Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rumour: James Newton Howard attached to Tomb Raider

Vikander as Croft on location in Cape Town

On March 13th Spanish Tomb Raider fansite Tomb Raider Collection reported James Newton Howard to be the composer for the upcoming film reboot of Tomb Raider (2018) starring Alicia Vikander in the title role. Unconfirmed, this speculation follows rumours of involvement of the original video game composer, Nathan McCree. Distributors of the film Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and MGM (in select territories), made a press release today of which MoTR was a recipient of:

"From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Tomb Raider is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. The film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (The Wave), with Oscar-winner Graham King (The Departed) producing under his GK Films banner. The film’s production begins on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.

Tomb Raider also stars Dominic West (Money Monster, 300), Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained) and Daniel Wu (AMC’s Into the Badlands).

Shooting on location in South Africa and the UK, Uthaug directs from a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography George Richmond (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation); production designer Gary Freeman (Maleficent); Oscar-nominated editor Stuart Baird (Skyfall, Gorillas in the Mist); and costume designer Tim Wonsik (key costumer, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)."

The announcement lists production credits but fails to nominate a composer attached to the film. James Newton Howard's involvement is certainly an industry possibility - the prolific composer boasts an impressive body of aesthetically similar work including Salt (2010), The Hunger Games franchise (2012+) & Maleficent (2014). Although director Roar Uthaug consistently collaborates with Magnus Beite, it would not be a surprising push from producers to hire an established Hollywood composer for as high profile a film.

The question on the tip of every Tomb Raider fan's tongue remains - will the new film score utilise the video game theme(s)? Jason Graves constructed a fresh motif for the reboot continuation of the franchise consistent through Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), despite the music for the latter being helmed by Bobby Tahouri. Alan Silvestri incorporated Nathan McCree's original motif in the soundtrack to the last franchise film entry, 2003's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life, but this is no indication a new composer would be confined to the same approach.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MoTR wins official fansite Crystal award: Best interview (2016)

As part of the Official Fansite Program, Music of Tomb Raider has had the privilege of conducting interviews with important figures in the Tomb Raider music sphere since establishment in 2011. Last year we had a hap-hazard encounter with Ashley Revell, music editor on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and brother to composer Graeme Revell, crossing paths at Auckland International Airport.

The community voted and awarded fellow fan site Tomb Raider Source for their interview with Nicobass : Remake de Tomb Raider II, while developer Crystal Dynamics hand-picked MoTR's article for the same award of Best Interview: "an exceptional interview conducted by a member of the Official Fansite Program focused on the Tomb Raider franchise which required extensive research and critical thinking to achieve."
"An interesting and exclusive interview with Ashley Revell – the music editor on Lara’ Croft’s first Hollywood outing – and brother to composer Graeme Revell. Music of Tomb Raider caught up with Ashely in person in Auckland, and the in-depth nature of the interview is sure to appeal to fellow music and cinema fans." - Crystal Dynamics
Thank you to Crystal Dynamics, the community and our readers. The full interview can be read here.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Unaffiliated with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, McCree talks
Tomb Raider Suite album Kickstarter & possible world tour

Following his initial afterwords, Daryl Baxter debriefs with Nathan McCree some days later, post-debut of The Tomb Raider Suite as the Tomb Raider- Live In Concert event in London, December 18th, 2016. On the concert itself and the possibility of a world tour, McCree had this to say:

"I personally, made a financial loss on the concert, but with the three standing ovations and all the positive feedback, it was worth it [...] it’s hard to see a world tour not occur." - McCree

The Tomb Raider Suite project was always envisioned as the concert, an album and a documentary film titled Tomb Raider: Remastered. The Tomb Raider Suite album was to see the first three Tomb Raider soundtracks re-recorded with an orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, with the resulting material to be released commercially. In regards to approaching this next step, the composer mentioned the following:

"I’ve got the licence from Square Enix to exploit the original soundtrack from the games as I see fit. Now that I’ve used the music for an event, I have that licence for seven years. So now it’s the album. At the moment I am focusing on The Tomb Raider Suite, but I’m also considering releasing the original synthesised versions as they are in the actual game.

The plan for the album is likely to be a Kickstarter. We hope to announce it in February, launch in March for one month, and if all works out we release the album in July." - McCree

When asked if returning to the video game franchise to compose, McCree stated "...we have spoken of there being a possibility of me scoring the fourth game. It could not only attract new fans, but old fans who still haven’t played the new games, but with my music". This may be indicative that developer Crystal Dynamics has already hired a composer for the next franchise instalment, an upcoming sequel to 2013's reboot follow-up, Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), rumoured to be called "Shadow of the Tomb Raider".

Read the full interview with Daryl Baxter here. Rumours of Nathan McCree's potential involvement with the next Tomb Raider (2018) film, directed by Roar Urthaug and starring Alicia Vikander, were not addressed.