Amongst the variety of spurious moves that have come out of the reshoots for Gareth Edwards‘ intensely anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the idea to dismiss Alexandre Desplat in favor of Michael Giacchino is perhaps the most surprising. It’s rare for a film to change course so suddenly and drastically that the original ideas for the score simply don’t work with the new angle of the narrative.
To me, the move perhaps unknowingly signals the difference between what Disney wants the movie to be and what Edwards wanted the movie to be. Giacchino’s work has showed up in a series of big-studio projects that have gone on to make quite a lot of money, such as Jurassic World, Inside Out, and, most recently, Star Trek Beyond. Desplat, on the other hand, has stuck to more (seemingly) artistically substantial films on his docket, such as American Pastoral, The Light Between Oceans, and upcoming works from Wes Anderson and Roman Polanski. That being said, he also scored The Secret Life of Pets this year, while Giacchino scored Zootopia for Disney.
Regardless, it’s not like Desplat has been left penniless and homeless over the decision to bring in Giacchino. In fact, losing that gig has brought him a different, nearly as promising job composing the score for Luc Besson‘s upcoming sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Besson’s movie, based on the beloved science fiction comic series Valerian and Laureline, stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as the titular characters of the source material, with Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, and John Goodman set to co-star alongside them. The footage and images that have been seen thus far suggest that Besson is back in the realm of The Fifth Element, which is fantastic news, and Desplat’s gorgeous, playful work with Anderson, Stephen Frears, and David Fincher before suggests that his music will provide the perfect bedrock for Besson’s latest.