‘Godzilla’ Score to be Composed by Alexandre Desplat

Published 2 years ago by

Alexandre Desplat composing Rise of the Guardians Godzilla Score to be Composed by Alexandre Desplat

Godzilla will be stomping into theaters at the start of next year’s summer movie season, and so far we’ve already been given a number of very good reasons to be there when he (or she) arrives. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters), the movie will star Breaking Bad‘s breakout success Bryan Cranston as a scientist, along with soon-to-be Scarlett Witch Elizabeth Olsen and Kick-Ass lead Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Screen Rant got a first look at Godzilla during the Legendary Pictures panel at this year’s Comic-Con, with a trailer that promised scenes of Godzilla battling other monsters in a film with a slightly darker tone than Legendary’s other big monster movie release, Pacific Rim. Filming on the project had finished only two days previously, and Godzilla is now in the early post-production stages.

Perhaps one of the most crucial stages to come (besides visual effects) is the composition of the score for Godzilla, and we now have a little extra insight into this aspect of the movie as ComingSoon reports that Alexandre Desplat (Moonrise Kingdom) has been tapped to provide the musical background to the classic kaiju’s destructive rampage.

Desplat has been nominated for an Academy Award for best score five times – for Fantastic Mr. Fox, The King’s Speech, Argo, The Queen and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – and also composed the music for upcoming movies The Monuments Men and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Godzilla probably won’t be the movie to finally win Desplat an Oscar, given the Academy’s snootiness towards genre films or blockbusters, but it’s certainly exciting for Godzilla fans to have such a talented composer providing the soundtrack for one of 2014′s most highly-anticipated movies.

Godzilla Reboot Creature Design Godzilla Score to be Composed by Alexandre Desplat

This is certainly an interesting choice, since Desplat is best known for his work on smaller dramas and independent films, and the closest he has come to an action-heavy film like Godzilla is perhaps his work on family movies like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Golden Compass. Since Desplat is largely untested in this particular genre, we’ll have to wait and see whether he’ll go for a noisy Pacific Rim style action soundtrack with electric guitars, or whether he’ll take a quieter and more somber approach.

Based on the director, the composer and the assorted writing talents that have been engaged for the Godzilla reboot (including David S. Goyer during the story’s inception and Frank Darabont in the later script revisions), tell us what kind of tone you’re expecting the movie to take, and if you think the right people are involved to make Godzilla work.


Godzilla is out in US theaters on May 16th, 2014.

Source: ComingSoon

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Godzilla
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      • Another great one. thanks!

  1. Alexandre Desplat? Is that last name the sound he makes when Godzilla stomps on him?!

    • /foreign grammar nazi hat on

      no, the S is silent, as is the final T

      sounds closer to deh-plah.

      /foreign grammar nazi hat off

      And he WILL write a brilliant score.
      Currently he is the only film composer I have any sort of respect for (other than Williams and Silvestri). I’m sick and tired of the generic, and unoriginal Zimmer-sound that everyone seems to be gleefully imitating for filmscores these days.

      Want to sound like Zimmer? lots of minor 3rd ostinati, add tons of taikos when the action builds up and have four unison trombones “blaaaaaaaaaaaaaart” when you want to highlight a significant moment in the action. Wow. So original.

  2. Desplat being composer for this is similar to the acting in A Touch Of Cloth and movies like Airplane!, in that you expect a certain style of acting (or in this case, composing) but the people involved actually play it straight and make the whole experience that much better.

    I can imagine he’d go for a typical disaster movie score as if the problem was an earthquake rather than giant monsters and avoid trying to come up with a suitably dramatic “monster theme” (as great as the Godzilla and Cloverfield themes were).

    • Cloverfield had no “theme”. there’s no music until the end credits. it’s hard to say that a “cloverfield theme” is “suitably dramatic” in a movie when it doesn’t actually PLAY in the movie.

  3. He better spend a lot of time listening to Akira Ifukube. I will sit down with his entire body of released work over the next few days and weigh in a bit more.


    • Why?

      As a musician myself, my best work is when I avoid all other songs and pieces of music for maybe a week before writing my own material, otherwise whatever I write can sound derivative.

      • This is not an valid comparison. I write as well (for 24 years now), and I understand your point(normally), but with a character who has had a main theme and a main mood to the scores for the majority of the over 28 films that he has appeared in since 1953, research is in order. Ifukube’s music is synonymous with Godzilla, much more so than any other franchise (even moreso than Star Wars). Akira Ifukube even designed Godzilla’s ROAR.

        This film is taking cues already from the original Gojira. I don’t want to guy to attempt to copy Ifukube, but research is in order. For all I know about the guy, he’s already heard everything Ifukube has ever done, and that would be great. Even if he never listens extensively to any of it, the chances of the original main theme not appearing at least during the end credits is 0. I would still prefer though, if those dark type moods were used.

        A decent recent example was Zimmer’s take on Superman. Now John Williams music was totally synonymous with the character since 1978. They wanted a different mood, a different take, and Zimmer said flat out that there was no way he could even DO John Williams if he wanted to (oh, he can’t).

        This isn’t the same thing they are even going for with Legendary G. They want to update it, but take cues from the original movie, which was a dark scary movie for it’s time. Most of what made it that tone was the music.

        I could go on, but I won’t bother. I think I answered your question.


        • You never really answered my question to my satisfaction though.

          I get that taking cues is good and paying homage to the original but I still think that taking the Zimmer approach is the best option here.

          Maybe he could be subtle and use elements of the original score hidden away somewhere in his that doesn’t make it obvious to anybody who isn’t actively looking for it?

          I guess we’ll find out what he does when we hear his score but until then, I stand by what I said.

          • Not having the G theme in there is like having James Bond without the Bond Theme. The difference here is a darker Godzilla film needs the mood also, at the very least. Ifukube was a master at this, it’s what he’s most known for.

            Here’s a great example. The Godzilla Film GMK, has a score written by another good Japanese guy who’s great at a similiar style. Otoni didn’t copy Ifukube at all, totally did his own thing, but HAD the heavy underpinnings, the dark somber moods.. and of course… Ifukubes actual main theme at the end of the film. I actually wish Otoni were doing THIS movie, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.


    • Actually I thought it was an awful soundtrack, and I adore his work on Game of Thrones. Djawadi has yet to write anything really cool for a film. If the new G sounds like PR, it will be a total failure in this department.


  4. not Godzilla people that the ameican language … its ‘Gojira’ hail to the king

    • *looks at the name of the movie*


  5. His score for the last Harry Potter SUCKED! They should
    Have kept john williams. Tos guy isn’t good at action movies
    His style is to artsy, it won’t work.

    • That’s why I reckon it WILL work.

      You’re expecting a certain kind of score, a certain sound to the music and bringing in someone who usually writes for completely different genres will be a great idea.

    • It didn’t work for YOU.
      I just watched the last two Harry potter films again, and think that Desplats music is just about the ONLY non-Williams score for that series that WAS comparable to Williams’ scores.

      To “artsy”? Sure, let’s throw in “Blurred Lines” and maybe some Lady Gaga… that’s not too artsy.

  6. Like what John Ottomon did for Superman Returns and took John Williams original score and updated it with a deeper sound and more brass and woodwinds.

    • He did no such thing. He altered (ie: simplified) the harmony on the main theme, but the orchestration is in no way “deeper” nor are there “more
      brass and woodwinds”.

      While I generally enjoy Ottman’s scores, what he did to the Superman theme was egregious. He banalized the harmony, turning it into a simple I-IV-V-I progression. He removed all of its colour and character.

      besides, other than Williams’ main Superman theme, the rest of the score is all Ottman. He didn’t “take John Williams’ original score” and “update” it. He used one theme (maybe a 2nd one here or there, I may be forgetting one). Otherwise, he composed a new score.

      N.B. I’m talking about during the film here, not the opening credits which is simply a rehash of the original Williams opening credit suite.

  7. Yeah, if the original theme isn’t used I think a lot of fans will be upset. Now I honestly don’t think the theme will be used. If it is though, I will be very very happy.