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Rumours swirl on No Time To Die composer conundrum

28-Dec-2019 • No Time To Die

Dan Romer was the surprise name to compose the score for 'No Time To Die'. Then he wasn't. Unofficial news of his departure from the project broke in November, but it was all but confirmed this week when he was named the composer to the upcoming drama 'Wendy.' The press release listed his recent credits as Beasts of No Nation, Maniac, The Good Doctor, Atypical, and Digging for Fire. No mention of 007. He's out.

That leaves a large role to fill in post-production on the film, which saw select cast return to Pinewood Studios last week for pick-up shots as Cary Fukunaga is busy in the editing room.

Fan favourite David Arnold is out of the running. He publicly went on the record this month that he will not be scoring the 25th Bond film. He is, however, working with EON Productions again as he is busy supervising music production on their non-Bond film 'The Rhythm Section' which releases on January 31st.

The perennial rumour for 'No Time To Die' is that Lorne Balfe would be scoring Bond 25. That has been all but ruled out by industry commentators.

Floating to the top of the rumour pile is Hans Zimmer. His name has been linked by several tipsters posting on film score forums. Zimmer's plate is pretty full in 2020, scoring Wonder Woman 1984, SpongeBob, Top Gun: Maverick, and Dune.  He would be a big name 'get' for the production after Zimmer recently 'turned down' working on Christopher Nolan's next epic 'Tenet'. However, 'scheduling conflicts' may not be the only reason Nolan and Zimmer are not collaborating on 'Tenet.'

How does Zimmer cope with such a workload? He runs a company - Remote Control Productions - once dubbed a 'factory' of film scores.

In response to a question posed online about how Zimmer composes his scores, after he (somewhat incredibly, considering how busy he is) answered himself, someone who described themselves as a professional classical composer in the industry responded with this breakdown of how the sausage actually gets made: "Like most Film Composers, he doesn’t do most of the composing. He writes a few ideas and then hires a bunch of “orchestrators”, “copyists”, and “arrangers” etc. to actually write the music. This scam has been going on for decades (the only major Film composer to actually write all the music was John Williams.)... It is actually very frustrating for all the other underling composers that are hired to write the music, and then get to have someone else’s name on the score. I met many composers for this genre who have shown me their work. I would ask them, “how come someone else’s name is on the score” and they would say, “because if you want to work in this industry, this is what you have to do.”

Zimmer only received sole credit for 7 of the released cues for 'Dunkirk.' A brief scan of the soundtrack notes includes quite the menagerie of 'additional music,' 'arrangers,' and 'orchestration' credits.

Much like if you eat at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant, you do not expect Gordon Ramsey himself to be personally cooking your meal.

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