Composer James Horner tragically died last month, striking a blow to the filmmaking community at large. The two-time Oscar-winning composer was responsible for creating many iconic pieces of film music ranging from Titanic to Braveheart to A Beautiful Mind. His notable works are too numerous to list—Aliens, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13, etc., and this weekend sees the release of one of his final films, director Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw. Aside from the Avatar sequels, which haven’t started filming yet, the only other unreleased film listed on Horner’s IMDb page is the Chilean miner drama The 33, opening this November. But it appears that we have at least one more Horner score to look forward to after that.
Speaking to NPR (via Movies.com), Southpaw director Antoine Fuqua offered an emotional remembrance of Horner and revealed that he took it upon himself to write the score for Fuqua’s next film in secret:
“James was an incredible human being. He was a filmmaker through and through. He was one of the most gentle people I’ve ever met. Even the way he spoke was very soft and thoughtful. He was magical. He had this childlike wonderment in his eyes, but he was an amazing artist, an amazing poet. I loved him and we became friends.
James was a family man. He loved his children. He called me on a Saturday after he watched [Southpaw], and I said ‘I don’t have any money,; because it wasn’t a big budget movie. And he said to me. ‘I love the movie. I love the father-daughter relationship. Don’t worry about the money, I’m just going to do it.’ And he did it for nothing. He paid his crew out of his own pocket.
And I just found out a few days ago – his team flew out here, to Baton Rouge, and they brought me all the music for The Magnificent Seven. He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, ‘Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it’s just glorious.’ So that’s my memory of James.”
That’s, well, pretty beautiful. Fuqua’s been shooting his Magnificent Seven remake with Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and more for the past few months, and assuming Fuqua keeps it, it appears that we’ll get to hear at least some of Horner’s final work when it opens in theaters next year. Assuming Horner doesn’t have another secret score (Avatar 2?) up his sleeve somewhere else, that is.
Listen to Fuqua’s remembrance below.