John Paesano

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John Paesano
Born (1977-07-02) July 2, 1977 (age 44)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
  • composer
  • conductor
  • arranger
  • musician

John Paesano (born July 2, 1977) is an American composer working primarily in film, television and video games. He is known for collaborating with director Wes Ball on the Maze Runner film series, as well as composing for the Marvel television series The Defenders and Daredevil. As a video game composer, he has contributed music to the acclaimed video game titles, Detroit Become Human, Marvel's Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. For his work on Miles Morales, Paesano won the BAFTA for Best music in a video game.


Paesano was born in Detroit. He first studied classical music at Conservatoire de Paris located in Parc de la Villette, France before continuing his studies at Berklee College of Music pursuing a major in musical composition and film scoring. John knew from the age of nine years old, he wanted to become a music composer.[1] He then worked under composers Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams providing additional music for the former, and orchestrating for the latter.[2] Paesano cites Steven Spielberg's 1987 film Empire of the Sun as his motivation for getting into film scoring.[3]

In 2014, Paesano was hired to compose the music for The Maze Runner. Speaking of the job, he recalled seeing Wes Ball's 2011 short film, Ruin and was intrigued by it, composing a short demo (which eventually would become the "Maze Runner" theme) for Ball. He visited the sets in New Orleans, observing the "environmental soundscape" and tried to incorporate the natural sounds into his score. He recorded the score with an orchestra at the Newman Scoring Stage with sessions running for 2 weeks. Paesano would later return to score the 2nd and 3rd film of the series, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Maze Runner: The Death Cure.[2][4]

Paesano was later tasked with composing the score to Spider-Man developed by Insomniac Games, joining the game's development in the early stages. He worked with game director Bryan Intihar and brought about creating several character themes, emphasising the need for the music to be its "own character" in the game.[5] Paesano ensured that his music striked a balance between the cinematics and the gameplay as he wanted the player to be fully immersed. He looked at distinguishing his music from past Spider-Man films and games and decided to focus on creating a musical identity for Peter Parker.[6]



Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Notes
2007 Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix Sebastian Montes
Scooter Tidwell
Cartoon Network Studios Television film
2008 Another Cinderella Story Damon Santostefano Warner Home Video
Warner Premiere
Direct-to-video film
2010 Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Lauren Montgomery Warner Home Video
Warner Premiere
Warner Bros. Animation
2011 S.W.A.T.: Firefight Benny Boom Stage 6 Films
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
2014 When the Game Stands Tall Thomas Carter TriStar Pictures
The Maze Runner Wes Ball 20th Century Fox
2015 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 20th Century Fox
My All American Angelo Pizzo Clarius Entertainment
2016 Brain on Fire Gerard Barrett Broad Green Pictures
Almost Christmas David E. Talbert Universal Pictures
2017 All Eyez on Me Benny Boom Morgan Creek Productions
Same Kind of Different as Me Michael Carney Paramount Pictures
The Star Timothy Reckart Columbia Pictures
2018 Maze Runner: The Death Cure Wes Ball 20th Century Fox
2020 Tesla Michael Almereyda IFC Films
The Secrets We Keep Yuval Adler Bleecker Street


Year Title
2012–2018 DreamWorks Dragons
2014 Crisis
2015–2018 Daredevil
2017 The Defenders
2017–present Salvation
2019–present Truth Be Told
2019 Charmed
2020 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
2021–present Leonardo

Video games[edit]

Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Notes
2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda Mac Walters BioWare / Electronic Arts Debut work as video game composer
Gran Turismo Sport Kazunori Yamauchi Polyphony Digital / Sony Interactive Entertainment
2018 Detroit: Become Human David Cage
Gregory Diaconu
Quantic Dream Composed the soundtrack for Markus, one of the main protagonists
Marvel's Spider-Man Bryan Intihar
Ryan Smith
Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment / Marvel Games Also composed for the game's downloadable content Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps
2020 Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Brian Horton
Cameron Christian
Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment / Marvel Games


Work Year Award Outcome Ref
The Defenders 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Nominated [7]
Marvel's Spider-Man The Game Award for Best Score/Music Nominated [8]
HMMA Award for Best Original Score – Video Game Nominated [9]
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales 2021 BAFTA Game Award for Best Music Won [10]


  1. ^ @ExBee (February 12, 2021). "The ExBee Podcast: S1E5 | John Paesano Interview". YouTube. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Hannett, Michelle (September 12, 2014). "WAMG Talks To THE MAZE RUNNER Composer John Paesano". We Are Movie Geeks. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Rozeman, Mark (April 6, 2016). "Devil's in the Details: Daredevil Composer John Paesano on Scoring Hell's Kitchen". Paste Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  4. ^ "Interview: 'Daredevil' Season 2 Composer John Paesano". Geeks of Doom. March 21, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  5. ^ Wood, Chandler (September 12, 2018). "Composing Peter Parker – The Music of Marvel's Spider-Man with Composer John Paesano". Playstation Lifestyle. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  6. ^ Dedmon, Tanner (October 3, 2018). "How 'Marvel's Spider-Man' Harmonized Web-Swinging With Music". Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  8. ^ Crowd, Dan (December 8, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018: All the Winners". IGN. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  9. ^ Xu, Linda (November 15, 2018). "Hollywood Music in Media Awards: Full List of Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  10. ^ Beresford, Trilby; Ritman, Alex (March 25, 2021). "'Hades' Takes Top Honor at BAFTA Games Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 30, 2021.

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