After the tragic passing of James Horner in 2015 we wondered who would, who could, replace his work on the Avatar sequels. We now have official word from Jon Landau that it will be Simon Franglen. If you aren’t familiar with Simon’s work or are worried how he will stack up to the legendary music Horner produced, look no further than Pandora-The World of Avatar. Simon co-composed the soundtrack that plays in the park with James Horner, and it is incredible. He may not be the flashy name of the most well known music composers some fans hoped for, but I truly think Simon is the best choice for Avatar, I am really excited to have this officially confirmed.
Check out his work on the Pandora soundtrack for yourself-
Simon worked closely with James Horner on Titanic before Avatar, this is what he had to say about the first time they met, which was to work on titanic.
He asked me to come work with him on Titanic because I had a skill set that included the way I used synthesizers at the time — it was somewhat different than most people. He had a longtime collaborator, Ian Underwood, who is one of the heroes of film music as far as I’m concerned, who had been his synthesist. I feel I brought in a slightly different feel — coming from pop music, it had a record-based edge to it.
The next time was when he asked me to come see five minutes of another film … which was Avatar. I looked at that and decided it was going to change the world and I ought to be involved. And from that point on we just worked very closely. In recent years I became his score producer and arranger and that was an evolution that happened because we had a really good working relationship and became really close friends. We had a great team as well. Teams are underrated in music and I think in this case there was an incredible set of people who enjoyed each others’ company and James was crucial to that.
I trust Jon Landau and James Cameron’s vision for Avatar, by selecting someone who has worked with closely with James Horner on multiple projects including the first Avatar I think we can feel assured we are in good hands moving forward. Congratulations to Simon Franglen, I can’t wait to hear what you come up with when we revisit Pandora in 472 days.