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Hypable

Composer James Newton Howard confirms in a new interview that he will return to The Hunger Games franchise to score Catching Fire.

UPDATE (November 2): Lionsgate has confirmed to Hypable this news.

Howard scored the first Hunger Games film, which we learned he would do in December 2011 after replacing Danny Elfman. He’s no stranger to Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence; Howard scored Lawrence’s I Am Legend and Water for Elephants. It seems like this decision was a no-brainer for both sides.

The composer revealed the news in an interview with Film Music Site. Other films he’s taken on in recent years include The Dark Knight, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Green Lantern, The Bourne Legacy, and The Last Airbender.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire cast and crew are currently filming in Atlanta, Georgia – see the latest set photos in our previous report. A few days ago actor Liam Hemsworth revealed he was injured on the set after participating in an action sequence. “I twisted my knee,” Hemsworth revealed. “I try to just fight through it. There’s so many people standing around waiting for you to do your thing. You feel sort of obligated not to let everyone down.”

Did you enjoy Howard’s score for The Hunger Games? Are you excited to see him return to the franchise?

Catching Fire hits theaters November 22, 2013.

Thanks, The Hob.

  • http://twitter.com/aadnama Amanda Douglas

    YES! I absolutely loved the score for The Hunger Games!

  • hpatdh33

    There were a few good pieces, but it was not worthy of the Hunger Games in my opinion. I don’t think THG has found it’s true voice yet. I was really hoping for a more raw/ emotional score. Apart from Rue’s Farewell and Tenuous Winners/ Return Home ( which is the same cue) it was all very dull and boring. Yes, Horn of Plenty was brilliant but that wasn’t even composed by him.

    • Connor

      Yes it was. The arrangement/lyrics was by Arcade Fire, but he made an orchestra version.

      • hpatdh33

        Arcade fire composed it, he orchestrated it.

    • Raye

      James Newton Howard seemed to try to not to make it “iconic theme”. I think they wanted to stray from that- The Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter/Star Wars memorable scores- Which fans wanted. But he’s totally capable. He did “Last Airbender” which had many themes, and PETER PAN which is in my top fave soundtracks of all time. But Hunger Games had two tones: Katniss and the Capitol. Katniss songs have an organic feel where Capitol is either grandeur or scary.

  • Cora

    Yay for composer continuity!

  • bethanny23

    Yes! This makes me so happy! I absolutely loved the score from the first film and was really hoping he’d return :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/erikd1 Erik Davison

    Meh. Never liked him much. All my favorites from the movies were the pieces where they opted not to use his scores and found stuff elsewhere. Those tracks aren’t even on the CD.

    I was hoping for Danny Elfman.

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    yes yes yes thank you god! the hunger games score was different, disconcerting, and melancholy, all of which i am a proponent of, especially in the fictional context of panem.

  • Matt

    Maybe it did it’s job in the film (it was by and large unnoticeable), but there’s nothing innovative or remarkable about it when you listen to it on it’s own. I wish they had tried someone else.

    • Connor

      I disagree. The Train, Reaping Day, The Hunger Games, tracks like those are ones I frequently listen too. It’s not an ‘epic’ score, but it shouldn’t be.

    • hpatdh33

      Completely agree, his score was bad, lets just call it what it was. Maybe a new composer will come in for MockingJay when he provides once again a lackluster score.

      • d3erudite

        If any film had an unforgettable score it was when Alexandre Desplat scored Deathly Hallows part 1

        • hpatdh33

          I think Deathly Hallows Part 1′s score is better then part 2. It’s actually probably my favorite score of all time. Yes, I understand to just an average movie goer the score is forgettable. But I don’t think I have ever heard a score that matched the tones and what was on screen more than that score. You got Obliviate, Ron’s Speech, Dobby’s Farewell.

      • Lee

        I think what you need to remember is that James Newton Howard was brought in as a last minute replacement, and only had a matter of a couple of weeks to complete the score with absolutely no idea what the hell the Hunger Games was. He had no prior knowledge of the books beforehand, so had to just jump in there and go for it. Also he composed around 2 hours of music, but only 50 minutes was used in the film. The Director was quite famously (in the film score world) a jerk to Howard, and wouldn’t use much of his music, and didn’t give him any freedom. The Director of Catching Fire; Francis Lawrence, gives Howard the freedom he needs, hence two of the best scores of Howard’s career have been I am Legend, and Water for Elephants; both filled with melody, motifs, beauty, and terror. He will deliver for Catching Fire, he will really deliver something great.

        • Michael

          Not according to the liner notes. Ross wanted to work with JNH for so long, in the Bluray special features they show him working with James, and Ross said he has done a great job. Also, JNH didn’t wrote two hours of music, he wrote 80 minutes in just three weeks (previously, he wrote 3 hours of music for King Kong in just four weeks), and he has quite experience with doing his best under pressure.

    • Savanah

      I actually really liked Newton’s score. I enjoyed it so much in the movie that I bought my own version of it. Yes, it may not be the “epic”/”grand scale” score that everyone was hoping for, but he did seem to get the emotions of the characters right on. (I especially love the piece that plays when they board the train and see the abundance of food). It also has this almost “homey” feel to it. Feels very personal, very small for such a large movie.

  • luigi

    I’m a very committed Hunger Games fan, but the score was JUST serviceable last time, nothing special.

  • http://jimmypautz.com Jimmy Pautz

    For the record, Hans Zimmer did The Dark Knight and Howard just assisted.

    • Lee

      Wrong. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard both have said multiple times, that they completely composed every single piece together, with Zimmer primarily focusing on the Joker, whilst Howard focused on Harvey Two Face, and Bruce Wayne. Please don’t make random statements without the facts.

      • http://jimmypautz.com Jimmy Pautz

        Sorry, you’re right. You need to chill out though.

        In any case, the tracks that were composed by Zimmer were far more memorable for me and the Hunger Games score was pretty dull and emotionless IMO.

      • http://jimmypautz.com Jimmy Pautz

        You’re right, I’m sorry. You need to chill out though…

        Howard did say though, “I just really felt that I had made what I felt like I
        could contribute to that series, and I always felt that–and I think
        rightfully so–Hans, really, in my opinion, was the mastermind of those
        scores. I mean, they really sounded the way they sounded because of him.
        His conception of the scores was really brilliant. It’s not that I
        didn’t add a lot, I did, but I don’t think I added the aspects of the
        music that really defined the character of those movies…So that was a very friendly and amicable parting
        of ways, but they’re gonna do just brilliant work without me, I’m
        sure.”

        In any case, I thought his score for the Hunger Games was rather dull and emotionless. It didn’t hurt the film, but it certainly didn’t add much.

  • Mauro Teixeira

    The Score of the first THG was kinda standart, imho. I don’t think he did neither a good or a bad job on it. However, I am happy he returned, maybe if he has more time to work on it it will be better, and maybe the fact that Francis Lawrence has worked with him in the past helps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.mclemore.7 Ben McLemore

    I am personally glad it wasn’t Danny Elfman for THG. I love many of Newton’s scores. I thought THG score was a bit lackluster in certain areas. But I am a big fan of his, overall. Peter Pan is my favorite score of his.

  • Teranel

    I don’t feel like THG score was that memorable, but it was fine and I’m a fan of continuity.

  • SonickedYou

    I guess people who did the Hunger Games Facebook game would be more familiar with the songs Mr Howard did for the film, but I actually found most of them very memorable. A large part of what made me sob in the cinema is “Rue’s Farewell.”"The Train” and the Capitil anthem were epic as well. It added an indie/rustic layer to the film that I really liked, especiallu the prominent use of percussion and chimes.

  • Michael

    Don’t get why people complains. A bombastic orchestral score would have been terrible for a movie where kids are killing each other. JNH’s score is one of the few scores that sounds totally inspired by the book (like Desplat’s Deathly Hallows). You had the country and emotional sound for Katniss and District 12, the modern and classic sound for the Capitol (which it was fitting for their nature), and the hostile sound for the Games itself (with reminiscenses of Rome, which it influenced the book and film). Ad saying that it’s dull and boring shows that you weren’t paying atention to it, and how Howard used these kind of sounds.

  • Ryan Stratton

    James Newton Howard had four weeks to score Hunger Games. That’s unheard of for film composers, and he still made a fundamentally good, functional score. Let’s see if he gets more time for the second pass and maybe he’ll work wonders.

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