by: S. Scott Stanikmas
Last month brought the tragic death of James Horner. The Hollywood composer was well known for his scores in films like Braveheart, Titanic, Aliens and so many more.
It was well known that Horner’s last two projects were the boxing drama Southpaw from director Antoine Fuqua and the Chilean miner drama The 33. But as it turns out, those weren’t actually Horner’s last pieces of work.
In an interview with NPR, Fuqua discussed Horner while doing the publicity rounds for Southpaw and let slip this awesome little nugget of information:
James was an incredible human being. He was a filmmaker through and through. He was one of the most gentle people I’ve ever met. Even the way he spoke was very soft and thoughtful. He was magical. He had this childlike wonderment in his eyes, but he was an amazing artist, an amazing poet. I loved him and we became friends.
James was a family man. He loved his children. He called me on a Saturday after he watched [Southpaw], and I said ‘I don’t have any money,; because it wasn’t a big budget movie. And he said to me. ‘I love the movie. I love the father-daughter relationship. Don’t worry about the money, I’m just going to do it.’ And he did it for nothing. He paid his crew out of his own pocket.
And I just found out a few days ago – his team flew out here, to Baton Rouge, and they brought me all the music for The Magnificent Seven. He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, ‘Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it’s just glorious.’ So that’s my memory of James.
How beautiful is that? James Horner was an amazing human being for doing this. And that must have been one moving script for Horner to have developed an entire score.
The only problem is that Horner didn’t see any footage from the film, so he was going on gut feeling alone. Odds are good Antoine Fuqua will most likely find a way to insert most of (if not a good majority of) the score in his film. Hell, the score may even influence the film a bit.
But one thing is for sure – the cinematic world is a little less bright without James Horner in it to provide the soundtrack.