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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Universal Names a Composer for The Wolf Man

Ain't It Cool News has broken a particularly cool bit of news this evening, namely that none other than Danny Elfman will be scoring the impending remake of Universal classic The Wolf Man, starring Benicio Del Toro.

Elfman is of course, one of the old war horses of movie scores, having plied his trade for nigh onto a quarter century. However, if I may throw a small monkey wrench into th geekworks here, he is not really known as a composer of "heavy" material. His work tends have a sort of quirky, oddball, whimsical feel to it, evidenced in flicks like Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Beetle Juice. And really, the only straight-ahead horror movies he's ever scored have been Red Dragon, Sleepy Hollow and Nightbreed.

Nevertheless, his work can occasionally have a grim, foreboding feel to it, most famously in his iconic Batman theme. Hopefully, we get more of that and less of his trademark "la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la" stuff.

My personal choice would've been veteran Polish composer Wojciech Kilar, who knocked it out of the park in 1992 with the score for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Although he's been around since the '50s, Kilar made his name among American audiences with that stellar score. Surprisingly, the only horror score he's done since has been Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate (1999). His epic creepiness and Central European flavor would've been dead-on. But Elfman's no slouch, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What say you people?

9 comments:

Wes Fierce said...

I was actually thinking Kilar myself before I read the last paragraph, lol.

Ryan said...

B-Sol, check out SLEEPY HOLLOW for Elfman doing "heavy". Elfman for WOLF MAN is the perfect composer casting.

gil mann said...

My problem isn't with Elfman so much as it is with directors that just reflexively hire him because he's the guy you call if your movie has special effects in it.

Hopefully he'll actually score the damn movie instead of just going on cruise control like he's been doing for the past couple of years. Spider-Man, for example--that theme is like what you'd hum absent-mindedly if you'd just watched Batman.

B-Sol said...

The other problem with Elfman is that he's been in a bit of a slump lately. He was booted from Spider-Man 3, and his score for Nacho Libre was dropped outright. But Ryan, I will re-appraise Sleepy Hollow, it's been a while. Thanks for the tip!

frgodbeyjr said...

Just wanted to say that I found your blog and bookmarked it... nice job!

B-Sol said...

Thanks a lot, glad you're enjoying it!

Garg the Unzola said...

Kilar! What a great idea. He's a bit typecast as a composer though, if there is such a thing. I can instantly tell when it is him. Which is not a bad thing, and I do agree that his music would suit a wolf man better than Danny Elfman's quirky melodies.

I do believe Elfman is sufficient (he's a real staple) but Kilar would be more suited.

Anonymous said...

RayRay - Hey, not for nothing, Red Dragon, Nightbreed and Sleepy Hollow are not films to sneeze at when building a horror resume.

B-Sol said...

Heck no, didn't mean it that way. Rather, what I meant was, for such a prolific composer, who's done easily about 60-70 scores, to only have three horror scores to his credit is a low number.

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