John Williams isn't ready to retire just yet: "I've got 10 years to go"

John Williams
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It looks like John Williams isn't retiring after all.

"I'll stick around for a while," the composer said while seated next to Steven Spielberg at an American Cinematheque celebration at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills (H/T The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)). "I can't retire from music. A day without music is a mistake."

The celebration focused on the pair's 50-year collaboration, which began in 1974 with The Sugarland Express. Williams, 90, alluded to his retirement over the summer while discussing his score work for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. The film is set to be Harrison Ford's last stint as the famous adventurer.

"Steven is a lot of things," Williams said at the event. "He's a director, he's a producer, he's a studio head, he's a writer, he's a philanthropist, he's an educator. One thing he isn't is a man you can say 'no' to.

So I've got 10 more years to go. I'll stick around for a while! Also, you can't 'retire' from music. It's like breathing. It's your life. It's my life. A day without music is a mistake."

Spielberg, who appeared visibly shocked at Williams' announcement, replied, "I'd better get to work to find out what the hell I'm doing next!"

Williams most recently composed the score for Spielberg's coming-of-age drama The Fabelmans, as well as the music for Indiana Jones 5. He scored the first Star Wars movie in 1977 film, winning an Academy Award for creating what would become arguably some of the most important music in pop culture history. The composer also has many iconic Spielberg vehicles like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in his repertoire.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is set to hit theaters on June 30, 2023. For more, check out our guide to the most exciting upcoming movies coming our way throughout the year and beyond.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.