Michael Giacchino

Film composer Michael Giacchino and Sir Paul McCartney, best known for an obscure rock group called The Beatles, have been working on an animated film together. Giacchino, who’s the Oscar-winning composer behind Up and Star Trek, is hopeful we’ll see the film one day. Unless we’re mistaken, the jovial composer is possibly alluding to a McCartney-Netflix project called High in the Clouds.

We recently spoke to Giacchino about his debut solo album, Travelogue Volume 1, which is a pure delight that tells the story of an alien visiting Earth. During the interview, he told us about his love for The Beatles and a bit about the McCartney project. “There’s an animated film he was putting together and wanted to do, so he called and asked if I’d want to work with him on that,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been working on in the last bunch of years. One day, one day it’ll come to fruition.”

Presumably, the animated movie he’s talking about is McCartney’s adaptation of his own children’s book, High in the Clouds, which he co-authored with Philip Ardagh and was illustrated by Geoff Dunbar. Last year, Netflix acquired the film about a teenage squirrel “pulled into a ramshackle gang of teenage rebels who live high in the clouds after he accidentally antagonizes Gretsch the owl, the tyrannical leader (and fabulous singer!), who steals the voice of anyone who upstages her.” McCartney wrote seven or eight new original songs for the movie.

One of those unreleased songs involves Lady Gaga. Over five years ago, the pop star posted a behind-the-scenes image of herself alongside a large band, including Giacchino, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, McCartney, and McCartney’s thunderous drummer, Abraham “Abe” Laboriel Jr. Rolling Stone Magazine confirmed Gaga contributed to one of the film’s songs.

Netflix hasn’t shared a release date for High in the Clouds yet. The adaptation is directed by Timothy Reckart (the Oscar-winning Head Over Heels) and hails from the mind of Jon Croker, who wrote the live-action Paddington films. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Netflix,” McCartney said in the press release. “They complement what is already an amazing team with [the 125-year-old French studio] Gaumont and we can think of no-one better to be working with to bring our film to a global audience.  I’ve always loved animated films and this is a hugely important passion project for me. I can’t wait for the world to see it.”

Giacchino didn’t confirm whether High in the Clouds was the McCartney project to which he’s been contributing, but the Gaga picture may have pointed us in the right direction. In another life, Giacchino told us, McCartney would’ve been an amazing film composer. “I’ve been very lucky to work with him on a couple of things,” he said. “Getting to know him over the past seven years or so has been such a treat, because you realize this is a man who just does this because he loves it. It’s as simple as that. He loves the challenge that music gives him. He loves sharing the result of that challenge with everyone in the world. You listen to the breadth of work he’s done and you say to yourself, ‘Is there anyone else on the planet who can say they’ve done what Paul McCartney has done in the music world?’ I’d say no.”

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