By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 7, 2011 at 3:15AM
Not every movie can star Robert Downey Jr or Johnny Depp; the most in-demand talents only have a certain amount of time, and sometimes you just have to go with a Channing Tatum or Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. And the same thing is true across all aspects of film production; Roger Deakins can't lens every film, for instance, and Hans Zimmer can't score everything, opening things up for those who, for whatever reason, have never quite gotten the acclaim of those above them in the hierarchy. For instance, take Mychael Danna.
The Canadian composer has carved out a well-respected career over the past 25 years or so, making his debut with his most frequent collaborator Atom Egoyan's "Family Viewing," before going on to work with Ang Lee, Joel Schumacher, Scott Hicks, Denzel Washington, Billy Ray, Mira Nair and Terry Gilliam. But, despite thirteen Genie nominations (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars), and some high-profile work in recent years on films like "Little Miss Sunshine" and "(500) Days of Summer," Danna's never been nominated for an Academy Award, or quite made it on to the Hollywood A List.
But things may be about to change: according to Film Music Reporter, Danna's signed to reunite with two directors he's worked with in the past, on what must count as two of the biggest gigs of his career. Firstly, he will work again with Bennett Miller, whose debut film, the Oscar-nominated "Capote," had a score from the composer, on the director's sophomore feature "Moneyball." The baseball comedy, based on the bestselling non-fiction tome by Michael Lewis, stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright and Chris Pratt, and will finally hope to break out of its troubled production history (including a Steven Soderbergh-directed version being scrapped on the eve of filming) when it hits theaters on September 23rd.
The composer will also reteam with Ang Lee, for whom he scored two of the director's best pictures, "The Ice Storm" and "Ride With The Devil," on the helmer's next feature, "Life of Pi." Filming is currently underway on the long-awaited adaptation of Yann Martel's acclaimed novel, about an Indian boy trapped on a raft after a shipwreck with a tiger, a zebra, a hyena and an orangutan, although due to the heavy CGI work required, it's not due for release until December 14th 2012, so Danna's got plenty of time to get cracking on that one. Both pictures seem like they could be a strong showcase for a talent who has shown for some time that he is ready to move up to the next level.