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Harry Gregson-Williams says Michael Mann ignored his score for Blackhat

01.14.2015

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Michael Mann's latest, focusing on a furloughed convict (Chris Hemsworth) and his American and Chinese partners as they seek to bring down a high-level cybercrime network, hits in just two days' time. BLACKHAT is Mann's first film since 2009's PUBLIC ENEMIES and for those of you who may have been looking forward to Harry Gregson-Williams' score for the film, I have some unfortunate news. Williams took to Facebook earlier to announce the following regarding his score, or what was left.

Dear all,

I would like it to be known for what it's worth that the 'score' for Blackhat maybe credited to me, but contains almost none of my compositions. I attended the premiere of the movie at the end of last week and discovered, to my horror, music that shocked and surprised me...quasi emotional (synth) string pieces that I'd never heard in my life before. I knew of at least one other composer, a good one at that(!), that had put in months of work on this movie just as I had, but this appeared to me to be in addition to both our contributions.

To be honest, I'm not sure, as I'm having a hard time understanding what I heard and why it was there and I can say nothing for certain except that I was not the author of most of what is now in the movie. I feel like I want to point this out for anyone who like me cares about these things, as my name is right there listed as the lead composer and one would expect that credit to mean something, but it doesn't. And I do care about that.

I therefore reluctantly join the long list of composers who have had their scores either sliced and diced mercilessly or ignored completely by Michael Mann. This is his film and these are his decisions and I do respect that, but see no reason to have people mistake this score for one that I composed, or in any way approved of musically. The 90 minutes of score that I did write and deliver is, as I've said, mostly unused.

I would still encourage you to check out his movie, as you may enjoy it.

Harry

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It's not uncommon for a director to bring on another composer to do some spot work, or even cut and paste sections from another part of the film, but to excise one's material almost completely is sad times indeed. As Williams pointed out, at the end of the day it's the director's call but why even have him listed as the lead composer if him or Atticus Ross (the other being attributed to writing the score) had no part in what remains on-screen? I know the masses may not notice or care what ends up being in the final product, but for those of us who appreciate the time and effort a composer puts into writing music for a film, this a giant step in the wrong direction.

BLACKHAT his theaters this Friday.

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