Being a huge, h-u-g-e, fan of soundtracks and film scores, I always love taking the opportunity to discuss them. Though I'll admit that I've never had John Williams' Harry Potter score running in the background while working, it is still a beautiful (and now familiar) collection of music. And now that Williams has been replaced by the great James Newton Howard, it looks like the substitute isn't forgetting about the source material.
Which is a relief, really. After watching Star Wars episodes I-III work to avoid reusing familiar tunes from the old trilogy, it was refreshing to hear a number of our favorite themes back for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Like the connecting glue, or warm blanket, for an extended franchise. But, in that particular case, John Williams had returned to rehash his music.
For Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, James Newton Howard is proof enough that the score is in good hands. But the question remains on just how much love he is going to throw back to Williams' original Potter score.
Listen to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Theme
James Newton Howard has such an extensive career with film scores, I wouldn't even know where to start. That being said, it is best to check out his IMDB page for a sample of what he's accomplished. He's good at what he does and, unlike some other composers, he doesn't have an obvious calling card that makes him immediately recognizable in film scores.
John Williams and James Newton Howard definitely apply a different style. When discussing Williams I can sum up the composer's style to one word: "marchy". I love Williams, but can't help be interested in how his replacement is going to mix things up.
To give us an idea on what to expect, Watertower Music has released the "Main Titles" track, which we can assume to be the Main Theme, for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And what a theme it is! Opening up with a bit of the familiar, the piece quickly turns all Howard. The "Main Titles" track seems to go through a few different phases, all with a very fantastical feel. So far, there is a lot to like. But stop hearing me talk about it and listen below.