John Williams is one of the most prolific film composers in the history of cinema. Throughout his career, Williams has been nominated for 52 Academy Awards and has won five for Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T., and Schindler’s List. He’s also known for creating the scores for Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and much more. This year, Williams returned to the Indiana Jones franchise to create the score for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and he previously hinted that the movie could be his last. However, Williams did say earlier this year that he was planning to “stick around for a while.” In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, the 91-year-old confirmed he is willing to compose again if it’s the right project.
“If a film came along that I was greatly interested in, with a schedule that I could cope with, then I wouldn’t want to rule anything out. Everything is possible. All is before us. Only our limitations are holding us back. Or, to put it more simply: I like to keep an open mind,” Williams explained.
During the interview, Williams also talked about how the attitude towards film composing has changed throughout his career.
“Thirty or 40 years ago, when I would take a programme of film music to one of our big orchestras, there might be condescension. I understood it; I understand the value of things made in the commercial world and their place in the art world. But now things are different. I’d love to come back in 50 years’ time and see what cinema is contributing to the development of new music, because I think young composers will want to work across both.”
At the beginning of the year, Williams was joined by longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills for an event dedicated to their latest film, The Fabelmans. During the event, Williams talks about his future.
“Steven is a lot of things,” Williams explained to music journalist Jon Burlingame when asked about retiring (via The Hollywood Reporter). “He’s a director, he’s a producer, he’s a studio head, he’s a writer, he’s a philanthropist, he’s an educator. One thing he isn’t is a man you can say ‘no’ to.” This caused a huge reaction from the audience before Williams explained that he knew Spielberg’s late father, Arnold, who worked at Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation until he was 100. “So I’ve got 10 more years to go. I’ll stick around for a while!” He added, “Also, you can’t ‘retire’ from music. It’s like breathing. It’s your life. It’s my life. A day without music is a mistake.” Spielberg seemed surprised by William’s announcement and added, “I’d better get to work to find out what the hell I’m doing next!”
Here’s to getting more John Williams music in 2024!