Composer Danny Elfman has had to drop out of scoring Gary Ross’ highly anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games. Variety reports that Elfman is unable to fulfill his commitment on the project due to scheduling conflicts (Men in Black III and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows), and James Newton Howard has stepped in as his replacement. Back in June it was announced that Elfman would be collaborating on the project with producer T. Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart) on what would be an ambitious multi-album undertaking that included not only music and songs for the film, but a collection of songs influenced by the film from new and established artists.
Though Elfman is departing, Burnett remains onboard and Variety says the transition will be seamless and will have no effect on post-production. Music plays a crucial role in The Hunger Games, with two highly important songs. I’m curious as to whether they had started work on those yet or if Howard will begin from scratch. Howard is an okay choice (his work includes Defiance, Michael Clayton, and The Dark Knight), but I was really looking forward to seeing what Elfman had in store. The Hunger Games opens March 23rd.