With Star Wars 8 midway through production, it still hasn't been announced whether or not composer John Williams will be back to score the soundtrack. He remains undecided, but one thing is for certain. He doesn't really want to see anyone else take on the job, either.
John Williams recently conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he opened the show with a hint about his participation in the next Star Wars sequel. He only briefly mentions the movie, but it sounds like a big possibility that he may not return. He has this to say about scoring Star Wars: Episode VIII, as reported by JWFan.com.
"I told the producers I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the next one, but told them I didn't want anyone else doing it either."
The last half of the statement was meant as a joke. And it got a laugh from the crowd just as the conductor led into the Scherzo for X-wings track off The Force Awakens soundtrack. It's clear that the musician doesn't want to relinquish control to someone else, having been in charge of the live-action Star Wars movies since 1977, starting with A New Hope. This December's spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will mark the first big screen entry that he has not been in charge of, with Alexandre Desplat doing the music.
Before John Williams committed to doing The Force Awakens, there was some question whether or not he would return due to health issues. The conductor had to drop out of Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, but is returning for the filmmaker's next project The BFG. When the official press release came out for The Force Awakens, it was stated that he would be doing the entire new trilogy. Later press releases from Disney and LucasFilm backed off that, stating he was only doing the music for Episode VII.
John Williams has sounded enthusiastic about returning for more Star Wars in the recent past. But taking on such a commitment at his age has become somewhat of a burden. If the composer doesn't return, it's possible that Alexandre Desplat could step in to replace him. It isn't known when a final decision will be made. There are still a couple of months left for the Star Wars: Episode VIII shoot. So don't expect to hear an official confirmation until sometime in late summer or this fall.