The Star Wars feature film universe is getting only its third-ever new composer for the upcoming Untitled Han Solo Movie. Indeed, while John Williams is synonymous with Star Wars, Lucasfilm’s ramping up of the franchise with the spinoff Rogue One brought in a new voice to the series, Michael Giacchino. And now, while Williams is scoring Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it looks like the spinoffs will continue to have different composers as Oscar nominee John Powell has been announced as the composer behind the Untitled Han Solo Movie.
Powell is a veteran composer whose work ranges from the Bourne franchise to Kung Fu Panda to the How to Train Your Dragon movies. His work on the latter films in particular is magnificent, but he knows his way around blockbusters having also worked on films like Pan, The Italian Job, and Hancock. He’s an excellent choice and I really can’t wait to hear what he puts together. Per the official press release, he will be putting together a score “in the style of the original Star Wars movies,” while retaining “Powell’s original voice.”
While Giacchino scored Rogue One, he was not that film’s original composer. Alexandre Desplat was working on it up until the last minute, when he exited the project. His work was said to be complicated by extensive reshoots, and thus Giacchino was brought into the fold and given an insane deadline of just over a month to write and record the entire score. So, all things considered, he did a fine job. Powell has plenty of time here as Han Solo doesn’t hit theaters until May 25, 2018.
Ron Howard is currently at the helm of the Han Solo movie, which recently went through an extremely rough patch as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired with only three weeks of filming left on the schedule. Howard is now working on an extended production schedule, finishing out production in a manner more in line with what Lucasfilm wants. It’s unclear if Powell was lined up to compose the score before Lord and Miller exited, or if this decision was made once Howard came onboard. It’s curious, as Howard traditionally works with composer Hans Zimmer.