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Thomas Newman replaces John Williams on Spielberg's Bridge of Spies

03.18.2015
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Earlier this month we brought you news that Steven Spielberg's latest cold war thriller was titled BRIDGE OF SPIES. Set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, SPIES tells the story James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself sent on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot by the CIA. Inspired by true events, the screenplay quickly picked up steam when Ethan and Joel Coen jumped on board to help write. Spielberg's longtime musical collaborator, John Williams, was a given . . . until now. DreamWorks has reported that Thomas Newman (SAVING MR. BANKS, SKYFALL) will replace Williams who was reported to be unavaiable due to a minor health issue that has since been corrected.

thomas-newman

This marks the first Steven Spielberg film since THE COLOR PURPLE in 1985 that John Williams hasn't scored. Given that Williams is no spring chicken (coming in at 83 years old), the man probably found himself busy writing and preparing the score for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, which is scheduled to hit 2 months after BRIDGE OF SPIES. DreamWorks did say that Williams would be back to score Spielberg's THE BFG, which goes into production later this year. It would make sense then that Spielberg would want SPIES scored and finished before going into pre-production on his next venture.

While this certainly isn't a huge deal and seems more of a timing issue than anything else, it's somewhat sad to see one of cinema's greatest partnerships broken up for the first time in 30 years, even if only temporary. There's no replacing John Williams, but Thomas Newman is a hell of a composer and it will be interesting see what his work with Spielberg yields.

BRIDGE OF SPIES will be released on October 16th, 2015.

tom-hanks-bridge-of-spies"Excuse me, who's scoring this film? Not Hans Zimmer? Carry on."

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+2
4:27PM on 03/18/2015

Chemistry

At first, I was a little bummed out by this news but, at the end of the day, this is a good thing. Spielberg's last few outtings have seemed stale to me, and almost run the same ground as all his previous efforts... and he needed this change in chemistry. It will show us something truly new from the man, and I always welcome NEW.
At first, I was a little bummed out by this news but, at the end of the day, this is a good thing. Spielberg's last few outtings have seemed stale to me, and almost run the same ground as all his previous efforts... and he needed this change in chemistry. It will show us something truly new from the man, and I always welcome NEW.
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4:09PM on 03/18/2015
It'll feel a bit weird not to have Williams score, but Newman is a great composer, and I trust Spielberg. Can't wait for this film, def one of my most anticipated of the year.
It'll feel a bit weird not to have Williams score, but Newman is a great composer, and I trust Spielberg. Can't wait for this film, def one of my most anticipated of the year.
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1:18PM on 03/18/2015
Newman is a fantastic composer and im sure he will do fine....but John Williams is simply the greatest film composer of all time ...hes on another level than everyone else....i hope his health returns soon and i look forward to another star wars and indiana jones (with Harrison Ford) soundtrack ....
Newman is a fantastic composer and im sure he will do fine....but John Williams is simply the greatest film composer of all time ...hes on another level than everyone else....i hope his health returns soon and i look forward to another star wars and indiana jones (with Harrison Ford) soundtrack ....
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1:10PM on 03/18/2015
I'm a little sad since Williams is my favorite film composer, but I understand the situation. I'm surprised Spielberg would choose Newman, who I would have figured would be busy writing the score for Spectre. I figured someone like Horner or James Newton Howard would be more of spielberg's style.
I'm a little sad since Williams is my favorite film composer, but I understand the situation. I'm surprised Spielberg would choose Newman, who I would have figured would be busy writing the score for Spectre. I figured someone like Horner or James Newton Howard would be more of spielberg's style.
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12:56PM on 03/18/2015
That's fine. A little change is good every once in a while. I'd rather that Williams focuses on staying healthy and scoring Star Wars than worry about ending a streak with Spielberg. Thomas Newman is excellent, so he should do fine with Bridge of Spies.
That's fine. A little change is good every once in a while. I'd rather that Williams focuses on staying healthy and scoring Star Wars than worry about ending a streak with Spielberg. Thomas Newman is excellent, so he should do fine with Bridge of Spies.
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12:43PM on 03/18/2015

Sad not to have Williams on this one

But it will be interesting to hear what a Newman/Spielberg collaboration sounds like and hey at least he didn't go with Hans Zimmer! (or any of the zimmer studio composers for that matter)
But it will be interesting to hear what a Newman/Spielberg collaboration sounds like and hey at least he didn't go with Hans Zimmer! (or any of the zimmer studio composers for that matter)
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