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John Williams Won’t Be Scoring Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One,’ But Is Still Onboard ‘The Papers’

John Williams
Vince Bucci, Getty Images

John Williams is one of Steven Spielberg’s most frequent collaborators, and earlier this year he was set to score both of the director’s upcoming movies: Pentagon Papers drama The Papers and pop culture-infused sci-fi Ready Player One. But because both of these movies are being put together at about the same time (Ready Player One’s production began last year, and The Papers was filmed this spring in a matter of weeks for a December release) Williams has had to give up scoring duties on the latter in favor of the former.

We’ll still hear his work on The Papers, but Williams has deferred to Alan Silvestri on Ready Player One, according to Variety. Williams has collaborated with Spielberg on all but two of his feature films he’s made in the last 43 years — The Color Purple was scored by Quincy Jones, and Thomas Newman did Bridge of Spies. Silvestri, though, is another movie soundtrack master who’s responsible for Predator, Forrest Gump, and a couple of MCU movies.

It sucks, but at least one Williams score is better than no Williams scores. And it makes total sense — what composer would want to take on two movies at basically the same time? He probably doesn’t want to get into the kind of situation Michael Giacchino found himself in when he took over Rogue One scoring duties from Alexandre Desplat and only had a month to complete the music.

The Papers opens in theaters December 22 in a limited release before it goes wide January 12, 2018. Ready Player One opens March 30, 2018.

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