My editor at Variety came up with an interesting angle, and one especially relevant in today’s world of sequels, spinoffs and reboots: what’s the role of music, and how do composers decide when and where to apply themes from previous films or TV shows? For this final story in our pre-nominations Oscar-music series, I received fascinating answers from John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Thomas Newman (Spectre), Michael Giacchino (Jurassic World), Christophe Beck (The Peanuts Movie), Ludwig Goransson (Creed) and Joe Kraemer (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation).
Variety posed an interesting question: If you’re remaking a classic TV series, what role — if any — does the musical theme of that series play? Should you remind the audience of the series’ origins via its music? Is it key to a marketing plan? If the theme is not iconic, should it be jettisoned altogether in favor of a new musical approach? With The Man From U.N.C.L.E. having just opened, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation still playing strongly, and The Peanuts Movie on the horizon, I talked to the composers of all three films (Daniel Pemberton, Joe Kraemer, Christophe Beck, respectively) about the importance of music from the small-screen originals.
Fun last night doing a Q&A with composer Joe Kraemer, who scored the fifth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Rogue Nation (already on track to outpace the four previous films). The film wowed the Society of Composers & Lyricists audience at Paramount, and Kraemer was both informative and funny while regaling the crowd (mostly composers and songwriters) with the ups and downs of scoring a big summer popcorn flick. I was pleased to be able to tell him that Lalo Schifrin (composer of the original Mission: Impossible themes that Joe brilliantly applied throughout the score) loved what he had done.