17 October 2005

Musical Howards Fight For Kong's Affection

Hey guys, it's Donnie... KongIsKing recently did a great production diary about Howard Shore, Peter Jackson's ace in the hole composer from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and the work he was doing composing and conducting the orchestrations for the impending King Kong. The set up they constructed in the symphony hall was impressive as all hell and all the different types of instruments that were being utilized...those bamboo chutes and drums...well I was getting excited for another memorable score ala his work on LOTR.

Unfortunately it was not meant to be. Howard Shore and Peter Jackson apparantly had a major difference of opinion on where the score was going creatively. According to Jackson, they realized that they each had strong opposing feelings and, rather than engage in a protracted argument, the two decided to part ways amicably. I hope that this is true and it's not just Hollywood double-speak, because Jackson and Shore work so well together it's scary. I'd to see a rift between them similar to what seems to have happened between Sam Raimi and Danny Elfman.

So who are we getting instead? Well, instead of Howard Shore we get another composer named Howard: James Newton Howard. That name may sound vaguely familiar to you, as it should because the guy has amassed an impressive resume over the years. He certainly puts in the work, that's for damn sure. Collateral and Peter Pan are both solid scores, Batman Begins is wonderful (although it lacks that iconic theme), and his work with M. Night Shyamalan over the years always surpasses my expectations. The Village may have been all kinds of stupid, but it looked and sounded very pretty.

I honestly don't know about Kong. I mean, I have every confidence that he'll deliver something to be proud of, a score that falls somewhere between adequate and magnificent. But I'm certainly going to miss Howard Shore and I'll most definitely wonder what could have been...


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