Hard to believe: John Williams is not scoring Steven Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies'

Posted by · 11:39 am · March 18th, 2015

For the first time in almost 30 years a Steven Spielberg film will not be scored by John Williams.  That was the sad news DreamWorks Studios tried to avoid making headlines with this morning with the announcement that Thomas Newman would compose the music for Spielberg's upcoming thriller “Bridge of Spies.”

According to a release from the studio through distributor Walt Disney Pictures, Williams work schedule “was interrupted and he was unavailable to score the film due to a minor health issue, now corrected.”  

The 83-year-old composer has enjoyed a remarkable career winning five Academy Awards including three Oscars for Spielberg films “E.T.,” “Schindler's List” and “Jaws.”  The duo most recently collaborated on 2013's “Lincoln” for which Williams also earned an Original Score nomination. Williams' last theatrical work was 2013's “The Book Thief” which was his 49th nomination. He has also won a remarkable 22 Grammy Awards.

Williams is still expected to score “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” for director J.J. Abrams.

Newman is a 12-time Oscar nominee who has a long history with DreamWorks having composed the music for “American Beauty,” “Road to Perdition” and “The Help.”  He returned to score “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” in theaters now, and will reunite with Sam Mendes on “Spectre” later this year. He's also on board to compose Pixar's “Finding Dory” and Walt Disney Animation's “Untitled” 2018 release.

The release also provided slightly more details on “Bridge of Spies” itself including a new still which you can view at the top of this post.  The studio notes:

“A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, “Bridge of Spies” tells the story of James Donovan (Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan”s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.”

“Spies” stars Tom Hanks, three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd (“Side Effects”), Amy Ryan, Sebastian Koch (“A Good Day to Die Hard”) and Alan Alda.

“Bridge of Spies” is currently set to open nationwide on Oct. 16.

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