that he could decline after seeing a rough cut. Goldsmith had no such stipulation, so he could commit without seeing a frame of film which made him a safer choice for the producers. 


Because John William's representatives explained to me that when John offers to score your film, you agree to the following protocol: You shoot the film, you edit the film and then John views the film with you -with NO temp score or music on the picture at all- and then decides if he will score the film or not. 
 

http://pohocounty.blogspot.com/2009/05/jerry-goldsmith-and-powder.html

 

Very interesting post by the director. However the following bit caught my eye:

 

Quote

When the film came out and became ridiculed and attacked because of my past, Jerry stood by me as did Roger Birnbaum, stating that regardless of what anyone was saying, "We had made a brilliant film and that nothing could change that."

 

Curious as to what this past was, I took a trip Victor Salva's Wikipedia page and found out:

 

Quote

His ongoing career in filmmaking became controversial after his conviction in 1988 for charges relating to his sexual abuse of a 12-year-old male actor who was starring in one of his films, Clownhouse, videotaping himself in the act of doing so, and possessing commercial videotapes and magazines containing child pornography.

 

:eh:

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