James Newton Howard Replaces Danny Elfman as Composer on THE HUNGER GAMES

     December 5, 2011

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.

  • Nick

    Thank Jesus. Elfman is wildly overrated.

  • Teddy B

    Howard is an awesome choice! Can’t wait.

  • BrandonHeat07

    “Howard is an okay choice…” Excuse me? JNH is faaaaar more versatile than Elfman… Surprised the editor didn’t mention any of the collaborations Howard had with M.Night. Unbreakable and The Village are absolute masterpieces. The Hunger Games crew has made a considerably wise decision.

  • daniel

    i don’t know about Howard. he seems really the go to choice for “good music but hardly memorable”. that’s why he always got films coming out every season. he works fast, and the result is hardly memorable, sometimes irritating(Green Lantern). but if you say his work on TDK, well Zimmer composed the Joker score.

    • Teddy B

      Prince of Tides, Wyatt Earp, Waterworld, Dinosaur, Unbreakable, Signs, Batman Begins are all really memorable. Shit, the theme to ER. Unless you need a score that is only one note to remember it, James has written some really memorable scores.

      • The Company

        Yes, he has written some really great scores. I think the problem is, he seems to get stuck with really sappy movies which aren’t really all that memorable. He is one of the most underrated composers in Hollywood and I think this film and his Snow White project will give him the chance to shine.

  • Deadpool

    One of the Songs being done for the film is by Glen Hansard (from ONCE). Can’t wait to see what other artists they have involved.

  • Derek

    Jennifer Lawrence recorded Rue’s Lullaby ages ago with T. Bone Burnett, probably because she sings it on film as part of the story. I figured thats what you were referring to. I don’t think that will be effected by the change.

  • Tarek

    It’s a pity Elfman has dropped out. We will not have any memorable theme…

    can anyone remember any theme from the Village ? or from Unbreakable ? Of course not!

    can anyone remember any theme from Batman ? From Nighmare before Xmas ? From Men In Black ? Yes !!.

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