Alexandre Desplat Scoring Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

January 21, 2010
Source: Mugglenet

Alexandre Desplat / Harry Potter

Although John Williams hasn't scored a Harry Potter film since Prisoner of Azkaban, I had always hoped that he would return to finish out the epic series. However, the odds of that now happening have seemingly decreased by 100% as the Harry Potter fansite Mugglenet uncovered info buried in a post at Film Score Daily that composer Alexandre Desplat will be behind the music for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. Most recently he has scored Un Prophete, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Ghost Writer. It's important to note that at this point Desplat has only signed on for Part I, so Part II might be up for grabs.

Desplat showed some great talent in his work on Fantastic Mr. Fox and Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Unfortunately, I don't recall the music that well in his scoring of Julie & Julia because the food was a huge distraction, at times even competing with a splendid performance from Meryl Streep. Alex also mentioned he loved his scores for Un Prophete and Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer. However, I'm still hoping that Williams will return for Deathly Hallows: Part II. Hopefully his work on The Adventures of Tintin won't stop him from returning to this franchise. Do you want John Williams or Alexandre Desplat to finish the very last movie?

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How many more of these movies?

People's Champ on Jan 21, 2010


Um I think Nicholas Hooper should! He had by far the most unique music in Half Blood Prince. I felt moved by it; it was lovely.

Rachel on Jan 21, 2010


I'm totally disappointed. John Williams had to be back for the last ones. I still hope he can return to the second Part. =(

Hosandi on Jan 21, 2010


What a disappointment. I'd rather have Hooper back than Desplat. And I really wanted Williams!!

NightBender on Jan 21, 2010


This guy will do fine. The Golden Compass score was pretty good.

Zettsyuk on Jan 21, 2010


John Williams!! The score for both SS and CoS are the best yet, tough Order of the phoenix is really good too.

andrews1987 on Jan 21, 2010


Oh my god, John Williams is good for like Little Kids Magic Whimsy films! Have you seen the last few Potter films? They are way too moody and atmospheric and non-sentimental for John Williams cliche ridden junk music. He is the hack of hacks, he and Han Zimmer can share that honor, nobody rips themselves off more than those guys. Alexandre Desplat is the man! And there are at least 20 other composers I would hire before considering Williams.

LINKFX on Jan 21, 2010


@ LINKFX, Yeah, I know what you mean. John Williams has never done music that is non-sentimental, atmospheric or even dark. Except for Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun, Schindler's List, Angela's Ashes, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, Munich, Rosewood, or Nixon. But just in case you didn't see any of those, maybe you've seen Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. You know the darkest, and best installment of the Harry Potter franchise that isn't "like Little Kids Magic Whimsy films."

Ethan Anderton on Jan 21, 2010


From the start it was John Williams for Part II, not both. He will be back on the last part! @7 LINKFX Have you heard the Prisoner of Azkaban score? NO! And if you listened it and you didn't notice that it's dark and very "awesome" then you don't know anything. Why you hate John Williams?

me on Jan 21, 2010


I'm not sure what to make of Alexandre Desplat. I never remember any of his music (and it is quite unusual for me to come out of a film without being able to hum at least one theme), and his score for the Golden Compass didn't complement the film. Often it conflicted with the emotions on screen... There were times I felt like the score was completely detatched from the film. That said, I felt he scored Julie & Julia well, and the score for Benjamin Button was perfectly functional. That said, the Harry Potter films are a musical mess. Individually they may be fine, but as a whole... Well, they aren't a whole. There's only one theme connecting the lot of them. I had rather hoped either Hooper or Williams would finish the series, but unfortunately it looks like we're in for another thematically convoluted score.

Mark on Jan 22, 2010


Here is the first portion of an 8 part video on youtube that reveals John Williams' brilliance in the music that he composed for the 6 Star Wars films. Not sure how great the quality of these recordings are, but it is a great presentation to watch! That being said, I do not know of a film composer as revered or deserving of accolades as John Williams and I can think of no better composer to create music for a movie. Despite this, though, I feel like a large portion of his brilliance comes from the various musical themes that he presents in full movie series, (at least in Star Wars) and since he has not been on board for this entire franchise, part of his technique may be at a disadvantage here. OF course, he has composed music for other movies (as listed in another post) and has had great success with those, too. I agree that, thematically, the final scores for these two movies will sound convoluted no matter what, but John Williams would be the best choice to wrap up the series in the final movie.

Aj on Jan 22, 2010


Having grown to be a fan of Desplat's work since he scored "birth", I'm VERY pleased to hear that he's involved. People who "aren't familiar with his work" should at least be silent until they hear it. The guy isn't a stupid composer or incompetent. The more you listen to his muic the more you grow to like it. That's what's happened with me. The guy does something with flutes that, for me, it has become his signature. He also has great rythmic and melodic moments. This guy really isn't bad at all. I'm NOT worried at all. Harry Potter fans are all jumping on this as if its the end of the world, and they've surprised me with their conservatism, but I swear, I cannot wait to see what Desplat does with a Harry Potter canvas. The last movies of this series are much darker than the first two. Anyone who wants "the magic of the first two" back is deluded. Because that's not what it's about now. It's about growing up, it's about other things other THAN the magic. John Williams is a master composer no doubt, but since Desplat is now scoring the first part of the last one, I think he's perfect. Desplat can have a very magic feel to what are very mature and eerie situations. I think it's perfect for this first part. For the second part, I don't want a new composer. It either has to be Desplat, Hooper or Williams, hopefully Williams because, of course, the guy could make epic music for the final battle, and second because it'd be super cool if he did the last one. I would love to leave the theatre with the Harry Potter theme, playing whisically and fading away for the last time, marking the end of an era for many kids and young adults, including me. I wouldn't mind if Hooper came back but that's just not gonna happen. I loved what he did with the 5th and 6th. If anyone is wondering why Wiliams isn't doing this first one, it's possible that he might be coming to my country (Portugal) to do a concert in March. Perhaps it's because he's busy with this that he didn't go for Harry Potter.

JPCaetano on Jan 22, 2010


Desplat should do fine. Birth is my favourite soundtrack of the last decade. Lovely, haunting stuff.

Sleepykid on Jan 22, 2010


I never said that John Williams never did anything dark, of course he has done dark. I am saying however, that his music usually calls too much attention to itself to help the mood or actually support a subtle narrative. His music is like a replacement for narrative, it kills any suspense and takes you out of the moment. As a kid and teen I loved his stuff, and I loved Zimmer, too. But then I started noticing how overwhelmingly mind-numbing their scores are, they are so German-sounding and they recycle Wagner anytime they possibly can. It's not that they aren't good...they are great. They sound wonderful and they are extremely well-made. And they definitely have a place in big operatic films and they are great to listen to on their own. But Potter after(and during) Azkaban has moved away from operatic, and especially with the last two films, has become more about character building and subtle moments to help make the big action beats more significant, it doesn't require the opera score anymore. If you constantly have Wagnerian arching strings and playful little opera notes highlighting every emotion or expression of the actors, it becomes annoying, and is very pedantic. It's for kids. Yes, it may have been unnecessary to bash him with the "Little Kids Magic Whimsy films"...he has done dark before, but he has become unnecessary for this series. The acting has gotten better, it no longer needs the strings to cue the emotions.

LINKFX on Jan 22, 2010


I love Alexandre Desplat's work. Girl With A Pearl Earring and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are genius scores. Birth was a great film and score as well.

Ken on Jan 22, 2010


I'm sure Desplat will do fine, but I don't want FINE! I WANT JOHN WILLIAMS! I'm so disappointed 🙁 John please come back for part 2!!!

E on Jan 22, 2010


The lack of strong defining music has really contributed to putting these films on a downward slide since the 3rd. Bring back Williams.

SlashBeast on Jan 23, 2010


John Williams!

William S. on Jan 23, 2010


And what about Patrick Doyle? He can be introspective and spectacular at the same time, like Desplat. I would like him o return for Part II, but it seems extremely unlikely. Though if Desplat takes the lead it might result in a good score too, taking into account his previous works. I consider Hooper's score too funcional and serviceable, not particulary strong and just ment to underscore what happens on screen; that worked on Order of the Phoenix -as it had a few competent new themes- but in Half-Blood Prince that approach was a complete dissappointment. And Williams, well, he'd be a good choice only if he is able to (re)build a true musical identity for HP in this far in the game. His first two scores for the series were good but ultimately depended too much in the Hook-Witches of Eastwick-esque sound, he couldn't draw a complete new identity for the films, however strong and engaging his compositions were. In Prisoner of Azkaban he made it developing new themes and making his score sound more Renaissance -like, pushing glockenspiel aside and playing with atonality for the darker scenes. If he comes back he should develop the identity he achieved in that episode (not necesarily using Renaissance -like compositions -which may not fit with the plot- but developing the stylistic and thematic line he introduced for HP3. Otherwise we'll mostly get variations for "Star Wars New Trilogy fanfares" in every action scene, nothing too original for Williams.

Lucas on Jan 27, 2010


You grow up, get the presently loved one, John Williams, at least as an hommage to the saga to which he brought the score we still remember. Oh and change the book, bring back alive everyone who were killed and show the life Harry wished for 🙂

Thierry on Jan 28, 2010


The final installments of the Harry Potter series are immensly deep and have darkened to the point that Hooper's music in the Half Blood Prince fit it well. But lin istening to pieces from Alexandre Desplat's scoring for New Moon, I think he's capable of composing some very dark and moving pieces for the final Harry Potter films. Whereas I do love John Williams as a composer, so much has changed with these films that to return to his compositions for this franchise wouldn't fit. The characters have grown and too so must the music.

Hayden on Jan 28, 2010


Fuck this! Just bring John Williams back!

Governor on Jan 28, 2010


Hmm... I'm really disappointed John Williams isn't coming back to score HP:DH. Of all the films, his scores were the best, most memorable, and had the most "mood". I don't know what the hell some of you guys are smoking, but John Williams should have done the whole series. Nicholas Hooper sucked for the most part. There were only a couple compositions that he did in which I cared for. And one of them was a revision of Williams' "Hedwig's Theme". Plus, on HBP, did anyone notice how Hooper was blatantly trying to score the Quidditch scene almost EXACTLY like the PoA Quidditch scene? Come ON!! John Williams NEEDS to return for at least part II... better yet, he just needs to do both. I suppose if he can't come back, Alexandre Desplat is a decent composer from what I've heard. I just couldn't stand another Harry Potter movie with Hooper doing the score... BLEH!

Kevin on Feb 1, 2010


The only John Willaims score that was any good was The Prisoner of Azkaban... because he finally tried. The first two scores were written on autopilot and it shows (but then Chris Columbus was directing on autopilot). I don't necessarily want John Williams back, but I do want a composer than isn't so timid about using other people's scores. We need the main Harry Potter theme, we need the "Window to the Past" theme from the third film, we need the Deatheater theme from fourth and the Prophecy theme from the fifth. If Alexandre Desplat can use all the many established themes and bring them together, he'll be an excellent composer for the series to bow out on.

Mark on Feb 15, 2010


The amount of suck in this series directly correlates with the lack of John Williams. There's only one man for the job, and that's John Williams.

SlashBeast on Feb 16, 2010


Man, Williams' music had life, it was memorable! All of the other films' scores have been completely bland and unmemorable. At the end of this series, you're only going to remember Williams' score, the rest will fade into mediocrity.

Glass on Apr 29, 2010


LINKFX: Williams's music for the first two movies was a rehash of the last Star Wars trilogy, Home Alone and Hook. The only Williams score I liked is Prisioner of Azkaban. Besides there's a problem with Desplat using more the Hedwig's Theme, and the people who read the last book knows why. I'm sure Desplat's music it's going to be good, but I liked Hooper (Dumbledore's F..... makes me cry). If Williams comes back (which I want to) I hope he can make musi like War of the Worlds or Munich, that fits more to the last Deathly Hallows movie. The only theme that Desplat should use is the A Window To The Past theme and Hedwig's Theme in the beginning of Part 1 of Deathly Hallows.

David on May 29, 2010


David: I totally agree with your opinion about Hooper (and Dubledore's Farewell). His music is moving, varied and really fits with the atmosphere. I believe that Williams music is a bit... old, at random. More classic. But of course there are those unforgettable themes, like Hedwigs theme! Without them, Harry Potter wouldn't be Harry Potter. I especialy liked his score for the third film. I think Alexandre Desplat, Nicolas Hooper and John Williams all would do it more then great.

Evanlyn on Jul 31, 2010


Firstly the allegation that John Williams was on “auto pilot” for the first two films is rubbish. How could a man on “auto pilot” create the sound of Harry Potter, Hedwigs theme for example? Without William’s musical styling’s, we might not have had the wonderfully Hedwigs theme. For the Chamber of Secrets, Williams was unable to devote his whole time to the project due to a clash with Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can, it would be in my opinion the weakest of William’s scores, but still way above what Hooper could do. Turning to William’s ability to write “dark music”, the simple answer is that he can. Prisoner of Azkaban is quite dark with pieces such as “Apparition on the Train”, “Secrets of the Castle”, “Quidditch, Third Year” and “The Werewolf Scene”. Also Williams has written quite “dark” scores for “Minority Report”, “the Fury”, “War of the Worlds” and “Munich” to name but a few, which I would recommend some of the people posting hear to listen to. I hope Williams comes back for part two, as for Desplat he’s a fine composer and I have about 10 of his scores, but he’s not in the league of Williams.

David on Aug 17, 2010


The first movie had the most beautiful music, Hedwig's theme being 'the theme' we think of whenever somebody says Harry Potter, and Leaving Hogwarts was an uplifting theme that would sound perfect at the very end of Part II. He really should return for Part II, although I'm sure Alexandre Desplat with do fine, but it would just be wonderful if we could finish the saga with who it started off with, John Williams.

Twi on Aug 23, 2010


Hey guys just trying to figure out what the song is from the Deathly Hallows trailer. I know that Alexandre Desplat is the composer but i can't find that song. Can anyone help me find it or tell me what it is. That would be so helpful, it is rattling my brain ever since it came out on youtube.

Aaron Bohler on Sep 8, 2010


I am a huge fan of Alexandre Desplat and definitely want him to score Deathly Hallows II. Everything he does is beautifully haunting.

amy on Oct 8, 2010


Desplat's alright, but Williams MADE this series. Since he keft the music hasbeen totally bland. Williams music is timeless because he understands the lessons the classical masters gave us, these new composers are just jocking on the latest trends. It's no surprise that the only Harry Potter music anyone remembers is Williams'.

Prototype on Oct 13, 2010


Alexandre Desplat also did the score for Benjamin Button, Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Twilight Saga: New Moon. All were extremely hauntingly beautiful. It kind of sucks for the other Twilight composers because their scores just do not compare as beautifully or emotionally as Desplat's. I was so excited when I heard Desplat was doing the score for DH part 1, and I really hope he signs on for Part 2. That would be my ideal.

Alibobally on Oct 30, 2010


Why could not Hans Zimmer, Klaus Badelt, John Williams or Nicholas Hooper complete the scores? That would be so awesome! Hans Zimmer is a genius with his composition to movies like: Sherlock Holmes, The Pirates of The Caribbean II and III, The Lion King, The Gladiator, The DaVinci Code and Angles and Demons - just to mention a few! Klaus Badelt composed the music to Pirates of the Caribbean I, The Time Machine, Constantine, The Catwoman - plus more. John Williams is unique with his scores to movies like: The Star Wars Series, Schindler's List, E.T., Jaws, Memoirs of a Geisha, Jurassic Park, Empire of The Sun, et cetera, et cetera. Nicholas Hooper is known for his scores to two of the Potter movies, The Girl in The Cafe and a list of TV movies. When so is said, I have not heard the scores to the next movie that is just about to be released over here in Norway, yet, so I better wait judging and let the new composer get a try. However, I do agree with some of you guys above here, that it would be absolutely brilliant if some of the 'above mentioned composers in this message' could write the final soundtracks. I so hope the new film will be awesome =D=D=D Cheers ^^

Lavy on Nov 12, 2010


John Williams. I checked this website in hopes to see that he was coming back. Mr. Williams, considering you're probably reading this comment right now, please come back

Parker on Nov 17, 2010


Amazed that so many people spend their time voicing their, let's face it, irrelevant opinion on matters they have no expertise or experience in. Bring back Williams! Don't bring back Williams. Hooper was great, I prefer him. Hooper's not up to it. Desplat is perfect. Desplat's bland. All these opinions and no-one to give a steaming pile. How about instead of criticising, or revelling in those who have gone out and made something of their lives, who have studied and applied themselves in order to contribute to something meaningful, instead of that, have a bath, get out of the house and inject your own potential into the world instead of spending mindless hours in front of a computer, mindlessly offering your lengthy and benign opinion on matters that you have only a distant and at best amateurish understanding of. No one cares. No one is reading except some other pale, mis-informed geek with delusions of grandeur. Seriously, put your efforts toward something, anything that actually benefits society, and stop all this time-wasting. This is certainly the first and last time I shall be doing it.

Frankly on Dec 21, 2010


dear Alexander congratulations from some of your relatives, from Athens. We  thank you for this wonderfoul music we are hearing,in so many movies!! The last we have seen, was "the tree of life" and we were exciting!! congratulations once more time!!   Michalis, Mary, Giorgos,Nantia Lad.....

Mary on Jun 2, 2011

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