The Dark Knight's Score Disqualified From Oscar Consideration
by Alex Billington
November 13, 2008
Like it or not, The Dark Knight is going to keep popping up in headlines all the way through to the Oscars in February, so just be prepared. This latest news is rather disappointing for those who were a fan of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's score - that even I'd been strongly supporting since June. The executive committee of the Academy music branch has disqualified their score from Oscar consideration this year. This actually happened to their Batman Begins score in 2005 as well, so this isn't the first time. The Academy's reason behind the disqualification states that five names were listed as composers, and Zimmer and Howard were only credited for "more than 60%, but less than 70%" of the score.
Zimmer mentioned that the reason why they included multiple names on the cue sheet is because it's a way of financially rewarding parts of the music team who helped make the overall work successful. In addition to Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard, music editor Alex Gibson, ambient music designer Mel Wesson, and composer Lorne Balfe were all listed. The five of them all signed an affidavit stating that the score was primarily the work of Zimmer and Howard, but that wasn't enough to convince the committee. Much like the Director's Guild of America, apparently multiple-composer collaboration is frowned upon formally, which is odd considering Zimmer and Howard are two of the greatest composers working today.
The reason why I excitedly took on that interview with Zimmer and Howard back in June is because I'm a huge fan of both of them individually, but also loved their extraordinary work on Batman Begins. In fact, it's my personal all-time favorite score, which says a lot about my love of their work. Subsequently, The Dark Knight took everything about that score and upped the ante a bit more. I know I'm not the only one who loved it which is what will make this news so disappointing. For those who still do want to show their appreciation to Zimmer and Howard, even though their score won't be at the Oscars this year, Warner Brothers is re-releasing a two-disc special edition of the soundtrack on December 8th.
Reader Feedback - 25 Comments
BOOOOOOO Everyone knows it would have been a very serious contender, and in my opinion, a winner. Academy always finds a way to screw over the best movies.
LASERBEAM on Nov 13, 2008
Both BB and TDK scores are amazing. TDK score is one of my all-time favs - You have the broding theme for Batman, the noble theme for Harvey Dent and the seemingly frantic theme for the Joker. It really helped to enhance the movie experience in my opinion. It's a shame that the old-geezers at the academy are going to not allow this for consideration on some stupid BS technicality. Wonder what other ways they'll find to screw TDK out of awards...
Boo-Yah on Nov 13, 2008
Hm.. What are they trying to prove? That they are always legally correct? Isn't this about the artistic excellence? Oh well, since it is about art, the award can be looked past. This is not going to affect the amazing score they created, but it is instead going to adversely affect Oscar..
Deepak T on Nov 13, 2008
and they wonder why the number of viewers drops every year. the academy continuously gets rid of fan favorites that would make people want to tune in.
troy on Nov 13, 2008
This is a huge disappointment. The Dark Knight's score was definetely one of the best of the year. It was so intense without being boisterous and perfectly underscored every scene. It's a real shame the academy is too narrow minded to allow it to be nominated.
SlashBeast on Nov 13, 2008
damn, i really loved the score in this movie and it is so dissapointing to hear this. oh well,
Jay Selis on Nov 13, 2008
Wouldn't have won either way. Score is certainly of the forgettable elements of this Batman. It's good, but it just doesn't set itself apart.
Darunia on Nov 13, 2008
@Darunia You forgot the 'U' and 'N' in "unforgettable."
LASERBEAM on Nov 13, 2008
The same thing happened to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Their score for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was denied consideration too. Big shame as it was very well done. Same goes for The Dark Knight.
John D. on Nov 13, 2008
Does anyone really care about the Oscars anymore?
avoidz on Nov 13, 2008
This is just cause the academy knows Dark Knight is going to win so much other stuff...
Steven on Nov 13, 2008
Damn man... these two are my favorite. I listen to Hans Zimmer's score since The Rock ans James's Unbreakable were truly amazed me, it got feel on it. what they they did in TDK was the 1st time I heard a score never made in a movie and I was impressed totally. Of course they need to used back BB's score alike cause it's a sequel , right?
JoeG on Nov 13, 2008
THAT PISSES ME OFF!! I'm a huge Hans Zimmer fan, and was expecting to see him walk up there to get his Oscar. That WAS the best score, and would have won best score. They (Hollywood) have gone too far. That's bull!! The Dark Knight was going to sweep the Oscars and Hollywood doesn't like the fact that the other crap they put out, blows, so they're taking it out on them. So, what, they are punishing Hans and James for giving credit to the others that were there, and helped? F*#k that!! Screw Hollywood! Down with Hollywood!! I'm done with them.
Brian on Nov 13, 2008
W T F does it matter if 200 people created the score?!!? ghey - good luck with those ratings Oscar.
bozoconnors on Nov 14, 2008
the oscar committees are full of old grumpy grandpa... they all are idiot!!!
safichan on Nov 14, 2008
what? WHAT?!? That is absurd! I sat all the way through Iron Man's credits (3 or 4 times, how ever many times I've gone) to see the Nick Fury film snippet. I sat through TDK's credits 3 or 4 times to hear the score. It's amazing.
kevjohn on Nov 14, 2008
Who the hell cares about the Oscars anyway? Why is their opinion more important than mine? They don't change what I think about movies.
MCab on Nov 14, 2008
FUCK The Academy they are so stupid and they proved that million times! True, who cares about Oscars any more ? Last year they disappointed me enough and this year I'm sure they will do the same .. Screw them !
A J on Nov 15, 2008
Hans and James...making great music, making a great living doing what they love, enjoying the company of other talented musicians. Oscar--------whhaaaat?
Teo on Nov 16, 2008
Shame on you! its one of the best scores I ever listend to, so i think its really stupid that the fucking academy doesn't consider this work of hans and howard (and of course the other great composers). they helped to pruduce this fantastic score...so what? who cares? the academy should really reconsider their proceeding!! anyway, i hope they'll be nomintad and that the great composers will maybe receive the award...;-)
LJ on Nov 17, 2008
Ha ha, I am not surprised by this. I really liked the movie but the reality is that the score was predictable, with the same technique as as all action-drama films of the 2000s. Not to mention that there was hardly any new material--its almost the same as Batman Begins. No wonder professional reviews of this score average a D. Finally the academy got something right!
GP on Nov 23, 2008
WOoohAaaaa..... This is so lame, the score was excellent to listen to. I'm a huge fans of hans Zimmer and Newton Howard, the thing is only about how many people did the Score, who cares if there was more then 2 excellent creator of mucis soundtrack. It was more a team work.... Baahhh at less we all supported them and show that we are not happy witht the decision.
Maniac23 on Dec 5, 2008
Academy is a genius to make a lot of wonderful movie.
Hadara Olga on Jul 6, 2009
Darunia is a sperm-eater.
SlashBeast on Jul 10, 2010
The real issue is rewarding 2 composers for the work of 5 (or more). There's really no telling because "Hans Zimmer" is a studio of many composers, not a solo composer.
Jergens on Dec 15, 2010
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.