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In a move that has caught seemingly everyone by surprise, Dreamworks announced today that Thomas Newman has been signed to score Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, the first time since 1985 that somebody other than John Williams has scored one of the director’s films.

Thomas Newman

Thomas Newman

The press release cited a recent health issue for the legendary Williams, from which he has now recovered (and it also announced that Williams will be returning to score the director’s next movie, The BFG).  It has long been the subject of speculation as to who would take on scoring duties for Spielberg once Williams hangs up his baton (which will hopefully be a long time yet); the supremely talented Newman is a class act and certainly seems to be a good choice, if he does indeed land the role in the long term. | |

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  1. tiago (Reply) on Wednesday 18 March, 2015 at 21:19

    Newman is certainly talented enough to handle the job well, and I think his assignment is by suggestion of Williams himself. I read somewhere that JW is only compliments for Newman, and he has worked as an orchestrator for Return of the Jedi. But I fear that Williams is now close to retire.

  2. Juanki (Reply) on Thursday 19 March, 2015 at 12:49

    After this and Desplat working on “Star Wars”, it is time for news update to return regularly in MOVIE WAVE! 🙂

  3. TDidz927 (Reply) on Thursday 19 March, 2015 at 13:43


  4. ANDRÉ - CAPE TOWN. (Reply) on Friday 20 March, 2015 at 01:24

    I agree with Juanki. This NEWS BULLETIN must stay James! It’s horrific that old age is afflicting JOHN WILLIAMS. He and ENNIO MORRICONE are the only living representatives of that amazing period in film music history [commencing mid 1960s] that saw the art of film scoring soaring and constellating with innovative, beautiful and exciting music [does one include LALO SCHIFRIN- who is still alive-among the great composers of that era?]. JOEL McNEELY was once considered the heir to the JOHN WILLIAMS legacy of wonderful symphonic scores…then he disappeared and is only now emerging again as a composer to be reckoned with. Regretably, that leave of absence cost him — he’s lost out on the new ‘Star Wars’ AND as SPIELBERG’S resident composer. Congratulations to both ALEXANDRÉ DESPLAT and THOMAS NEWMAN who are graced by the Universe to replace WILLIAMS.

  5. tiago (Reply) on Friday 20 March, 2015 at 02:05


  6. Howard Hand (Reply) on Friday 20 March, 2015 at 06:50

    Disappointing. At least Spielberg’s film is in good musical hands.

  7. Ian Simpson (Reply) on Tuesday 24 March, 2015 at 01:02

    Replacing John Williams with Thomas Newman doesn’t reduce the (very high) probability of me buying this soundtrack when it comes out, but it is a concern to be hearing about John Williams’s health issue, albeit unsurprising given his age.

    I hope that his health issues won’t stop him from scoring the next two films in the new Star Wars trilogy (since with him on board, I have much greater confidence in the music being good than the films). Other composers are capable of writing similarly good scores for Star Wars films but with the “Star Wars/Williams sound” so well-established, they may struggle to make sure that it doesn’t end up sounding out of place for a lot of people. For example, I think that Newman’s score for Skyfall would have got a more universally positive reception if it wasn’t for the fact that many people associate James Bond with John Barry’s “Bond sound” and Newman instead chose to largely go his own way. With this in mind it will be very interesting to see how well Alexandre Desplat’s score goes down for the new Star Wars spin-off.

    I don’t think the above will be a problem regarding Bridge of Spies because Spielberg films are a varied bunch and have pretty varied scores despite them coming from the same composer.