A big-budget monster movie doesn’t have to be generic — and neither does the accompanying music. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Godzilla director Gareth Edwards and composer Alexandre Desplat ruminate on that important concept as they analyze the orchestral score for the upcoming reboot.
“My biggest inspiration is music,” Edwards says. “It shouldn’t be a separation between, ‘This is a blockbuster, therefore it’s cheesy popcorn, and this like is a high-brow movie. I grew up with films where the two are combined, and it was like trying to find this hybrid that’s classic blockbuster territory that has an emotional heart at the center of it.”
After making a phone playlist of his favorite soundtracks, Edwards realized that Desplat had scored more of the entries than anyone else. The two then came together for the project, with Desplat eager to work on a monster movie. “I always try to do movies that are different from the ones I’ve done before,” he says. “And this is a perfect example.”
The biggest challenge for Desplat was discovering and sustaining an emotional center against a backdrop of burning buildings, dazzling explosions and monsters. The solution was to keep the score “organic,” utilizing the various colors of an orchestra to match the nuances of the film’s ensemble cast and “emphasize these characters’ broken souls.”
Edwards is more than satisfied with the results, impressed by Desplat’s rare “sensitivity” and attention to detail. “He’s elevated our movie, for sure,” he says.
Between the interviews and shots of the orchestra, the video also features some visual teasers of the film’s frenetic action – smoldering city skylines, a dismantled Statue of Liberty and shots of star Bryan Cranston wandering through the chaos. Last month’s Godzilla trailer offered up some more clues to the film’s plot, including a good look at the titular monster’s face.
The madness is scheduled to hit theaters on May 16th. You can purchase the soundtrack now.