Last month fans of movies and movie music were shocked and devastated at the news that James Horner, the Academy Award winning composer behind the scores for movies like Braveheart, Titanic, Avatar, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Aliens, and so many more, died after the plane he was piloting crashed.
Not only was Horner one of the best in the business at creating music for film, but he was also extremely passionate about what he did when the right project came along, as director Antoine Fuqua shared recently while remembering the late composer. Horner composed the score for Fuqua’s latest movie, the boxing drama Southpaw starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and according to Fuqua, he not only did it for free but paid his musicians out of his own pocket because he liked the movie that much. In addition to that, Fuqua was also stunned to discover that Horner had already secretly written the music for his next movie, the remake ofThe Magnificent Seven.
You can hear what Fuqua had to say in the audio clip below.
Here’s the text of what Fuqua says in the clip below from a chat with NPR, if you’re unable to listen to it:
“James was an incredible human being. He was a filmmaker through and through. He was one of the most gentle people I’ve ever met. Even the way he spoke was very soft and thoughtful. He was magical. He had this childlike wonderment in his eyes, but he was an amazing artist, an amazing poet. I loved him and we became friends.
James was a family man. He loved his children. He called me on a Saturday after he watched [Southpaw], and I said ‘I don’t have any money,’ because it wasn’t a big budget movie. And he said to me. ‘I love the movie. I love the father-daughter relationship. Don’t worry about the money, I’m just going to do it.’ And he did it for nothing. He paid his crew out of his own pocket.
And I just found out a few days ago – his team flew out here, to Baton Rouge, and they brought me all the music for The Magnificent Seven. He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, ‘Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it’s just glorious.’ So that’s my memory of James.”
In addition to Southpaw this week and The Magnificent Seven in 2017, Horner’s music can also be heard in The 33, which will be released in November. Hopefully in the future more of his unrecorded work will be found and shared as well.