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