Tag Archives: John Powell

Contenders for Best Original Score: a first look

It seems like the Oscars were only a short time ago but believe it or not it’s already time to start looking at contenders for next year. As always, the award that means the most to me is the Oscar for Best Original Score and while there’s still several months left in 2018 there are already several front-runners emerging.


The first front-runner I have to talk about is Solo: A Star Wars Story. I know it doesn’t seem like a viable candidate but hear me out. First of all, the score was composed by John Powell, an accomplished composer perhaps best known for creating the Oscar-nominated score for How To Train Your Dragon (2011). Not only that, the main theme of Solo was composed by the legendary John Williams who has been nominated for an Oscar 51 times. While the film undoubtedly has problems, the score is not one of them and I would not be surprised if it received a nomination.


Another composer sure to get a nomination is Alexandre Desplat, the composer of Operation Finale, a Munich-esque film that recounts the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. And if that doesn’t garner an Oscar nod, his work on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs just might. Desplat has collaborated several times with Anderson and two previous films, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel both earned nominations for the composer.

However the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar, according to SportsBettingDime is Marco Beltrami for his work on The Quiet Place. As the plot of the film requires the main characters to evade vicious aliens by remaining completely silent, the music needs to do a lot of the storytelling. Beltrami’s score is a large part of why The Quiet Place was so successful.

In my opinion, any of these composers have a fair chance at winning Best Original Score next year, but what do you think? Do any of these composers stand a chance at winning the Oscar? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

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John Powell talks How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

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John Powell talks How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Following the success of the original How to Train Your Dragon (2010), a sequel was released in 2014 to general praise. Five years after the village of Berk made peace with dragons, they live together in harmony and Hiccup is still riding Toothless and exploring new lands.

But there’s an enemy on the horizon: the mad warlord Drago Bludvist is on the move with an enormous dragon army. He seeks to conquer the world with his dragons and it’ll be up to Hiccup and his friends to stop him.


Composer John Powell returned to compose the music for this film (having scored the original film and earning an Academy Award nomination in the process). The interview that I have found features the composer speaking in-depth about his score for the film, how he created the various themes and what his creative process was. John Powell is familiar with scoring animated films, having previously worked on such films as Robots, Rio, Happy Feet, Antz and three of the Ice Age sequels (to name a few).

This is another film series that I haven’t seen due to a lack of free time, but I’ve heard good things about it, so if you haven’t seen it, I recommend it to you. A third film, How to Train Your Dragon 3 is due out in 2018. Enjoy Powell’s talk about How to Train your Dragon 2!

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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*poster image is the property of 20th Century Fox