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John Williams has composed the music for nearly every movie that Steven Spielberg has ever made, and originally, he was going to do the music for Ready Player One as well, but now, that's changed. It appears that Williams' commitments to another Spielberg project will make it too difficult for him to do both. As such, RPO has brought in somebody else to handle the music. It will now be written by Avengers composer Alan Silvestri.
The only movies Steven Spielberg has ever directed with music not done by John Williams are The Color Purple and Bridge of Spies. however, according to Variety, Ready Player One will now become the third film on that list. Interestingly, the reason that Williams has had to bow out is that he's also working on another Spielberg film, The Papers. Due to the fact that the two movies will actually be going through post-production at the same time, Williams can't do both, and so Alan Silvestri has been tapped to take over.
While John Williams was obviously the perfect choice for a composer, considering how much of the story of Ready Player One takes from movies he wrote the score for, Alan Silvestri is another solid candidate for the same reason. Silvestri composed the music for the Back to the Future trilogy, a series which also plays a part in the original novel, as well as other 80s classics like Predator and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Ready Player One takes place mostly inside the virtual world of a video game created by a game designer with an obsessive love for all things 1980s. As such, many of the era's movies, video games, and television shows play a part in the story.
Of course, this does leave open the possibility that while we may not get any new John Williams music in Ready Player One, we might still get music that he wrote. Depending on exactly how the various 80s pop culture aspects are integrated into the story, there's a better than average chance we could here some of Williams' previous iconic scores, including music from Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Star Wars.
Why it was decided to keep John Williams on The Papers, and not Ready Player One is not specified, though it was likely simply a decision of timing. The Papers is set to hit theaters later this year and Ready Player One doesn't arrive until March of 2018. Williams likely had already started his work on the former film, and it was best to give the incoming Alan Silvestri more time to work on the latter.
While losing the greatest film composer ever is certainly a blow to Ready Player One the movie has certainly recovered well. We're looking forward to seeing the final product early next year.