Steve Jablonsky, Not James Horner, Will Be Scoring 'Ender's Game'

May 9, 2013
Source: Ender News

Ender's Game

"So I'm not the first?" From one sci-fi composer to another. Back in January, news broke via the usually reliable Film Music Reporter that James Horner would be composing the score to Gavin Hood's Ender's Game. While I am not the biggest fan of Horner, his name means a lot to sci-fi (from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to The Rocketeer to Apollo 13 to Avatar). However, the site Ender News is now reporting with confirmation from the studio that it's actually Steve Jablonsky, not Horner, who is scoring the sci-fi adaptation (watch the first trailer). Jablonsky hit it big scoring Transformers and is on the rise recently.

As a composer, Steve Jablonsky isn't a household name yet, but you should recognize his scores: "Desperate Housewives", Gears of War 2 & 3, Transformers 1 - 3, Your Highness, Battleship, Gangster Squad, and most recently, Bay's Pain & Gain. As much as I've enjoyed his work in the context of few of these Hollywood movies, I don't find myself listening to his scores as an album, and his work doesn't really stand out in the way Horner or Zimmer's does. That said, I hope this is an opportunity for him to showcase his talent on a big sci-fi movie. For confirmation, I double checked with the studio - it is definitely Jablonsky, not Horner.

70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. Ender's Game, based on Orson Scott Card's beloved 1985 novel of the same name, is written & directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Rendition, X-Men Origins) produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci of K/O Paper Products. Asa Butterfield stars as Ender Wiggin, with Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff, plus Nonso Anozie, Moises Arias, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Viola Davis. Summit/Lionsgate will be releasing Ender's Game in theaters November 1st later this year.

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  • Good news. Jablonsky is a better composer imo.
    • Dearsleazy
      Agreed, a personal favourite of mine is Hope Runs Deep from Gears of War 2!
    • I could not agree more! I love some of Horner's early work, but I can't think of a score he has done in the last decade that I really liked. Avatar was one of the biggest disappointments. The only music I remember from that movie is Jablonsky's Island music from the trailer! Your Highness and Battleship are two of my favorite scores in recent memory, didn't much care for either movie but I love the scores. Both are really epic, Battleship has some crazy stuff. I am happy about this news and can't wait to see this movie and hear the score.
      • Chris Groves
        Horner's interesting. In the case of John Williams....I can listen to his scores on there own, set to anything, and they still work. Horner on the other hand makes scores that much more perfectly fit to the film. I never really want to listen to the Avatar score on it's own...but every time I watch the movie, it feels like one of the most perfectly fitting scores I've ever heard and it always makes an impact...
        • mistermysteryguest
          Hmm, I'm the opposite. I can't listen to John Willams' scores without the corresponding movie playing. James Horner is a lot like that too, but to a lesser degree (particularly his earlier work). Horner is an infamous score recycler though.
          • Chris Groves
            Yeah, which is why I liked Avatar in particular, I was worried, but incorporating all of the chants and languages of the Na'vi INTO the music for the film was a really good way to make it unique, instead of the usual epic choral chanting we get in this sort of thing.
    Interesting pick. The score is going to need to be very "epic" for this one.
  • FilmScoreLove
    Gotta say, I'm disappointed. Horner is a great film composer, who can write intelligent blockbuster music. Unfortunately, Jablonsky has kept himself in a nice little compositional box, and has relied on the same writing techniques of many of his colleagues at Remote Control. (Zimmer's company). Battleship was a particularly horrible score. Alex, you When a composer like Horner is kicked off a project, or quits, that is never a good sign. My guess would be that the producers and Directors have fallen into the trap of being too married to temp tracks. Horner is the kind of composer who at this point in his career doesn't need, nor want to deal with that.
    • Krishna Shenoi
      Thank you for that! I CANNOT believe someone here said, "Jablonsky's a better composer." I dunno. To my ears, Jablonsky's scores, at least the few I've heard, sorely lack personality. Horner is probably on the other extreme, where his music is too "him." How ironic, actually. And yes, that's probably them being too attached with their temp scores (which probably consist of more contemporary action music than Horner-esque material. You never know, they might have used actually used Jablonsky's "Transformers" score or something, since that fits today's sci-fi actioners. I know that "Man of Steel," oddly, did.)
      • Me Again
        My sentiments exactly! Horner scores Cocoon, Willow, Kahn and some of the greatest films of modern history. He is in a totally different league than Jablonsky and all the other Zimmer clones. Shame actually, Horner would have at least has the ability create something rather coherent, Jablonsky is going to be heavy handed on the arpeggitator on his synthesizer. I'm scared for this movie.
        • Krishna Shenoi
          Quite frankly, I got scared for it when I saw the trailer.
      • JunYah
        I agree, Though Horner, does tend to repeat himself. Atleast he repeats himself. Jablonsky repeats Hans Zimmer as do most of the Remote Control clan. His theme for the Autobots is probably the best work he's ever done. Horner on the other hand has a sense of intelligence that is lacking in alot of blockbuster scores. I am greatly disappointed....
  • Initially disappointed, but that is only because I am unfamiliar with Jablonsky's work. So the previous comments are encouraging.
  • N.
    Awe I'm sad! :(
  • Skeet
    "As a composer, Steve Jablonsky isn't a household name yet...." "...and is on the rise recently." ------------------------- Say what? Not a household name? On the rise "recently"? Hi-effin-larious. My friend, you know some stuff about movies, I'll give you that, but you certainly don't know anything about composers. Jablonsky is probably the most famous and most successful MV/RC composer right now and according to pretty much all Hans Zimmer fans he is without a doubt the next Zimmer. Peter Berg even called him one of the best composers working today. In the last few years he was attached to many big projects including the future Batman reboot. Since 2005 Jablonsky is enjoying success after success and in the action genre he's one of the best, if not the best. Horner on the other hand lost his mojo years ago. And I'm saying that as a fan. His last scores, including Avatar, are simply unnoticeable. While Jablonsky's last few scores are not only used in countless trailers and commercials but they used one of his Transformers tracks for the opening of the last Olympic games! That's right, the Olympic games. Can't get any bigger than that. And the best thing is that his scores are great to listen as stand-alone albums. Go to Amazon and see for yourself what people say about his albums. They love them, to say the least.
  • MC
    I'm disappointed beyond belief. Apart from his work with Michael Bay (whose questionable taste in music is a whole other topic), Jablonsky usually gets hired when they try to save a film that's not working, happened last year on Gangster Squad and look how that turned out. Can't say I have much hope for this movie anymore.
  • Cosmin
    Would of loved to see Brian Tyler on this.
  • They should've gotten Donald Mustard.
    • mistermysteryguest
      In the library, with the candlestick.
  • mistermysteryguest
    At least the music will be OK.
  • Sorry, I meant Tommy Tallarico should have done the soundtrack.




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