Steven Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' Gets a Title and New Image, Loses John Williams

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 07:50 Written by  iamrogue
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Steven Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' Gets a Title and New Image, Loses John Williams

Steven Spielberg's Untitled Cold War Thriller has a title, a new official image, and a composer, a composer who is, shockingly, NOT John Williams.

Williams has scored pretty much everything Spielberg's done for almost the last forty years, but a minor health issue prevented him from providing musical accompaniment for this year's Bridge of Spies.  But hey, Williams is on the mend, enough so that the living legend will score Steve-O's next movie, The BFG.

And Bridge of Spies has picked up another composer: twelve time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman.

The film, set for release on October 16th, stars Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a real-life lawyer faced with an impossible task: negotiating with the Soviet Union for the release of Francis Gary Powers, a U.S. pilot taken prisoner after his U-2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace on a CIA spy mission in 1960.  Obviously, that involved the American-as-apple-pie Donovan heading behind the Iron Curtain to bargain for Powers in a remarkable, loaded episode that often typified the tension between the two superpowers.

It's based on a true story, and the screenplay is written by Joel and Ethan Coen.  Yes, that Joel and Ethan Coen, the directorial duo who stand tall with Spielberg among the greatest American filmmakers who've even picked up a viewfinder.

“This is one of the more astonishing stories about the Cold War I’d ever heard,” Spielberg explained last year. “James Donovan is a hero to me, and Tom made him so completely accessible.”

“I’ve always wanted to make a spy movie, and this is that and then some,” the director said.


In addition to Hanks, this Bridge of Spies features the likes of Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Mark Rylance, Eve Hewson, Billy Magnussen, and Sebastian Koch.

DreamWorks and Disney officially announced the involvement of Thomas Newman via a press release this morning, and we've included the whole thing below.  Newman's a great composer, and if Williams can't perform his usual duties for Spielberg, it's a relief that the guy who scored Finding Nemo and Skyfall is stepping in for him.

Here's the announcement:

BURBANK, Calif. (March 18, 2015) – DreamWorks Pictures’/Fox 2000 Pictures’ upcoming dramatic thriller directed by three-time Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Schindler’s List”) and starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”), has been titled “Bridge of Spies.” In addition, 12-time Oscar® nominee Thomas Newman (“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Saving Mr. Banks”) has been signed to score the film, as John Williams’ schedule was interrupted and he was unavailable to score the film due to a minor health issue, now corrected.

A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, “Bridge of Spies” tells the story of James Donovan (Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on  October 16, 2015.

Williams, whose credits include “Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” and the “Harry Potter” films, will join Spielberg on his next film, “The BFG,” beginning later this year, continuing their unprecedented collaboration which they have enjoyed for over 40 years.

Newman has scored many films for DreamWorks, including “The  Help,” “Road to Perdition” and “American Beauty,” the latter two for which he received Academy Award® nominations for Best Original Score.

“Bridge of Spies” also stars three-time Tony Award® winner Mark  Rylance (“Twelfth Night,” “Jerusalem,” “Boeing Boeing”) as Rudolf Abel, a KGB agent defended by Donovan; Scott Shepherd (“Side Effects”) as CIA operative Hoffman; Academy Award® nominee Amy Ryan (“Birdman,” “Gone Baby Gone”) as James’ wife, Mary; Sebastian Koch (“A Good Day to Die Hard”) as East German lawyer Vogel; and Academy Award nominee Alan Alda (“M*A*S*H,” “The Aviator”) as Thomas Watters, a partner at Donovan’s law firm.

Fox 2000 Pictures co-financed “Bridge of Spies” with DreamWorks in association with Participant Media, and will distribute internationally. Disney will handle domestic distribution. In addition to directing, Spielberg will produce the film with Marc Platt (“Into the Woods,” “Drive”) and Kristie Macosko Krieger (“Lincoln”), with Adam Somner (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Daniel Lupi (“Her”), Jeff Skoll (“The Hundred-Foot Journey”) and Jonathan King (“Cesar Chavez”) serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Matt Charman (“Suite Francaise”) and three-time Academy Award® winners Ethan Coen & Joel Coen (“No Country for Old Men,” “Fargo”).


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