Thomas Newman to score Skyfall, Eon says

Thomas Newman will score Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, Eon Productions said on an official Web site.

You can read the announcement BY CLICKING HERE. It reads in part:

Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli today announced that composer Thomas Newman will score the 23rd James Bond film, SKYFALL. “We are delighted to confirm that Thomas Newman will score SKYFALL. Thomas is one of the most respected and successful composers, he has a long history of working with Sam Mendes and we look forward to welcoming him into the Bond family,” commented Michael. G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Said Newman today, “I’m incredibly excited to be working with Sam again. It’s a real thrill to be able to collaborate on something as special as a Bond movie.”

(snip)

Newman takes over musical duties from David Arnold who is currently Music Director of the London Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies. David will continue to be involved with the 50th anniversary of Bond and recently produced the John Barry Memorial Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Said Arnold of the news: “I’m a huge fan of Thomas Newman so I am as excited as anyone to see where Sam Mendes and his team take James Bond on his 50th anniversary.”

Thus, the Bond series will have its first new composer since Arnold composed the score for 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. The move ends a streat of five straight 007 films with Arnold as composer.

Arnold commented on his Twitter feed, saying the move had nothing to do with Arnold’s commitment for composing music for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London:

DavidGArnold
@
@friskywhiska directors choice,,,he’s worked with Tom on all his films
4 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
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@tenpig I agree.but I didn’t turn it down to do the Olympics….it’s Sams choice and I think the right choice for him.
4 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
»
DavidGArnold
@
@Belles_Aunty I always said I would do them as long as they ask.if they ask for next one I will do it.

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The Missouri Breaks Syndrome

Like other James Bond fans, we sample what other enthusiasts are saying about Skyfall on various Internet message boards. And there’s a school of thought that the 23rd James Bond film is a can’t miss proposition.

You’ve got a prestigious director (Sam Mendes), prestigious actors (Javier Bardem, Albert Finney, Ralph Finnes, Judi Dench and, of course, Daniel Craig as James Bond). You can bet your mortgage that this film will be a huge critical and commercial hit, this school of thought goes. This will transcend a mere genre film (spies) and be art!

Maybe it will. Still, it might be wise to keep in mind what we call The Missouri Breaks Syndrome.

What’s that? Well, if you dig back a ways, there was a film called The Missouri Breaks, released in 1976. It had a prestigious director (Arthur Penn). It had prestigious cast (Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando, each who had recently won Oscars for Best Actor). And it was going to transcend a mere genre film (westerns) and be art!. You could bet your mortgage that it would be a critical and commercial hit.

Something happened on the way to that success. The film generated a mere $14 million at the U.S. box office. Bear in mind, when 1974’s The Man With the Golden Gun scored only $21 million at the U.S. box office many people were wondering whether 007 was washed up. Thus, The Missouri Breaks, with 33 percent less ticket sales, was considered a bomb.

Before anyone objects, we’ll be the first to say that past events aren’t necessarily a predictor of future events. Still, before some 007 fans get too smug, movies are full of examples of unexpected hits and flops. Skyfall, of course, is part of an ongoing series, not a one-off like The Missouri Breaks. ‘

Maybe Skyfall will be an enormous hit. We suspect it will be. But nothing is ever for certain. The Missouri Breaks was approved by the same United Artists executives who in 1961 cut a deal with Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to bring 007 to the screen. Were they geniuses one day and idiots the next? No. Sometimes your winning streak ends. Sometimes good things come out of nowhere.