A mere two months before King Kong is set to appear in multiplexes, Peter Jackson and his long time collaborating composer Howard Shore have parted company. Far from letting the dust settle, Jackson has replaced Shore with James Newton Howard, who has handled stick-waving duties on several money-rakers in the last ten years, including The Sixth Sense and Batman Begins.
Shore, who won Oscars for his work on the Fellowship Of The Ring and The Return Of The King, had been working on the Kong score since the final Rings instalment wrapped.
“I have greatly enjoyed my collaborations with Howard Shore, whose musical themes made immeasurable contributions to The Lord of the Rings trilogy,” Jackson said. “During the last few weeks, Howard and I came to realise that we had differing creative aspirations for the score of King Kong. Rather than waste time arguing with a friend and trying to unify our points of view, we decided amicably to let another composer score the film.”
Jeff Bond, Editor-at-Large at Film Score Monthly magazine, believes Shore will have felt restricted working within the confines of a big studio movie. “Howard Shore is a guy, who particularly on The Lord Of The Rings and a lot of his scores for David Cronenberg, has very specific artistic ideas that he likes to express in a score," Bond said. “That can be problematic if the composer is potentially running up against the thoughts of a director. Part of the problem is that the bigger the project, the less the score has an opportunity to be creative.”