When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in pre-production, many wondered and worried if J.J. Abrams would replace the iconic John Williams with the director's own longtime collaborator Michael Giacchino as composer on this rebooted sci-fi adventure series. While that didn't happen, Michael Giacchino has found an opportunity to weasel his way into this hugely popular franchise. The man will now compose the soundtrack for this December's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
While some classic themes will be utilized to keep the movie in line with what has come before it, this first Star Wars spin-off will be 'whistling a new tune' as it were. While John Williams was never intended to return for these new standalone adventures, which will stand outside the Skywalker saga, Rogue One originally had Alexandre Desplat set in place to record the score.That all changed with the extensive reshoots that happened earlier this year according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Michael Giacchino has made a name for himself composing the scores to the new Star Trek movies, and he has also worked quite extensively with Disney on several Pixar releases that include The Incredibles and Inside Out, so he's no stranger to the mouse house. Sources confirm that Abrams' old pal was brought in after those often heard about reshoots occurred this summer. These new scenes also got a new writer in Tony Gilroy, best known for his work on the Bourne series. Gilroy also helped with the directing side of these additional scenes.
Reshoots were set in place to help Disney and LucasFilm clarify the story being told in the movie, which follows a rogue band of Rebel soldiers intent on retrieving the plans to the first dreaded Death Star, which is shown as being fully operational in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope. The movie opens December 16.
The tone of Rogue One has severally shifted following the reshoots. But that's not the reason for new music. Alexandre Desplat, who won an Oscar for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel, was no longer available once all the additional scenes were wrapped. Turning to Michael Giacchino appears to be more out of desperation, as the man had a small amount of free time, and Disney already has an established relationship with the man.
In terms of live action movies, Giacchino has worked on such live-action sci-fi themed Disney movies as Sky High, John Carter and Tomorrowland. He also scored the animated blockbuster Zootopia. And he is making his Marvel debut on this November's Doctor Strange. Taking on Rogue One places the man in all four of Disney's main production arms.
Being a long time friend of J.J. Abrams, he did appear as a Stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The man is now the first and only composer to ever create music for both Star Trek and Star Wars. Some had speculated that he may take over the main Star Wars series when John Williams retires, but that isn't happening yet. John Williams has already confirmed that he will be back to score the soundtrack for Star Wars: Episode VIII, because he doesn't want anyone else creating new music for Daisy Ridley's Rey. At least Michael Giacchino has Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso to play with.