Danny Elfman Makes Peace With Sam Raimi To Score 'Oz The Great and Powerful'

by Oliver Lyttelton
June 20, 2011 12:55 PM
4 Comments
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Composer Also In Talks For 'The Hunger Games'



Update: Movies.com confirms that Danny Elfman will be scoring "The Hunger Games" with T. Bone Burnett. That's pretty awesome.

It's always sad when creative collaborators with years of history and solid work behind them, fall out. It's not always as explosive as, say, Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, but it always stings a bit. One of the more notable public fall-outs in recent years came between Oingo Boingo member turned film-score heavyweight Danny Elfman, and director Sam Raimi, who'd worked on four films together over two decades, including the first two "Spider-Man" entries.

After the superhero sequel, things went very sour, with Elfman telling CHUD back in 2005 (an interview that seems to have been struck from their archives, but survives thanks to Total Film) that "'Spider-Man 2' was a miserable experience. "It's like my connection with Sam got completely severed. As far as I'm concerned, he went to sleep, somebody put a pod next to him and when he awoke, he wasn't the same person I'd known for a decade. He went from right there number two on my list of favourite directors to the exact opposite of what I look for in a film experience. Everything I could do on 'Spider-Man 1,' I couldn't do on 'Spider-Man 2.'He got so intensely attached to the music that I couldn't even adapt my own music close enough...It's the first time I've ever walked from a director in 20 years. I'd rather go back to waiting tables than to do 'Spider-Man 2' again, to have to have the same experience.” Burn!

But of course, time heals all wounds, and it seems that the two have kissed and made up: Film Music Reporter has dug up an interview with Elfman from the Grammy Museum in L.A, where Elfman revealed that he's signed on to score Raimi's upcoming tentpole "Oz The Great and Powerful." It's unclear when the two made peace (Christopher Young scored "Spider-Man 3" and "Drag Me To Hell" for the director), but considering how firmly 'Oz,' which will star James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Zach Braff, is in Elfman's wheelhouse, we're not surprised that he's on board, and it seems that they're close again: Elfman says "I'm not going to say no to ... Sam."

The composer also revealed that, in addition to this year's "Real Steel," two Tim Burton films, "Frankenweenie" and "Dark Shadows," and "Men in Black 3," he is also in negotiations to work with director Gary Ross for the first time, on his eagerly anticipated adaptation of "The Hunger Games." It's not final yet: Elfman says "That deal’s not even closed, it may not even happen, but we’re well along with that," but he seems keen to do it, calling it "different -- and different catches my attention in a way that’s like, 'Oh, I can’t ever pass up a chance to do something different.'"

We feel that Elfman's been on autopilot for quite some time now: we can't remember the last truly memorable score from him, and he was once one of the greats. We're not sure that working with Burton and Raimi again is the best way to regain past form, but maybe "The Hunger Games" will give him an opportunity to match past glories. "The Hunger Games" will hit theaters on March 23, 2012, with 'Oz' following almost a year later, on March 8, 2013.

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4 Comments

  • Eric | May 14, 2012 1:31 AMReply

    His score for Errol Morris' "Standard Operating Procedure" was phenomenal.

  • Lola | June 22, 2011 12:46 PMReply

    Hans Zimmer for Hunger Games, anyone??

  • Rachel | June 22, 2011 4:02 AMReply

    As god-awful as Alice In Wonderland was, you can't say that his score was lacking; it was the only good thing about that steaming pile of a movie.

  • Shiarhea | June 20, 2011 11:55 AMReply

    The Playlist loves to beat up on Danny Elfman. Why?

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