Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rejected Scores: Part II

Stage discussion (l-r) Malcolm Arnold, William Walton, Guy Hamilton

In this post found here, I featured stories of notable rejected scores and their replacements.
Here are a few more notable examples and some favorite stories of mine.  

9. Team America: World Police (2004)
[Marc Shaiman]

After their work on the South Park film in 1999, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone got to work on their puppet comedy. After co-writing songs, Shaiman turned to writing the score while filming was still going. The plan was to rush through post production so the film could be released before the upcoming US election. The team finally caught up with Shaiman after a majority of the score was recorded, and decided to ditch the playful score. The studio and Parker wanted a score to match the Jerry Bruckheimer/Media Ventures sound the film was parodying, so they turned to Harry Gregson-Williams. Gregson-Williams scored it (with additional members from MV) like a straight action film in only a few weeks. Everything was so rushed, the original soundtrack famously doesn't list Gregson-Williams' name. 

8. The Golden Child (1986)
[John Barry]

For this Eddie Murphy Tibet-themed comedy, we got an lush Asian inspired Barry score and action similar to his later Bond films. Producers clashed with Barry during post production, and test screenings indicated a change of direction toward a contemporary synth sound better fitting the Eddie Murphy character. Michel Colombier was hired to compose a new score in a matter of weeks, with the final film and soundtrack still containing Barry cues.

7. Jennifer 8 (1992)
[Maurice Jarre]

Producers of this cop thriller sought after high-profile composer Maurice Jarre even while director Bruce Robinson had Christopher Young in mind after being a fan of Young's The Fly II. The studio won out, with Jarre writing and recording around 40 minutes of music. Apparently a lack of communication between Jarre and Robinson gave him not exactly what he wanted for the film. So Jarre was out and Young was brought in to compose his haunting score. Interestingly enough, 19 years later, Robinson worked with Young again on The Rum Diary.

6. Timeline (2003)
[Jerry Goldsmith]

After months of composing and recording the score for director Richard Donner, Goldsmith's score basically got edited out as the film headed into trouble. Reshoots, massive editing and bad screenings led to Goldsmith either redoing everything or backing out. For the action sound Donner wanted, he turned to relative newcomer Brian Tyler. Goldsmith's score ended up being his penultimate release with his passing in 2004.

5. Mission: Impossible (1996)
[Alan Silvestri]

According to director Brian DePalma, Silvestri's action score never worked being too busy or too melodic. As he was composing and finishing a day of recording, he received a call and was off the project. At the request of star/producer Tom Cruise, they turned to Danny Elfman who had just come off of a score for To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman. With limited time, Elfman composed a percussive action score unlike his previous work. 

4. Chinatown (1974)
[Phillip Lambro]

Fresh from the classical world but trying to break into film scoring, Lambro wrote the original score to Chinatown on the request of director Roman Polanski. After poorly received test screenings, it was decided to scrap his entire period-infused score. Producers turned to Jerry Goldsmith for the new score - and had to compose the replacement in 10 days. Even with this short span, Goldsmith's replacement score has become a classic. Oddly, it was Lambro's score that made appearances in the film's trailer and ads. 

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
[Alexandre Desplat]

With Alexandre Desplat reuniting with director Gareth Edwards after Godzilla, it seemed like we'd get a different vision for a Star Wars score. Desplat got to work writing, but hadn't recorded anything from the score. As extensive reshoots muddled the production, Desplat's scoring schedule was adjusted and he'd no longer be available. Disney and Lucasfilm turned to Michael Giacchino, known for his large thematic orchestral scores for the studio. A lifelong dream to follow in the John Williams tradition, Giacchino only had around three months before the film's release. 

2. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005)
[Randy Edelman, John Van Tongeren]

Possibly the biggest offender of rejected scores are temp scores, the music used during production before the final score gets added. With this sequel, Edelman's original score (with additional music by Christophe Beck and John Van Tongeren) couldn't keep up with the temp score and basically was all dropped with Tongeren receiving composing credit. Film score fans probably can't make it through the final film with random cues from Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, I Am Sam, My Best Friends Wedding, Sweet November and even Chicken Run being used. (Edward Schearmur, John Powell, John Powell, James Newton Howard, Christopher Young, John Powell/Harry Gregson-Williams, respectively)

1. Battle of Britain (1969)
[William Walton]
Classical composer Sir William Walton returned to the film world, swayed by friends like lead actor Sir Laurence Olivier and composer Sir Malcolm Arnold. Arnold would assist the aging Walton by orchestrating, conducting and writing additional cues. With the score not long enough and not sounding enough like a standard aerial war picture, it was scrapped. Producers turned to Ron Goodwin (fresh off several British war films) to write the replacement. At the insistence of Olivier (threatening to take his name from the film), a piece of Walton remained in the film. The montage's "Battle in the Air" is still one of the score's highlights.   

For you score detectives out there, here's a rundown with a listing of how to hear some of these rejected scores.  Luckily many of these scores have been released recently.

Team America
No part of Shaiman's score has been released.
The Golden Child
While the original soundtrack featured a Barry cue and song, a 2011 release by La-La Land Records contains all of the unused score and Colombier's final score.
Jennifer 8
Jarre's entire score was released alongside Young's score in a 2012 La-La Land Records release.
Varese Sarabande released the regular soundtrack to Tyler's score, while the same label released a very limited release of Goldsmith's unused score in 2004 (posthumously)  - giving his fans one more score to hear.
Mission: Impossible
Bootlegs have surfaced over the years with Silvestri's unfinished score.  Rumor is that parts of the music became parts of the following year's Eraser.
While Lambro was being rejected, he made a deal with the studio for publishing rights in return for parts of his score to be used in the film's marketing. It took until 2012, but Perserverance Records released Los Angeles, 1937.  The deal included not mentioning the Chinatown title, but you can hear his whole unused score and trailer music.  
Rogue One
Since there are no recordings, it seems that Desplat's ideas will never be heard.
Miss Congeniality 2
There were no score releases for either film - rejected or otherwise.  But you can make your own playlist of temp tracks!
Battle of Britain
Walton's Battle in the Air was on the original LP.  It was the 1999 Rykodisc/2004 Varese Sarabande release that featured all of his unused score in addition to the Goodwin score.