March 14, 2019
Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ Will Reunite Him With ‘Brick’ Composer Nathan Johnson
After a five year hiatus from creating film scores, Nathan Johnson is returning to the art form to compose the score for Rian Johnson‘s upcoming murder mystery Knives Out. Nathan, who happens to be Rian’s cousin, has been responsible for the music in all of Rian’s movies save for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (which, naturally, was provided by John Williams).
FilmMusicReporter says Nathan Johnson is coming back to score Rian’s Knives Out, an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery. The last feature film he scored was 2014’s Jeremy Renner-led political thriller Kill the Messenger, and since then he’s largely been directing music videos and working with his band/collective The Cinematic Underground (who also aided in the production of his scores).
He’s perhaps best known for his ultra-creative work scoring 2005’s neo-noir film Brick. This was his first score ever, and the entire thing was recorded in his apartment, incorporating things like kitchen utensils and filing cabinets to achieve a totally unique sound:
Speaking of the Brick score, I’m also partial to “Laura’s Theme,” a warm, laid-back tune that feels nostalgic in all the right ways:
Johnson increased the scope of the production for his The Brothers Bloom score a few years later, crafting memorable tracks like “Penelope’s Theme,” a jaunty track with hints of wistful melancholy:
His work on the 2012 sci-fi film Looper couldn’t be more different, producing a more industrial sound with driving strings that perfectly aligns with that movie’s pace.
For my money, Nathan Johnson is one of the most interesting composers out there right now. In the same way that I’m excited to see how Rian navigates entirely an new genre with Knives Out, I’m pumped to see what Nathan does with the aural soundscape of a murder mystery, leaning into tropes or possibly bucking against them. Did I mention this is my most anticipated film of 2019?
Knives Out has a killer cast, including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, Frank Oz, Ana De Armas, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Riki Lindhome, Noah Segan, and Jaeden Lieberher. It hits theaters on November 27, 2019.
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