John Williams, the legendary composer behind some of the most iconic scores in cinema history, is set to be the subject of a new feature-length documentary produced by his longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg. For nearly 50 years, Williams and Spielberg have worked together to create some of the most recognizable themes in history, crafting scores for such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List. Most recently, Williams composed the score for Spielberg’s coming-of-age drama, The Fabelmans, a semi-autobiographical story based on Spielberg’s adolescence and early days as a filmmaker. In June 2022, it was initially announced that Spielberg’s next film, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, would be the pair’s final collaboration together as Williams reportedly hoped to retire from film to focus more on composing concert music.
Now, according to recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, Spielberg and Williams are set to collaborate in an entirely different way, working together on an upcoming feature-length documentary focusing on Williams’ life and career. The film is set to be produced by Spielberg’s Amblin Television, as well as Imagine Documentaries and Nedland Media. Laurent Bouzerea, perhaps most well known for his behind-the-scenes featurettes on most of Spielberg’s films, is slated to direct. Spielberg will serve as an executive producer for the project, along with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Justin Wilkes, Sara Bernstein, and Meredith Kaulfers.
While exact details on what aspects of Williams’ life the filmmakers will choose to focus on are scarce, it’s safe to say that his relationship with Spielberg can be expected to be featured heavily. The two first collaborated on Spielberg’s directorial debut, The Sugarland Express, in 1974, but it wasn’t until the pair’s second project together, Spielberg’s Jaws a year later, that their partnership would become famous. Spielberg’s frightful imagining of a sanguinary shark paired with Williams’ ominous score, both captivated and frightened audiences, inspiring a whole new wave of shark-based fear. The pair would go on to make a total of 29 films together, covering a wide-variety of genres, and spanning six decades, some of their most iconic collaborations including the aforementioned Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List as well as E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Munich, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, Lincoln, and The Post.
While their work together is widely recognized, not much is publicly known about the personal relationship between Spielberg and Williams. As creative collaborators, the longevity of their partnership is somewhat unusual. For a pair of such distinguished artists to work together for such a long time and to such acclaim speaks to the bond between the two men. It will be interesting to see how this relationship is examined in the upcoming documentary project, especially considering that both Williams and Spielberg are creatively involved.
The news of Spielberg and John Williams working together again is also especially exciting considering Williams’ initial recent retirement talks, which he has since walked back and indicated he will continue working for at least another decade. While audiences will still have a chance to enjoy the pair together when the next Indiana Jones movie hits theaters next year, many considered The Fabelmans to be the last time Spielberg and Williams would direct and compose together respectively. Whether Steven Spielberg is able to convince perhaps the most famous composer alive to create music for his own documentary remains to be seen, as the currently untitled John Williams documentary is stated to be in the early stages of production.
Why Cavill’s Superman Return Uses John Williams’ Score, Not Hans Zimmer’sSource: THR