‘Thor: The Dark World’ Loses Composer Carter Burwell

Published 2 years ago by

thor dark world odin Thor: The Dark World Loses Composer Carter Burwell

When the first poster for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World dropped – revealing that Carter Burwell will be scoring the sequel – there was restlessness amongst the fan ranks, since many were holding out hope that composer Patrick Doyle would return for the God of Thunder’s third on-screen appearance (Doyle’s emotionally-charged “Letting Go” melody from the first installment is a personal favorite).

Burwell, according to new reports, has stepped down as the composer on The Dark World, after splitting with Marvel heads over creative differences. Reps for the comic book movie studio are describing the parting of ways as amicable, claiming that “[Studio heads] liked him but it wasn’t the right project.”

This development – reported exclusively by Deadline – isn’t the first time that Marvel has said goodbye to an important creative player on the Thor sequel, citing the problem as being “wasn’t the right project.” Patty Jenkins (director of The Killing pilot) was the original choice to oversee the film, but ended up stepping away over artistic differences.

A subsequent report charged that Jenkins was “fired without warning,” due to her not having a set game-plan for the superhero project; other insiders, at the time, claimed the parting of ways was on better terms and Jenkins could return to the fold and direct a future Marvel film (one of the Phase Three movies in consideration, perhaps).

Alan Taylor Thor 2 Director Thor: The Dark World Loses Composer Carter Burwell

Jenkins ended up being replaced as director by Alan Taylor, who also comes from a television background – which includes his time serving as one of the showrunners on Game of Thrones – after having directed multiple episodes on acclaimed cable series like Sex and the City, The Sopranos and Mad Men. Most of the Screen Rant readership have responded well to the Dark World teaser trailer, which provides a small taste of Taylor’s grittier vision for the franchise.

Similarly, Burwell was an intriguing choice to serve as the composer on The Dark World. He frequently collaborates with directors like the Coen Brothers, Spike Jonze and Bill Condon – which includes on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2 - but it’s possible his arthouse movie music sensibilities just didn’t gel with Marvel’s plan for the Thor sequel. (That the studio is known for not always being easy to work alongside, probably didn’t help.)


Iron Man 3 is currently in theaters, Thor: The Dark World arrives on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015, and Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015.

Who would you like to see score Thor: The Dark World? Let us know in the comments section.

Source: Deadline

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Thor, Thor 2
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  1. Creative Differences with a Composer?

    Well, thats a first.

    • Yeah, I have never heard that one before. I always figured they make something they show the director or producers and they either say keep working or we like it.

    • Happens all the time. Spiderman 3, King Kong are just two examples that come to mind

  2. I don’t know how I feel about this… It makes me very nervous about this film and the whole Marvel universe situation due to all of the conflicts…

    • @ Kyle

      To what conflicts do you refer?

      • Talks of contracts, director and actor issues and now composer… Behind the scene stuff.

  3. Bring back Patrick Doyle. If not, Ramin Djawadi or Steve Jablonsky (my pick for The Avengers) would do great!!

    • Marvel already passed over Patrick Doyle(for Thor 2) and Ramin Djawadi(for Iron Man 2 and 3). They’re more high-profile composers(Doyle is at least) and would ask for too much money(by Marvel studios standards) for doing sequels.

      Sadly composers are a cost-cutting area for Marvel, which is why aside from Silvestri and Doyle we haven’t really seen any of ‘the greats’ for any Marvel movie, and why no Marvel film has had a score as memorable as Batman 89, Superman 78 or even The Dark Knight trilogy and the Raimi Spider-man.

      • …and…as memorable and deeply moving as The GREAT Hans Zimmer’s score for “Man Of Steel.”

        DC does have a fine history when it comes to their character’s thematic scores.

        Danny Elfman’s “Spiderman” score is not memorable.

        • Elfman’s score for Burton’s Batman was excellent.

      • Ramin Djawadi has proven that he can pull memorable themes out of his butt very quickly. He scored Iron Man so he’s worked with Marvel before, and like director Alan Taylor has a Game of Thrones background, which everyone knows has a great score. He’s a great choice, but he’ll be wasted like other talents if Marvel doesn’t start placing value on the music in their MCU films.

  4. Wasn’t the exit of Kenneth Branagh supposedly over “creative differences”?
    I would have to say that recurring refrain by Marvel has been played out.

    • Wrong, Marvel has a straight forward agenda and they have a plan. I am with them, why bother waste time on people not willing to cooperate with them or their vision. They have been hard at work to reach their goals and certainly one of the most hardest working studios up and running now. Creative differences will happen but it’s not to say it’s their own fault but the fault of the person who couldn’t keep up with them. In any normal workplace you would be fired for lagging behind. Marvel is doing it the right way on how I see it.

      • Absolutely disagree kenneth branagh is what made thor as good as it was not marvel studios. Faverau was given complete control over iron man 1 and in IMO its been leagues ahead of any other installment. Marvel interferes with IM2 and look what happens. Marvel is only as good as the talent around them

        • You are absolutely wrong with that, have you ever worked in an actually studio you would understand the amount of air that passes through. Thor was no were close to being perfect as you described it, it was a good film. Branagh as you should know from his past work is an extremely ambitious director with huge visions. Branagh’s own vision certainly didn’t meet Marvel’s own criteria for the sequel. As we know now Phase 2 is out of the Phase 1 origins phase. For once they are making a smart movie and collaborating with different directors otherwise films like Thor 2 would have ended up 3 hours in length on Branagh’s own terms.

          Marvel didn’t completely interfere with IM2. It was Faverau’s own vision for the film that did it out. The elements shown in IM2 were important to introduce the first stage of The Avengers film verse which Marvel has had a huge hand alongside Joss Whedon. IM1 was certainly his own film, many directors get to play around with the styles and ideas in the origins phase. When it comes to a sequel that all needs to be let go and the universe needs to be entirely structered as it has been established. Faverau never met that entire criteria causing them to fix the film not interfere with it.

          Marvel has a set plan and vision that needs to followed in order for the films to logically coincide with their own universe. Don’t like it then it’s your own fault not understanding the amount of dedication they have put into building this from the ground up entirely. Creative differences happen even with them bringing people entirely new to the genre. They are only a minor issue in terms of what is happening now.

          • Interviews clearly state from both RDJ and faverau that marvel interfered with the film far to much and made them make an introduction for the avengers instead of a great film. And yes its my opinion but all reviews critics and fans state that Iron man 1 is leagues ahead of 2 and 3. One of the two marvel films to get over a 90% on RT, better yet one of the two films to get over an 80%. It may be my opinion but facts show ironman and the avengers are the most liked marvel films weather that be critics or fans

            • Fact of the matter is: Branagh has every ability to make an EPIC Thor trilogy like Nolan did with The Dark Knight.

              But Marvel’s creative(tying different film series together with recurring characters) and corporate(money, need to roll out a sequel every 2 years to make more $$$) constraints pushed him away as they tend to push away other directors after the first one or two films(Leterrier, Favreau, Johnston).

              Is Marvel’s approach right. Well, it may work out fine in the end, but it’s still a lot of wasted potential on the side of the directors.

        • you act as if your opinion is fact… im3 is the best imo…

      • Kenneth Branagh was the best thing about Thor and Marvel
        needs to ask itself why they cannot work with such a talent.

        Joe Johnston was another proven talent they dismissed and
        both Captain America and Thor sequels look to be inferior
        to the original films so so much for Marvel’s myopic vision.
        And there is Iron Man which went progressively downhill.

        • Kenneth Branagh and Joe Johnston both come from a different field of directing so I don’t know your argument there. Try working at Marvel yourself and see the immense amount of pressure they are being out through. It is not entirely their own fault this is happening. Those directors you just mentioned all got a lucky break in the first film. Thor and Captain America was barely passable for a film and certainly to me forgettable. When it comes to a sequel that is when ideas began to expand and more thought is put through the creative process. They just can’t follow through with the vision of Marvel, the directors own clear fault. They want the trees to be painted pink and Marvel wants the trees to painted green as they should normally be. It’s best to stay safe within those limits. If you look at their own previous work it’s unlike anything they have done before.

          • Johnston and Branagh proved themselves
            with Captain America and Thor and are much
            bigger talents than the people replacing them.

            Joe Johnston’s work on The Rocketeer was perfect
            background for a retro Captain America and Kenneth
            Branagh ‘s work is Shakespeare well-suited to Thor.

            The directors with no appropriate credentials are the
            Russo brothers directing the Captain America sequel.

            • Captain America and Thor were both good movies, not great! So of course marvel would look at other directors.

              • Captain America was the best of all in my opinion.
                Marvel refused to pay Johnston who was talking how
                he was directing the sequel right here on Screen Rant.

                It was assumed from the beginning he would be handling
                the sequel but Marvel would not pay him what he wanted
                and went cheap with the Russo brothers who were dirt cheap.

              • I doubt Marvel’s replaced Kenneth Branagh and Joe Johnston with the likes of Alan Taylor(a TV director doing his first movie) and the Russo brothers(Who are best known for ‘You, me and Dupree’ because it wants to make a great film. I’d say that’s a big step down in quality there.

                They’re doing it because these guys have a lot less clout and would work cheap and follow release deadlines a lot better.

                Marvel plans are to a large extent commercially driven(releasing a movie every 2 years, cycling directors to prevent escalating costs, hiring less well-known composers etc). You can support that, but no need to pretend decisions like these are driven by the quest for higher quality filmmaking.

    • Branagh left to do the Jack Ryan movie. He was only contracted to do one, and he in fact wanted to do the sequel. He just wanted to do it next year, which doesn’t work for Marvel.

        • Branagh being a gentleman is what you think, no director is perfect. Creative Issues not Control is the definitive term on what has been recently happening. Matvel is showing them the door in the right way,

          • The “definitive term” for Marvel is money.

            Johnston and Branagh wanted what they
            deserved based on what they delivered.
            Marvel’s “creative differences” are the
            dollars they are not willing to pay.

            And Branagh is a gentleman and
            his being one is not dependent
            on whether I think he is one.

      • Many directors are able to do two films within one year. It just proves more so the limits of this director. Not only he is extremely limited for such a director in his line of work but he had too much of an artistic talent and flare to his style.

        • Besides the obvious financial success marvel doesnt have a great track record. They have two game changers in the avengers and ironman. Every other film has had average reviews aka in the 70′s on RT and low 7\10 on imdb and some below 7/10. They make solid films but when they pull back the reigns and let the directors do there thing IM and avengers they have a better result. Obviously there are seperate opinions im just basing this on facts. The fact is its been a long time since a marvel solo film has absolutely blow both critics and fans away, by long time i mean since the first

          • Charlie Hard seems to think that Kenneth Branagh isn’t a true gentleman in the acting/directing business and that Captain America and Thor were “barely passable” when they were much better than he seems to think.

            I’m gonna have to entirely disagree with his opinions and try not to read any more of his comments because I know I won’t agree. It’s like he’s making excuses for Marvel like he thinks they’ll pay him for doing so or something.

            And wow at his below comment about a dubstep person doing the score for a movie where you’d expect orchestral sweeps and basic drums and other instruments to reflect the tone and style.

            Maybe in a future movie that isn’t expected to do well at all and act as a C-movie release, we can see Skrillex score the music while a Norse inspired battle takes place with swords and axes clashing and I’m sure Charlie would love the hell out of it.

            I guess the good news is that at least we know the movie is pretty much in the can since the composition of the score takes place during the final editing stages.

        • You have no idea what you’re talking about, can you? You’re dissing the likes of KENNETH BRANAGH just because he’s not rushing out several low-quality films a year like some straight-to-DVD filmmaker?

          Quality over quantity. Look at every great director in filmmaking history. Most of them were known for taking the time to make a great movie, not trying to pump out as many movies as they could for cash.

          ‘Extremely limited’ my @ss.

  5. I was thinking Skrillex would be a good choice to score Thor 2. I wouldn’t mind having some heavy dubstep in the mix. It would work great with the action sequences and the drama. Besides if Daft Punk can make the transition why not Skrillex.

    • Two different types of movies. I like Skrillex and all but that just wouldn’t work.

    • Sorry, I’d rather be hunted by bloodhounds through foul-smelling marshland.

      • And you, good doctor, captured the perfect reaction to that suggestion :D

  6. InB4 all the conspiracy theories about how Marvel is an evil company.

    • Not evil. More like brutally efficient, no-nonsense types that have a hand in everything that goes on and micromanage their employees to a large extent. Rather than following the filmmakers’ lead like Warner Bros, Sony and Fox they lead and expect the filmmakers to follow.

      • I prefer fox, sony and WB approach. Yeah they made some stinkers like green lantern and x-3 and spiderman 3. But we get superhero films that feel completely diffrent cause they allow directors and writers freedom. They all feel diffrent based on whose directing and i love that

        • I agree and the track record proves it, Trey.

  7. I think Marvel is very particular with how they want things done and there’s nothing wrong with that IMO. Since opening up they’re own studio, they’ve were able to put a strategic plan in place for Phase 1 and completely follow through to the delight of most CBM fans. There’s no reason to doubt them at this point.

    • “their own”
      “they were able”

  8. John Powell
    Definitely for this type of movie

    • i totally forgot about him. He can be great for Thor 2!!

  9. bring back patrick doyle for continuity!

    haven’t they learn ? look at iron man, 3 different composers!

  10. I heard a rumor that said Alan Taylor was asked to take a “vacation” from the film until after the release date. Hopefully that isn’t true! :(

    As for the composer, I don’t really mind him leaving. None of Burwell’s themes have ever been that memorable for me anyways. Although, it is weird that they would fire a composer… that doesn’t happen very often lol.
    Anywhichway, Marvel should hire Henry Jackman to score the movie. He did the score for X-Men First Class (which I think sounded fantastic) and is also set to score Cap 2.

    • Its been a big rumor that has yet to be comfirmed but is very possible. I mean alan taylor hasnt said anything about the film. Its absolutely rediculous if they dont allow taylor to do anything to promote the film. Its very possible marvel isnt pleased with the film or what he wanted to do, only time will tell

  11. Same execs that steered the ship for Iron Man 3? That film is no rewatchable.

  12. Maybe they’ll get Doyle back. Imagine he’s still open t it

    • Hope so, Thor is one of the best Marvel soundtracks!

  13. If they can’t bring back Doyle, I say have David Newman (Serenity) to do it.

  14. Are the final credits going to read “An Alan SMITHEE film?”

  15. So someone was employed to do a job and then did not want to do what their employer wanted? What gives creative people anymore right to do that than the rest of us schmucks.

    It is business. Plain and simple.

    • I don’t know, the fact that they’re… you know, CREATIVE people?

      Besides, there are good and bad ways to assign work. If your boss is interfering and micromanaging everything you do right down to what keyboard you’re using on your PC you’re not gonna like it.

  16. The only example of a franchise that can be slightly compared to what Marvel are trying to do is Harry Potter, as WB had to pump out 8 in 10 years. To do this they went through 4 directors, 4 composers (thought let’s be honest the only reason the score is so memorable is because of John Williams), 5 producers and 2 Dumledores!

    To construct something of this size is hard and for the start up film of the series, IM, they went all out and it was great. The following origin stories of Cap and Thor I thought were strong first films and TIH was enjoyable. The first sequel, IM2, was below par. The Avengers they went big on and I felt that was a good film, though it has little repeat value IMO. For these sequels they have to up the ante big time like The Dark Knight did and I make zero apologies for that example – that film blew people away. I am sure that the Avengers 2 will blow people away but long term i.e. Avengers 3, the sequels between Avenger films have to be very good or people will lose interest in the franchise. I think the avengers will work as they have continuity between those films in JW but between the other sequels if you lose that sense of continuity then the magic of the brand is lost. Certain things have to be done e.g. they should have an identifiable theme for each character as I don’t feel there is one, there is an avengers theme and the heavy metal for IM one and two. IMO the importance of a great theme should not be under rated and being cheap could hurt Marvel long term.

    To bring this ridiculously long post (sorry, I kind of started rambling :p) full circle, I used the Harry Potter example as it all felt very smooth and apart from becoming more serious from the third film on, which was appropriate with the story it all felt part of the same world. Now, I know the Marvel beast is different as you have group films, then solo films etc etc, but my point is it must always feel like a Thor film when you watch a Thor film and this should be through tone and music and cast. If you have something that feels very different like the first few M:I films then you won’t do as well. If you have something that feels like more of a sequel like mission impossible 4 felt to mission impossible 3 you will do far better. Highly convoluted rant over :)

  17. You know, instead of David Newman, I think Howard Shore or Alexandre Desplat would be perfect for the film.

  18. If we’re looking at non-big-name composers, how about giving Marc Streitenfeld a shot? I like the Newman idea, too.