Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Alexandre Desplat Explains Why He Dropped Out Of Scoring 'Rogue One'

By: Dominic Jones

This time last year, composer Michael Giacchino was doing interviews talking about how he had had such a short window to write the score for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  While there were many factors that led to this condensed schedule for Giacchino, one of them was the fact that he joined the project fairly late into production because the film's original composer, Alexandre Desplat, had dropped out.  Desplat's reasoning was unclear at the time, but the composer recently set the record straight in an interview with Film School Rejects.

Desplat explained that he had been offered the chance to score Luc Besson's film Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets, and the scoring sessions for that film conflicted with the Rogue One schedule (which he claims had been delayed two months due to the film's extensive reshoots).  Desplat also told FSR that part of the reason he chose Valerian over Star Wars was that he wouldn't have the cloud of John Williams hanging over his head (which he already dealt with when scoring the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).

Film School Rejects: I have another question for you here about how you transitioned from working on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to Valerian.
Alexandre Desplat: No, I changed because Star Wars went very late. It got delayed for two months. And I wanted to do this film with Luc and had I stayed in Star Wars I could not have made this movie with Luc. Yes, and I chose that moment to go for Luc because I was committed and that was it.

FSR: It wasn’t so much like you had to follow any specific beats from Star Wars at large and you wanted more freedom?
AD: Well definitely when you when you work in the Star Wars movie you have the shadow of John Williams over your head. There’s no doubt that you’d be under a lot of pressure, but I knew that pressure because when I did the last two Harry Potter films.

FSR: Right, it was working from a John Williams score again.
AD: Yes. Exactly. So, having this incredible shadow over your head and the responsibility of writing some proper good music for a sequel that was universal. So that was not something I feared.

As it turns out, Giacchino's score Rogue One has been widely praised, as has Desplat's for Valerian (the score is generally seen as one of the positive aspects of that film).  It would have been interesting to see what Desplat would have done with Rogue One, but in the end it seems like both composers got to work on projects they really cared about.

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