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Summer on the Silver Screen: Sounds Like a Hit

Posted in MusicWorld on May 31, 2002 by

Going to the movies this summer? Of course you are. A good deal of the music you'll be hearing has been written and recorded by BMI composers.

Leading the pack are two veterans, Danny Elfman and John Williams, who, between them, have scored four of what are expected to be the biggest-grossing movies of the season.

Elfman, this year's Richard Kirk Award winner for career achievement in film and TV music, is riding the crest of success with a mammoth opening for Spider-Man, the big-screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics classic. Over the July 4th weekend, fans will be treated to his new music for Men in Black 2, the sequel to the 1997 blockbuster that brought Elfman an Oscar nomination for Best Comedy Score.

Williams, a five-time Oscar winner, returns with music for his two favorite collaborators: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Lucas's Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones marks his fifth score in the legendary "Star Wars" canon, while Spielberg's Minority Report, a Tom Cruise action vehicle, reaches theaters June 21.

Another action-movie veteran and fellow Oscar winner, Jerry Goldsmith, is represented this summer by the new Jack Ryan thriller The Sum of All Fears, due over the Memorial Day weekend. British composer David Arnold - who will be back with his third James Bond thriller, Die Another Day, at Christmastime - has written the music for the latest Jennifer Lopez film, Enough.

David and Thomas Newman, the film-scoring nephews of longtime 20th Century-Fox music chief Lionel Newman - himself an early champion of BMI - have three more movies out this summer. Tom Newman already has out the dark drama The Salton Sea, and will be reunited with his American Beauty collaborator, director Sam Mendes, on the Tom Hanks drama Road to Perdition, due in July. David Newman, who has often worked in animation, returns to that genre in June with the live-action/animation combo Scooby-Doo.

T-Bone Burnett, fresh from his Grammy victory for the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, is collaborating with David Mansfield (Heaven's Gate) on the highly anticipated Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, based on the popular Rebecca Wells novels, also in June.

On the comedic front, look for the latest Adam Sandler movie, Mr. Deeds, with music by Teddy Castellucci, in June, and a third installment of the Austin Powers series, Goldmember, with the usual clever spy music from George S. Clinton, in July.

Newcomer David Julyan has scored the Al Pacino-Robin Williams thriller Insomnia, due in late May. Edward Shearmur, the British composer whose Charlie's Angels and Wings of the Dove scores have helped to put him on the American movie-music map, has scored the post-apocalyptic dragon thriller Reign of Fire, due in July. August will bring XXX, a new film from the Fast and Furious duo of director Rob Cohen and star Vin Diesel, with music by the always-reliable Randy Edelman.