John Powell (film composer)
|Born||18 September 1963|
|Origin||East Sussex, England|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, conductor, producer|
|Labels||5 Cat Studios|
John Powell (born 18 September 1963) is an English composer best known for his film scores. He has been based in Los Angeles since 1997 and has composed the scores to over 70 feature films. He is best known for composing and/or co-composing scores for animated films, such as Antz (1998), The Road to El Dorado (2000), Chicken Run (2000), Shrek (2001), Robots (2005), the second through fourth Ice Age films (2006–2012), the Happy Feet films (2006–2011), Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! (2008), the first two Kung Fu Panda films (2008–2011), Bolt (2008), the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy (2010–2019), Mars Needs Moms (2011), the Rio films (2011–2014), Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012), and Ferdinand (2017).
His work on Happy Feet, Ferdinand and Solo: A Star Wars Story has earned him three Grammy nominations. He was nominated for an Academy Award for How to Train Your Dragon.
Powell was a member of Hans Zimmer's music studio, Remote Control Productions, and has collaborated frequently with other composers from the studio, including Harry Gregson-Williams on Antz, Chicken Run and Shrek and Zimmer himself on Chill Factor, The Road to El Dorado, and the first two Kung Fu Panda films.
Early life and education
John Powell was born on 18 September 1963 in London. As a child, he played the violin and viola. His skill in the violin allowed him to study at the Trinity College of Music in London. There, he met John Ashton Thomas, who orchestrated many of Powell's scores. Powell played for "Faboulistics", an amateur rock and roll band.
After finishing college, he composed music for commercials, which led to a job as an assistant to the composer Patrick Doyle on several film productions, including Much Ado About Nothing. In 1995, Powell co-founded the London-based commercial music house Independently Thinking Music, which produced scores for more than 100 British and French commercials and independent films.
Powell's first score was for the Season 4 of the TV series Stay Lucky. He moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and scored his first major film, Face/Off. It was followed by Antz in 1998, the first film produced by DreamWorks Animation, which he co-scored with fellow British composer Harry Gregson-Williams. Two years later, Powell collaborated with composer Hans Zimmer on the score for The Road to El Dorado. Later that year, he collaborated with Gregson-Williams again on the score to Chicken Run; they collaborated again the following year on Shrek. Gregson-Williams composed all the subsequent Shrek films himself. In 2001 he also scored Evolution, I Am Sam, Just Visiting and Rat Race.
In 2002 Powell was hired to score The Bourne Identity after Carter Burwell left the project, and has gone on to score all of director Doug Liman's subsequent films. He also returned to score the series' other two films, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, under British director Paul Greengrass.
Powell collaborated with Liman again to score Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). That year he also scored Robots for Blue Sky Studios, and went on to score all of the studio's subsequent films until 2017's Ferdinand.
In 2006, he scored Greengrass' United 93. He also composed music for his second Blue Sky film Ice Age: The Meltdown, following David Newman, who scored the first Ice Age film; as well as X-Men: The Last Stand and Happy Feet, for which he won a Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for an Animated Feature Film. The next year he scored The Bourne Ultimatum. In 2008 he reunited with Hans Zimmer and returned to DreamWorks Animation to score Kung Fu Panda, and also wrote music for Jumper, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, Hancock, and Bolt. In 2009 he scored the third film of Ice Age series; Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
In 2010, Powell composed the score to How to Train Your Dragon, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Score. It was his sixth DreamWorks Animation film, although the first where he composed the whole score himself. That year he has also scored Greengrass's Green Zone and Knight and Day.
In 2013, Powell took a sabbatical year from film scoring. In April 2014, after completing his scores to sequels Rio 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2, he announced he would take another break to compose concert music, including a 45-minute oratorio to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of World War I. The piece, "A Prussian Requiem", with a libretto by Michael Petry, premiered on 6 March 2016 at The Royal Festival Hall, London with José Serebrier conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Powell composed the score for Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), collaborating with John Williams, who wrote Han Solo's theme. In 2019, Powell scored How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the final film in the How to Train Your Dragon series.
|1989-1993||Stay Lucky||Geoff McQueen||Yorkshire Television|
|1996-1997||High Incident||Steven Spielberg
Dave Alan Johnson
|2022||Ice Age: Scrat Tales||Chris Wedge||Blue Sky Studios (final animated production before shutting down)
20th Century Studios
20th Century Animation
|Music by Batu Sener|
Writer and Composer for "Scrat Tales End Titles"
|1997||Face/Off||John Woo||Paramount Pictures (North America)
Touchstone Pictures (International)
|1998||With Friends Like These...||Philip Frank Messina||Miramax Films||—|
|Walt Disney Pictures||Music produced by Hans Zimmer|
|Pacific Data Images
|Co-composed with Harry Gregson-Williams|
John Powell's first score for an animated film
|1999||Forces of Nature||Bronwen Hughes||DreamWorks Pictures||—|
|Chill Factor||Hugh Johnson||Morgan Creek Productions
Warner Bros. Pictures
|Co-composed with Hans Zimmer|
|2020||The Call of the Wild||Chris Sanders||20th Century Studios
3 Arts Entertainment
|Additional Music by Batu Sener & Paul Mounsey|
|2021||Locked Down||Doug Liman||Warner Bros. Pictures
|Additional Music by Batu Sener|
|2022||Don't Worry Darling||Olivia Wilde||Warner Bros. Pictures
New Line Cinema
|Additional Music by Batu Sener|
|2023||Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie||Davis Guggenheim||Apple TV+||Documentary|
|2025||How to Train Your Dragon live-action film||Dean DeBlois||Universal Pictures||Live-action reboot|
|2018||Hubris: Choral Works by John Powell||Classical||First release on John Powell’s own label, 5 Cats Studios.
John Powell's 1st original project.
Performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
|5 Cat Studios||FCS001|
|2020||Piano Solos from "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"||Solo Piano||Music by John Powell.
Piano solos performed by Batu Sener.
|Piano Solos from "The Call of the Wild"||FCS007|
|Film Suites, Vol. 1||Classical||Performed with Jose Serebrier, Philharmonia Orchestra, and The Philharmonia Voices.||FCS010|
Archival soundtrack albums
|2020||Forces of Nature (Music from the Motion Picture)||Released on Audio CD.
Limited 1000 copies. Co-composed with Oliver J. Lieber
The first awaiting official score album since the 1999 film debut.
Includes 2 bonus tracks/demos.
|5 Cat Studios, La-La Land Records|
|How to Train Your Dragon (The Deluxe Edition)||Deluxe Edition of the 2010 film score.
Includes alternate versions and demos.
|5 Cat Studios, Varèse Sarabande|
|Solo: A Star Wars Story (Deluxe Edition)||Deluxe Edition of the 2018 film score.
Includes over 2 hours of original/unedited music as written for the film, and an end credits suite.
Han Solo Theme & Original Star Wars Music by John Williams.
Additional Music by Batu Sener, Anthony Willis & Paul Mounsey.
|5 Cat Studios, Walt Disney Records|
|2021||Paycheck: The Deluxe Edition (Music From The Motion Picture)||Deluxe Edition of the 2003 film score.
This Deluxe Edition greatly expands the playing time to over 95 minutes.
|5 Cat Studios, Varèse Sarabande|
|2022||How to Train Your Dragon 2 (The Deluxe Edition)||Deluxe Edition of the 2014 film score.
Includes alternate versions and demos.
|5 Cat Studios, Varèse Sarabande, Back Lot Music|
|The Bourne Identity (Tumescent Edition)||Expanded score with alternate versions of cues.||5 Cat Studios, Varèse Sarabande||888072412774|
- ^ "John Powell". IMDb. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
- ^ "From Gigli to Oscar: Composer John Powell Reacts to His Nomination". Movieline. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- ^ "John Powell - Composer Biography, Facts and Music Compositions". FAMOUS COMPOSERS. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- ^ "Much Ado About Nothing · British Universities Film & Video Council". bufvc.ac.uk. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
- ^ "John Powell's 'A Prussian Requiem' to be performed live in London". SoundtracksAndTrailerMusic.com. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- ^ "John Powell On Scoring The "Completely Absorbing World" of Solo: A Star Wars Story". Star Wars. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
- ^ "Batu Sener Scoring Disney+'s 'Ice Age: Scrat Tales' | Film Music Reporter". Retrieved 23 February 2022.
- ^ "Ice Age: Scrat Tales". ComicBook. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
- ^ V., Erin (2 April 2012). "Interview: Dean DeBlois, director of 'How To Train Your Dragon'". One Movie, Five Views. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- ^ "John Powell to Score Untitled Han Solo Movie". Star Wars. Lucasfilm. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- ^ "How to Train Your Dragon 3 Pushed Back to 2017". ComingSoon.net. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
- ^ "Soundtrack.net".
- ^ "John Powell Scoring Doug Liman's 'Locked Down'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
- ^ "John Powell Scoring Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling". Film Music Reporter. 6 January 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
- ^ "John Powell Scoring Davis Guggenheim's 'Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie'". Film Music Reporter. Film Music Reporter. 7 December 2022. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
- ^ "John Powell to Score Dean DeBlois' 'How to Train Your Dragon' Live-Action Film Adaptation". Film Music Reporter. Film Music Reporter. 15 February 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
- ^ "Hubris: Choral Works by John Powell (192kHz / 24-bit)". John Powell. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- ^ "Film Music Reporter".
- ^ "How To Train Your Dragon: The Deluxe Edition (CD)". Varèse Sarabande. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
- ^ a b "Paycheck: The Deluxe Edition (Music From The Motion Picture) (2-CD)". Varèse Sarabande. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
- John Powell – official site
- John Powell discography at Discogs
- John Powell at IMDb
- John Powell biography at SoundtrackNet
- 1963 births
- Animated film score composers
- Annie Award winners
- Blue Sky Studios people
- DreamWorks Animation people
- English expatriates in the United States
- English film score composers
- English male film score composers
- Hollywood Records artists
- Ivor Novello Award winners
- Living people
- People from East Sussex
- Varèse Sarabande Records artists
- Walt Disney Animation Studios people