Steven Spielberg remains one of the hardest working filmmakers in the business, and he really doesn’t have anything to prove at this point. Still, last year he filmed the adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel Ready Player One, and now he’s working under a very tight schedule on a new project about the Pentagon Papers called, simply, The Papers. Those two movies are going to come out very close together, so it was going to put a lot of pressure on Spielberg’s usual music collaborator John Williams, right? Well, it’s a good thing then that Williams only had to choose one, while the other goes to another very famous composer.
In an exclusive through Variety, Williams will compose music for The Papers, while Alan Silvestri will cut the tunes for Ready Player One. “Steven and John decided Alan Silvestri was the perfect choice for Ready Player One since Steven has worked (as a producer) with Alan on the Back to the Future films in the ’80s and Alan has scored other films for Steven’s Amblin and DreamWorks,” said a statement from Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment.
Williams has scored all but two of Spielberg’s movies since The Sugarland Express, Quincy Jones did the music for The Color Purple, and Thomas Newman scored Bridge of Spies. Interestingly, Williams had to pass up working on Spies because he was doing the music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was due to be released around the same time in 2015, but here, Williams is able to do The Papers even though he’s also working on The Last Jedi, which comes out six days before Papers. Of course, it has been previously reported that Williams had started the Last Jedi score last fall so Rian Johnson could edit the film to Williams original music and not a temp track, so he’s likely far ahead on his Star Wars work.
It’s worth noting that Williams did intend to do the music for Ready Player One, we reported as much in June 2016, but Spielberg very quickly put The Papers together for release this holiday season so Williams had to likely choose between the two. Having said that, Silvestri is a very acceptable substitution having worked on the Spielberg-produced Back the Future trilogy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? as well as Predator, The Abyss, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
The Papers will be in theatres everywhere on December 22; Ready Player One opens wide on March 30, 2018.