After 60 years, dozens of films, and five Oscars, legendary composer John Williams might be ready to hang up his baton.
“At the moment I’m working on ‘Indiana Jones 5,’ which Harrison Ford — who’s quite a bit younger than I am — I think has announced will be his last film,” Williams said. “So, I thought: If Harrison can do it, then perhaps I can, also.”
Ford has not publicly said that the upcoming sequel will be his last movie full stop (while he does not have any other film projects announced, he recently lined up two high profile TV gigs), though it will be his last time playing the archaeologist. Regardless, Williams is preparing to end his film career, although he plans to continue writing music specifically for the concert hall. The 90-year-old composer said that scoring a major film takes six months, which “at this point in life is a long commitment to me.”
If this is really the end of his film scoring career, he is ending things on a fitting note. This fall, his 29th (and possibly final) Steven Spielberg film, “The Fabelmans,” will hit theaters. The collaboration between Williams and Spielberg has produced many of the most iconic scores in film history, including “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” and of course, the “Indiana Jones” franchise. Quitting now would mean that Williams’ final two films are Spielberg’s autobiographical look at his own childhood and decision to become a filmmaker, and the last entry in one of the composer’s most beloved franchises. He also recently wrote a theme for “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and scored Disney’s “Star Wars,” sequel trilogy, allowing him to tie up loose ends in what’s arguably his most iconic film universe.
While Williams refused to definitively rule out making another film, he says that even if he never writes another score, he will have no regrets about the musical life he has led.
“It’s given me the ability to breathe, the ability to live and understand that there’s more to corporal life,” he said. “Without being religious, which I’m not especially, there is a spiritual life, an artistic life, a realm that’s above the mundanities of everyday realities. Music can raise one’s thinking to the level of poetry. We can reflect on how necessary music has been for humanity. I always like to speculate that music is older than language, that we were probably beating drums and blowing on reeds before we could speak. So it’s an essential part of our humanity.”