James Newton Howard Replacing Danny Elfman for 'Hunger Games'
Whoa! Usually when a composer like Danny Elfman has to step down from a project, the replacement isn't that great. This is a change! Variety says Elfman, who was going to score Gary Ross' The Hunger Games adaptation, has had to leave over scheduling, and instead James Newton Howard will be replacing him. Howard is the Oscar nominated composer of great scores like The Last Airbender, The Dark Knight, I Am Legend, Michael Clayton, The Village, Outbreak, The Fugitive (I could go on), and is a spectacular choice to provide the score for this movie anyway. I'm listening to some of his work now and it he'll work perfectly.
Variety goes on to say that Lionsgate, who "had no comment on the development," originally announced this July that Elfman and T Bone Burnett would collaborate on this score, with Burnett also working as the executive music producer. Burnett will apparently continuing his "full involvement" with Hunger Games while James Newton Howard takes over. I'm very curious to hear how this sounds with that mix. A "source close to the situation" also told them that "the transition will be seamless and the post production schedule won't be impacted", as The Hunger Games is finishing up its final few months of work heading towards a March 23rd, 2012 release next spring. We just featured a full theatrical trailer for this a few weeks ago.
Danny Elfman, who last worked on Real Steel and Gus Van Sant's Restless, is currently finishing work on Barry Sonnenfeld's Men in Black 3 and Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, and is also set for Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, too. His schedule is understandably busy, that's no problem. However, I'm just as exited to hear James Newton Howard scoring The Hunger Games, honestly he's a fantastic choice. The closer we get, the more excited I am for this. Gary Ross, even under pressure, is making outstanding choices, I hope it pays off with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and everyone else.