Steven Spielberg Replaces John Williams On His Tom Hanks Thriller Bridge Of Spies

Having big time collaborators on board a project are almost always a sure fire way to make sure a filmmaker’s cinematic vision makes it to the big screen intact. Just ask Steven Spielberg, who's two biggest collaborators, Tom Hanks and John Williams, were all set to join him on his latest film – the formerly untitled Cold War drama, now entitled Bridge Of Spies. At least, that's how it was supposed to work out, until personal reasons forced John Williams to bow out of musical component of the October release. Never fear, for as Maestro Williams couldn't come out to play this time around, Academy Award winner Thomas Newman was more than glad to jump in as a substitute.

In an official press release from Dreamworks Pictures and Fox 2000, Bridge Of Spies was named as the first film since The Color Purple not to feature Williams' musical accompaniment. Unfortunately, the circumstances that prevented the famed composer's involvement with the film involved an unspecified medical condition that prevented him from participating in the film's schedule. Thankfully, whatever issues that prevented John Williams from coming to the table this time around weren't serious enough to keep him out of the game for long, which means he'll be back to score next year's The BFG when the time comes.

While it is a bummer that the typical Williams/Spielberg partnership was put on an unplanned hiatus for the production of Bridge Of Spies, it is equally an interesting opportunity to see a journeyman composer like Thomas Newman taking the reins this time around. After all, he was hand-picked by Skyfall director Sam Mendes to fill the franchise shoes that David Arnold had worn since 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, and that experiment yielded one of the best Bond scores in the series' history. A similar approach of fresh air could have the same effect on a genre that is well worn territory for the legendary filmmaker.

As for John Williams, it most certainly won't be a total year off for him and his composer's pen, as he's either already at work or soon to be at work on the music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, the unexpected break from his efforts with Spielberg is probably a good thing as it'll help him avoid a repeat of his busy 2002 schedule. That was the year that not only saw Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones on his plate, but also had him bringing musical life to Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets in the same year. We wish Maestro Williams all the best health, and look forward to his re-teaming with Steven Spielberg in the near future.

Bridge Of Spies will hit theaters on October 16, with The BFG aiming for a July 1, 2016 debut in American theaters.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.