Film composer Michael Giacchino is one of the most sought after musicians in Hollywood with good reason. His work has landed him an Emmy, Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA award, amongst a flood of other accolades. Best known for genre scores, his rousing music is very much a product of his early video game compositions. Since then, he’s best known for his soundtracks to a variety of Pixar and Disney films, as well as the majority of J.J. Abrams projects, including Star Trek. This summer, he reboots the score to the highly anticipated Marvel Studios blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming.
While the complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack isn’t dropping until July 7th, you can get your Spidey senses tingling right now with Giacchino’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Suite on Spotify or your favorite streaming services. The track combines several themes from the upcoming film, sampling various moods and tones in anthology form. The suite also appears on the full Soundtrack album as track 22, and it is also available for purchase.
Beginning with a playful, light Do-Re-Mi on xylophone, backed by the composer’s trademark swelling strings, the suite’s opening progresses into a big, superhero theme intro, of which variations are repeated throughout the 6 minute and 13 second track. Giacchino’s known for his emotional sweeps and kitchen-sink technique, and when we get to 1:25 into the suite, it’s just that. The theme gets a hero’s welcome with bold horns, snappy percussion, a layering of strings, and a hint of something electronic. At around two minutes into the suite, darker, moodier, possibly villainous, themes emerge. This section plays off of the same six-note Spidey theme from earlier in the track, but with venomous intent. Four minutes into the track, things get romantic, beautiful, and light with the addition of a flute solo that gives rise to another take-over of orchestral strings. At five minutes in and on to the very end, we’re given a rousing finale that ties the whole thing together. It’s a homecoming, if you will, ending where we began on the simple six-note hero theme we’ll most likely hear a lot more of throughout the full score.
A month ago, we were treated by Giacchino via his Tweet to this preview of the score, which is a play on the 1967 cartoon series theme. Hearing it played out with a full orchestra surprisingly works, and although it doesn’t appear in this newly released suite, it will probably be heard in the film at some point. The composer pulled at our pension for nostalgia with his scores for the most recent Star Trek films, incorporating Alexander Courage’s original television series theme seamlessly into the new one for use in the end credit crawls.
The Spider-Man movie franchise has been previously scored by the likes of Christopher Young, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman (who has just signed on to score Justice League). Michael Giacchino, following the company of the best in the business, seems up to the challenge of bringing a new excitement to Spider-Man on the big screen. Composer Henry Jackman handled Tom Holland’s first appearance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. It doesn’t sound as if there’s any direct connection in the musical themes from that film and the upcoming solo debut.
Arguably. Giacchino’s biggest shoes to fill came last year with his score for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This was the first big-screen film in the Star Wars universe to not be scored by John Williams. The score received acclaim for its invention, and tribute to Williams instead of regurgitation. His score for Doctor Strange was Giacchino’s first Marvel Studios project. Combined with his past Disney resume and powerhouse scores for Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Jupiter Ascending, it certainly sounds like Spider-Man: Homecoming will be a perfect match for our hero’s reboot.