Composer Paul Haslinger Replacing Danny Elfman on Wolfman

November 9, 2009


Today Cinemusic, which follows everything regarding film soundtracks and scores, nabbed a disappointing scoop that composer Danny Elfman (Batman, Spider-Man, Milk) will no longer be composing the score for Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, and he will be replaced by Paul Haslinger (Death Race, Prom Night, Crank). While Cinemusic cites scheduling conflicts and even a rumor of problems with the film, our own inside source told us that not only has Elfman composed a finished score already, but that he's done at least a few different versions and that the studio doesn't like his score and wants to use another one instead.

Word on the street is Elfman composed "a traditional, grandly gothic effort a la Kilar’s Bram Stoker's Dracula," but apparently it wasn't good enough. So as not to create an insecurity as to the quality of the film, however, there seems to be a certain amount of damage control in this "scheduling conflict" story because it sounds like with Haslinger's recruitment, almost none of the work Elfman has done will end up on screen. This is especially upsetting since Joe Johnston holds Elfman in such high esteem:

“If Danny Elfman does do [Wolfman], I’m going to basically just let him run loose. I’m going to run the movie for him without music and without the temp track and say, 'Do what you have never done before and see what comes out of it.' I think he’s fantastic."

This is simply a sad turn of events for a film that has been plagued by numerous release delays and other production problems. I really hope that at some point we'll hear Elfman's score even if it's just in the form of an internet leak, but who knows if that'll ever happen. If we hear anything further regarding this change-up we'll be sure to let you know, but for now, it's Haslinger's score we'll be hearing in February. Thoughts?

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  • Xerxex
    so they fire elfman and give this haslinger guy who composed prom night and crank soundtracks? well that blows, I will say this however, there in one track on prom night this is actually good and its by This Will Destroy You "I Believe In Your Victory" and that was a good choice, but even though TWDY is a brilliant post-rock band that still does not instill much confidence, but I'll give haslinger the benefit of the doubt.
  • rowdy
    elfman and the wolfman i mean that is such a great combo how could it go wrong and elfman for haslinger is such a down grad
  • If his music sounded like the music from Bram Stoker's Dracula, how was it not good enough? The music in that movie is great and if it really sounded like it, why would they not want it?
  • sam
    this sucks
  • Brian Barajas
    honestly, elfman hasnt impressed for a few years now, not too bummed about it.....
  • dave13
    i love Elfman. how could they not like it? sad. though I will admit that sometimes he reuses the same horn counterpoint in many songs. but still. he makes such fitting scores!
  • harm
    Oh cmon, like a great composer can make great music for every movie? No. Elfman is a great composer no doubt. But maybe it was too much of a rip on BSD or Batman. If I was the director or the studio and that got turned into me, I'd dump it and fast. As long as the final result is good who cares? This sounds like it really was about quality of work, because he was already done, meaning Elfman already got paid. If the studio really felt that was necessary after that point? Then I am glad they made a change rather than trying to just suck it up and make do. Everything about this movie looks to reinvent perceptions of Joe Johnston as quality, as a great movie, so why skimp on the music?
  • xerxex
    well Harm the reason I'm worried is a similar thing happened with King Kong 2005 Howard Shore was the original composer but Jackson himself removed him from the project, and had James Newton Howard do the score he had literally weeks to score and record more than three hours of music, and the sound track was somewhat underwhelming, even though the soundtrack was nominated for a Golden Globe.
  • Dan the Fan
    Huh, Elfman letting it slip... that's a bit surprising to me. At any rate, whatever the case may be, sometimes things just don't come together. And it must not have fit if execs are taking the extreme on pulling his work. So for that, I am thankful. He's a talented musician. Let's just hope he didn't drop the ball because he was doing too much blow and life will go on. He's married to Bridget Fonda anyway... Kiss of the Dragon? Jackie Brown? wicked...
  • Dave Lister, JMC
    I won't miss Elfman and his tired "oompa-loompa oompa-loompa" sound. He hasn't done anything worth listening to, since his Oingo Boingo days.
  • dylan
    this is a huge mistake elfman is the best there is period.
  • SlashBeast
    Most of Elfman's music sounds the same anyway.
  • Ira Cord Rubnitz
    Well xerxex... Ya think James' score was "underwhelming", do ya!? For the very LITTLE time he had, I-as a composer/engineer-think he did an amazing job!!! Hats off to him, and I told him that! Paul is a very talented composer, and will hopefully use his music/sound design approach well. No worries, though I prey Danny's score is heard! If you could do a better job than James did, you MUST be the bomb, xerxex!!! But....I don't think ya could!




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