Danny Elfman is Scoring McG's Terminator Salvation

January 9, 2009
Source: MTV

Danny Elfman

Answer me this: Why do we only report that Danny Elfman will score a film and not any other composer? Does it had to do with the fact that Danny Elfman makes such wonderful scores? Or does it have to do with the fact that he always scores Tim Burton's movies, too? Who knows what the answer to that question really is, because here we are, reporting that Danny Elfman will be scoring Terminator Salvation. Ironically, it was Brad Fiedel, and not Elfman, who scored the original two Terminator movies and gave us that unforgettable Terminator theme. But Fiedel hasn't done any work since 1999, so Elfman it is!

This news was confirmed by MTV earlier today, who talked with Elfman last night. Will he incorporate Fiedel's theme into some of his work, just like John Ottman did with John Williams' original Superman theme for Superman Returns? "I think if it comes up and it seems appropriate, we will [use it]. And if it doesn't, we [won't]. I never really know what to expect when I begin other than just kind of get into it and have fun. Especially a movie like T4 – just have fun. So that's what I intend to do." Correct me if I'm wrong, but I never thought of composing music as "fun"? Either way, I wish Elfman all the best on this.

I guess the reason why I'm so negative towards this news is that in thinking back over some of my favorite scores from last year, only one of them happens to be from Danny Elfman. He scored four movies in 2008, and Milk was the only one that I mentioned in my Best Movie Scores of 2008 article a few weeks ago. It's not to say that he's not a fantastic composer (I love his Spider-Man scores as well), I just wish I could see this kind of news for other very talented composers like Carter Burwell or Michael Giacchino or Tyler Bates as well. That said, I'm still excited to hear what he comes up with for Terminator Salvation.

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Reader Feedback - 22 Comments


Elfman is good. He just composes for some really bad movies.

BahHumbug on Jan 9, 2009


Yeah Elfman is really good and yes he does compose for bad movies, like the first Hulk, I thought it was an awesome score but . .

Scott McHenry on Jan 9, 2009


I think Elfman's pure composer gold...I mean he did Army of Darkness, The Simpsons Movie, Wanted, Mars Attacks, Men in Black, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, and I could go on and on. Though I think with age a lot of people in Hollywood lose their edge so I'd like to see some younger composers start making a name for themselves in some more big budget films...But going by resume alone Elfman seems like the perfect match for this project.

peloquin on Jan 9, 2009


Face Like a Frog, from the Volume I: Music for a Darkened Theatre Collection. Pure musical GOLD. Nuff said.

Jimbo Slims on Jan 9, 2009


#3... Zimmer did The Simpsons movie.

teyhtr on Jan 9, 2009


The producers should have gone with Brad Fiedel.

Spider on Jan 9, 2009


love Elfman, and he might be the deciding factor of whether i see this film or not. and please don't forget Nightmare before Christmas in his list of credits. 🙂

dave13 on Jan 9, 2009


#5 is right, Elfman didn't do the Movie but he composed the theme for the show.

BahHumbug on Jan 9, 2009


I think it is a new challenge for Elfman as he has not scored a movie quite like this. it will be very interesting to see what he comes up with.

L on Jan 9, 2009


#5 and #8...I stand corrected Elfman worked the theme on the tv show and then worked in the audio department during the movie to collaborate on the score. My apologies, and thank you for the correction.

peloquin on Jan 10, 2009


He still rocks though!

peloquin on Jan 10, 2009


ELFMAN! You better use the Terminator Theme, OR I WILL EAT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hungry Arnold! on Jan 10, 2009


Wasent the theme in the trailer already? So Im pretty sure they will use it. McG sounds like he cares about fans. Taking out the theme would be a bad idea. Haha

Ryan on Jan 10, 2009


I agree with Hungry Arnold & Ryan KEEP THE THEME PLEASE

David on Jan 10, 2009


Using the original theme is important. It will be a mistake to abandon it. chuck on Jan 10, 2009


I'm pretty sure the theme will be in it. Worst Case scenario, only in the end credits.

ryderup on Jan 10, 2009


He should pull a bait & switch, use Pee Wee's Big Adventure music on top of the Terminator imagery. Picture the big harvester thing to the psycho clown music from Pee Wee's dream. Classic. Or John Connor running through the battlefield, to the main theme from the movie. Dah-dah-dah-dah-dahdahdahdah-Dah!

Jimbo Slims on Jan 10, 2009


Does it had to do with the fact that Danny Elfman makes such wonderful scores? does it had? THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

Michael on Jan 10, 2009


Not a real good choice of composer for a Terminator feature. Elfman suits certain movies but really, heard one you've virtually heard them all. I'm always willing to hope for the best when it comes to his scores, but the last score of his that I really bothered to listen to more than a few times was Planet of the Apes and I got tired of it just the same. But I still listen to Terminator 2 from time to time. I'd perhaps be more eager if I though Brad Fiedel's core theme would be involved, but right now word seems that it might not be... Re comment #18. Hilarious! Hahaha.

Darren albert on Jan 11, 2009


Elfman rules and in peloquin we trust. Re comment And # 19 Hilarious! Hahaha.

Tim "Cloverfield" on Jan 13, 2009


It Sucks, because Danny Sucks. I was really Hopping for someone good and Epic to do the Score to this film. Someone like Hans Zimmer would be just right for this movie. Steve Jablonsky, Brian Tyler, Geoff Zanelli, Harald Kloser, Harry Gregson-Williams, all of them would have been a much better pick then Dumb o'll Elfman. He hasent done a Good Epic Score that really sticks out in his hole life. And if he wont include the Theme From the other Terminator Scores then he is a duffes with out hope. The Score will never sell and it very well could be the undoing of a great movie. The Score is such a big part of the film. I hope he can pull this one off, because i have no Faith in him.

Anthony on Apr 17, 2009


Danny Elfman effin rules!!! I've been listening to Oingo Boingo since I was a kid, and it never gets old. This guy is amazing, and anyone who appreciates music will say the same. From Pee-wee to Nightmare before Christmas, to one of his more recent scores in Wanted, Danny Elfman has proved over and over again that he is one of the top composers in Hollywood. Most can only dream to accomplish what he has as a musician. _Red

Red "grey matter" Rogers (25 Las Vegas NV) on Apr 22, 2009

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