When an artist passes, the audience becomes unfortunately aware that the days are numbered before no new work from said artist will ever be premiered. Sometimes, if we're lucky, we'll be left with one last work. In the case of James Horner, we're in luck, as he secretly penned an entire score to Antoine Fuqua's upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven.
Movies.com got wind of the score's existence after catching a segment on NPR in which Fuqua was interviewed about his work with Horner on the film we'd assumed would contain his second to last offering, Southpaw. As Fuqua described, Horner's team had a surprise in store for the director, as they delivered the completed score to him in Baton Rouge. His memory of that moment is encapsulated in the following quote:
He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, "Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it's just glorious." So that's my memory of James.
Up until now, the last score that looked like it would carry Horner's signature orchestral chops was The 33, which is based on of the Chilean mine accident that trapped 33 miners underground for 69 days. That's all changed now that we've gotten the exciting news of one more film that will contain a Horner-penned score. Though with that excitement also comes the sad feeling that the last score we'll ever hear from James Horner will probably contain themes so rousing that we'll want to hear more. This is especially true if Horner drew any inspiration from Elmer Bernstein's classic theme to the original film.
The most bittersweet part about the story of James Horner and Antoine Fuqua's budding partnership is the fact that it was cut down before it could really take off. Horner believed in Southpaw so much that he scored the film on his own dime, and the script to The Magnificent Seven alone inspired him to craft a full score for a film that doesn't even exist yet. Were he still with us today, Fuqua could have been another one of the directors to call James Horner a frequent collaborator. The raw emotion in Antoine Fuqua's interview is proof enough that the time he worked with Maestro Horner was something special, and that he looks forward to bring that final score to the screen.
Southpaw opens this Friday in theaters.