Star Wars Uncut

We have lots of Star Wars-related odds and ends for you after the jump, including:

  • J.J. Abrams says Star Wars and Star Trek are “very different”
  • Michael Arndt gets writer’s block, just like the rest of us
  • Michael Giacchino wants John Williams to do Episode VII
  • Watch a teaser for the fan-made movie Star Wars: Uncut
  • Billy Dee Williams really, really, really wants to return
  • Another, possibly final, round of layoffs hits Lucasfilm
  • Darth Vader choking victim Richard LeParmentier has died

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HansZimmer

For Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel, composer Hans Zimmer an unenviable task. Unlike in 2006′s Superman Returns where composer John Ottman was able to use John Williams‘ iconic 1978 Superman theme, Snyder preferred to distance his film from all of the previous Superman films. That meant Zimmer was tasked with writing music that would work to inspire in the context of the new film, but also wouldn’t be totally overshadowed by Williams.

Like I said, unenviable.

The Oscar-winning composer behind Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Dark Knight spoke to CNN about this new score. He explained he was inspired by middle America, that Christopher Nolan provided some input, and that the score features an A-List drum line of celebrities. Read about that and more below. Read More »

Speculation about which Star Wars talents might return for Episode VII have been swirling since the moment Episode VII was announced, and talk has only heated up since J.J. Abrams was formally announced as director. Last week, we got word that Harrison Ford could reprise his role as Han Solo, and today we’ve learned that another, possibly even more iconic figure is eager to come back.

According to a new report, composer John Williams has voiced his interest in working on the next trilogy. Williams’ work for the original remains one of the best loved movie scores of all time, so this seems like great news all around. Unless, that is, you’re Michael Giacchino, who’d probably be the favorite to score if this were any other Abrams project but Star Wars. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Say what you want about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as an overall film, but John Williams‘ score is fantastic. Duel of the Fates is one of the most exhilarating pieces of music in the entire Star Wars series; Anakin’s Theme is beautifully weaved through the film; and The Flag Parade is an amazing build up to a huge action setpiece. The unfortunate side is that listening to the score could be a reminder that the film doesn’t live up to the music.

If you can separate the two (which shouldn’t be too difficult now, going on 15 years later) Williams’ score is now being released as a limited edition vinyl on March 4. Check out the specs and a few images below. Read More »

As photo (or video) ops go, this one is among the best: video footage of Steven Spielberg and John Williams tapping out an early draft of the main E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial theme on a piano. Whether the camera just happened to be there, or if this was designed specifically as a publicity stunt matters to some extent — it would be nice to know this was really a spontaneous moment — but either way it’s neat to see the birth of one of the more recognizable ’80s movie themes.

Watch below. Read More »

Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln feels like a film we’ve known about forever. Actually, it’s been well-over five years since the director attached himself to the project, originally starring Liam Neeson as the nation’s 16th President. Eventually, Daniel Day-Lewis took the role but once shooting began in 2011, things got very, very quiet. In the last few weeks though, the marketing has really begun to kick in for the November 9 release: the first official still, the teaser poster, a trailer can’t be long off and now the track listing to John Williams‘ score has been revealed.

With it, we get a great idea of exactly which historical events are portrayed in the film, a bit about its structure, and more. Check it out below. Read More »

Steven Spielberg‘s classic family film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and the movie is finally making its way to Blu-ray, in October. Besides the regular version of the Blu-ray release (which you can check out here), Amazon has a $140 pre-order available for a “limited edition E.T. spaceship edition.” What the heck could that mean? Turns out, it means exactly what you probably think it means.

After the jump, check out a video of the limited edition packaging which looks just like E.T’s ship, and opens up to mechanically present the disc, to the tune of John Williams’ score and all.

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Odds are if you visited a movie theater recently, you might have been there to see Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol or War Horse. The former has been deservedly sitting atop the box office charts since its release and the latter is the latest, tear-jerker live-action drama from one of our most beloved filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. And while the fact they’re both currently playing in theaters is more or less the only thing the films have in common, both are undoubtedly improved by their sound and score.

John Williams‘ score to War Horse is one of his best in many years. It perfectly compliments the sweeping story of how a single animal can bring out the best in people at the worst of times. With Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, director Brad Bird and his team use not only Michael Giacchino‘s score, but a steady barrage of sound, to amp up the drama surrounding Ethan Hunt and his disavowed IMF agents.

After the jump, watch in-depth videos and interviews regarding the sound and music from both Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse. Read More »

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