Audio: On the Score with John Ottman

By • May 20, 2014

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

In the annals of comic book scoring, John Ottman stands tall for treading the multiple musical universes of DC, Marvel and Japanese anime with his soundtracks for “Superman Returns,” two “Fantastic Four” movies and “Astroboy.” Ottman’s imaginative, often times epically dramatic scoring has helped our imaginations leap with a single bound, fight dastardly villains and save the planet. With his own cinematic abilities that just happen to include editing and directing, Ottman stands as a superhero team player second to none, especially when cutting and composing company for filmmaker Bryan Singer.

Bryan Singer & John Ottman

While their auspicious partnership on 1995s “The Usual Suspects” got these artists off the Hollywood ground in a big way. It was Singer’s 2000 vision for Marvel’s “merry mutants” that truly smashed the multiplex with the “X-Men’s” real-world take on some of the company’s most fantastical characters. Singer smartly toned down their more outré costumes while grounding their unwanted powers with the outcast emotion of fitting into society that any misunderstood teen viewer could relate to. Ottman was able to put his own stamp on the group when he joined up for 2003’s “X-Men United,” accompanying the mutant’s revelatory, tragic adventure with bold, humanistic themes, dark conspiratorial suspense and slicing percussion that helped make “X2” one of the most acclaimed superhero sequels in any company’s universe.

Much has happened to Charles Xavier’s mutants in the intervening eleven years since Singer and Ottman accompanied his fight for the future. Now, both frequent collaborators are back with a noticeable vengeance for “The Days of Future Past,” a beyond ambitious mash-up of colorfully powered heroes and twisting timelines – all bound by a determined Wolverine as he tries to stop the murderously mechanized Sentinels from wiping out the last remaining mutants – and much of humanity along with them. The gloves are certainly off for Ottman as he does the near impossible of cohesively merging the era-hopping graphic novel-based story at his edit bay. Even better, Ottman’s composing cape is in full, billowing excitement for “Future Past” as the Sentinels prowl with pounding blasts of electric guitar, pop rhythms cleverly link eras with a Schifrin-esque espionage spin, ethereal vibes haunt heroes with their seemingly inescapable fates and a chorus signals the strains of mutant Armageddon. When it comes to the orchestra, Ottman’s symphonic power is all the darker and humanistic as it socks across the idea of the stakes should past and future Xavier fail, all the while employing his memorable themes from “X2” in the bargain.

Now on a new episode of “On the Score,” John Ottman talks about crafting his next evolution of superhero scoring for Bryan Singer, a teaming more formidable then ever before in creating the visual, and musical rhythm of The X-Men’s mightiest challenge.

Please be advised that this interview has adult language due to John’s X-Men designation of F-Bomb.

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Click above to Listen Now or Click Here to Download

a Buy the Soundtrack: X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
a Buy the Soundtrack: X-MEN 2: X-MEN UNITED
a Buy the Soundtrack: SUPERMAN RETURNS
a Buy the Soundtrack: VALKYRIE
a Buy the Soundtrack: URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT
a Visit John Ottman’s website

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