James Horner

James Roy Horner (August 14, 1953 – June 22, 2015) was an American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film scores, writing over 100. He was known for the integration of choral and electronic elements, and for his frequent use of motifs associated with Celtic music.[1][2]

James Horner
Horner in 2010
Background information
Birth nameJames Roy Horner
Born(1953-08-14)August 14, 1953
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJune 22, 2015(2015-06-22) (aged 61)
Los Padres National Forest, California, U.S.
GenresFilm score
  • Composer
  • conductor
  • orchestrator
Years active1978–2015

Horner's first major score was in 1979 for The Lady in Red, but he did not establish himself as an eminent film composer until his work on the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.[3] His score for James Cameron's Titanic is the best-selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time.[4][5] He also wrote the score for the second highest-grossing film of all time, Cameron's Avatar.[6]

Horner collaborated on multiple projects with directors including Don Bluth, James Cameron, Joe Johnston, Walter Hill and Ron Howard; producers including George Lucas, David Kirschner, Jon Landau, Brian Grazer and Steven Spielberg; and songwriters including Will Jennings, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. He won two Academy Awards, six Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, three Satellite Awards, and three Saturn Awards, and was nominated for three BAFTA Awards.

Horner, who was an avid pilot, died at the age of 61 in a single-fatality crash while flying his Short Tucano turboprop aircraft.[7]

Early life

Horner was born in 1953 in Los Angeles, California, to Jewish immigrant parents.[8][9][10][11]

His father, Harry Horner, was born in Holice, Bohemia, then a part of Austria-Hungary. He emigrated to the United States in 1935 and worked as a set designer and art director.[12][13] His mother, Joan Ruth (née Frankel), was born into a prominent Canadian family. His brother Christopher is a writer and documentary filmmaker.[11]

Horner started playing piano at the age of five. He also played violin. He spent his early years in London, where he attended the Royal College of Music. He returned to America, where he attended Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona, and later received his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Southern California. After earning a master's degree, he started work on his doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he studied with Paul Chihara, among others. After several scoring assignments with the American Film Institute in the 1970s, he finished teaching a course in music theory at UCLA, then turned to film scoring.[14] Horner was also an avid pilot and owned several small airplanes.[15][16]


Horner's first credit as a feature-film composer was for B-movie director and producer Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars.[17][18] As his work gained notice in Hollywood, Horner was invited to take on larger projects. One of his first major scores was for 1979's The Lady in Red.[19]

Horner's big break came in 1982 when he was asked to score Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It established him as an A-list Hollywood composer. Director Nicholas Meyer quipped that Horner was hired because the studio could no longer afford the first Trek movie's composer, Jerry Goldsmith; but that by the time Meyer returned to the franchise with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the studio could not afford Horner either.[20]

Horner continued writing high-profile film scores in the 1980s, including 48 Hrs. (1982), Krull (1983), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Commando (1985), Cocoon (1985), Aliens (1986), *batteries not included (1987), Willow (1988), Glory and Field of Dreams (both 1989). Cocoon was the first of his many collaborations with director Ron Howard.[21]

In 1987, Horner's original score for Aliens brought him his first Academy Award nomination.[22] "Somewhere Out There," which he co-composed and co-wrote with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for An American Tail, was also nominated that year for Best Original Song.[23]

Throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, Horner wrote orchestral scores for family films (particularly those produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment), with credits for An American Tail (1986); The Land Before Time (1988); The Rocketeer and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991); Once Upon a Forest and We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993); The Pagemaster (1994); Casper, Jumanji and Balto (1995); Mighty Joe Young (1998); and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000).

Horner scored six films in 1995, including his commercially successful and critically acclaimed works for Braveheart and Apollo 13, both of which received Academy Award nominations.

Horner's biggest critical and financial success came in 1997 with his score for James Cameron's Titanic. At the 70th Academy Awards, Horner received the Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score, and shared the Oscar for Best Original Song with co-writer Will Jennings for "My Heart Will Go On". The film's score and song also won three Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards.[24][25] (Ten years earlier, Horner had vowed never to work with Cameron again, referring to the highly stressful scoring sessions for Aliens as "a nightmare".[26])

After Titanic, Horner continued to compose for major productions, including The Perfect Storm, A Beautiful Mind, Enemy at the Gates, The Mask of Zorro, The Legend of Zorro, House of Sand and Fog and Bicentennial Man.[10] He also worked on smaller projects such as Iris, Radio and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius. He received his eighth and ninth Academy Award nominations for A Beautiful Mind (2001) and House of Sand and Fog (2003), but lost on both occasions to composer Howard Shore.

Horner composed the 2006–2011 theme for the CBS Evening News, which was introduced during the debut of anchor Katie Couric on September 5, 2006.[27] He wrote various treatments of the theme, explaining, "One night the show might begin with the Iranians obtaining a nuclear device, and another it might be something about a flower show... The tone needs to match the news."[28]

Horner collaborated again with James Cameron on his 2009 film Avatar, which became the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing Cameron's own Titanic.[23] Horner worked exclusively on Avatar for over two years. He said, "Avatar has been the most difficult film I have worked on, and the biggest job I have undertaken... I work from four in the morning to about ten at night, and that's been my way of life since March. That's the world I'm in now, and it makes you feel estranged from everything. I'll have to recover from that and get my head out of [it]."[29]

Avatar brought Horner his tenth Academy Award nomination, as well as nominations for the Golden Globe Award, British Academy Film Award and Grammy Award, all of which he lost to Michael Giacchino for Up.[30]

After Avatar, Horner wrote the score for the 2010 version of The Karate Kid, replacing Atli Örvarsson.[31] In 2011, he scored Cristiada (also known as For Greater Glory), which was released a year later; and Black Gold. In 2012 he scored The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield. In an interview on his website, Horner revealed why he didn't return to compose the second movie; that he didn't like how the movie resulted in comparison to the first movie, and even called the movie "dreadful."[32] Upon his departure, he was replaced by Hans Zimmer.

In early 2015, after a three-year hiatus, Horner wrote the music for the adventure film Wolf Totem, his fourth collaboration with director Jean-Jacques Annaud.[33]

At the time of his death, Horner had scored two films yet to be released:[34]

In July 2015, a month after his death, it was discovered Horner had also written the score for the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven, planning it as a surprise.[36]

Horner's scores are also heard in trailers for other films. The climax of Bishop's Countdown, from his score for Aliens, ranks as the 5th most commonly used soundtrack cue in trailers.[37]

Horner also wrote the theme music for the Horsemen P-51 Aerobatic Team, and appears in "The Horsemen Cometh", a documentary about the team and the P-51 Mustang fighter plane. The theme is heard at the team's airshow performances.

Orchestral work

In 2014, Horner wrote Pas de Deux, a double concerto for violin and cello. Commissioned to mark 175th season of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the work was premiered on November 12, 2014 by Mari and Håkon Samuelsen, with the orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko.[38] Horner also composed Collage, a concerto for four horns, premiered on March 27, 2015 at London's Royal Festival Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martín, with soloists David Pyatt, John Ryan, James Thatcher and Richard Watkins.[39]

Musical "borrowing"

Horner was criticized for reusing passages from his earlier compositions, and for featuring brief excerpts and reworked themes from classical composers.[5] For example, his scores from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock include excerpts from Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Romeo and Juliet;[40][41] the famous action ostinato from Aliens is originally from Wolfen[42] and the film's main title is almost identical to Aram Khachaturian's Gayane Ballet Suite (Adagio) (already used in an outer space context in 2001: A Space Odyssey); the heroic theme from Willow is based on that of Robert Schumann's Rhenish Symphony; Field of Dreams includes cues from the "Saturday Night Waltz" portion of Aaron Copland's ballet Rodeo, he deftly blended in part of an early theme from the 3rd movement of Shostakovich Symphony no. 5 into the scene of a raid on a desert IRA terrorist training camp in 1992 film Patriot Games, and the climactic battle scene in Glory includes excerpts from Wagner and Orff.[43] Some critics felt these propensities made Horner's compositions inauthentic or unoriginal.[44][45][46] In a 1997 issue of Film Score Monthly, an editorial review of Titanic said Horner was "skilled in the adaptation of existing music into films with just enough variation to avoid legal troubles".[5]

On at least one occasion, Horner's musical borrowing almost led to litigation. Horner's main title for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) incorporates cues from the score by Nino Rota from Federico Fellini's film Amarcord (1973) and Raymond Scott’s piece "Powerhouse B" (1937), the latter often referenced in Carl Stalling’s Warner Bros. cartoon scores. Scott's piece was used without payment or credit, leading his estate to threaten legal action against Disney. Disney paid an undisclosed sum in an out-of-court settlement and changed the film's cue sheets to credit Scott.[47]


Horner died on June 22, 2015, when his Short Tucano turboprop aircraft,[48] registration number N206PZ, crashed into the Los Padres National Forest near Ventucopa, California.[16] Horner was the only occupant of the aircraft[49] when it took off after fueling at Camarillo Airport.[50] Three days later, on June 25, the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the crash an accident.[51] He was survived by his wife, Sara Elizabeth Horner (née Nelson), and two daughters.[52]

Contemporaries and collaborators around the world paid their respects to Horner, including composers Hans Zimmer, Paul Williams and Alan Menken, and directors Ron Howard[53] and James Cameron. Horner was reported to have been committed to the Avatar franchise; Cameron said he and Horner "were looking forward to our next gig."[54] Horner's assistant, Sylvia Patrycja, wrote on her Facebook page, "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent [who] died doing what he loved."[55] Many celebrities, including Russell Crowe, Diane Warren and Celine Dion, also gave their condolences.[56] Dion, who sang "My Heart Will Go On", one of Horner's most popular compositions and considered Dion's signature song,[57] wrote on her website that she and husband René Angélil were "shaken by the tragic death" of their friend and "will always remember his kindness and great talent that changed [her] career."[58] Leona Lewis, who recorded Horner's "I See You" for Avatar, said working with him "was one of the biggest moments of my life."[59]

Post-accident investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that the leading cause of the accident was Horner's inability to maintain clearance from terrain during low-level airwork.[60] During the flight, Horner contacted the Southern California Air Route Traffic Control Center, from whom he received advisories while flying over the Chumash Wilderness area.[60] The NTSB interviewed two witnesses of the flight, who were in their homes when Horner flew over them; one said that the plane was flying at between 500 and 750 feet (150 and 230 m). FAA radar data showed that the plane had made multiple low-altitude turns and performed rapid altitude change maneuvers, flying low through Quatal Canyon and skimming mountain ridgelines by less than 100 feet (30 m).[61]

In addition to Horner's failing to maintain clearance, the NTSB determined there were other key factors that led to the accident. Foremost among these was Horner's use of prescription medications for pain relief and headaches. Toxicology testing found butalbital, codeine, and ethanol in Horner's body (although the ethanol may have been produced by microbial activity after his death).[61]

Awards and nominations

Horner won two Academy Awards, for Best Original Dramatic Score (Titanic) and Best Original Song ("My Heart Will Go On") in 1998, and was nominated for an additional eight Oscars.[62] He also won two Golden Globe Awards,[63] three Satellite Awards, three Saturn Awards, six Grammys and was nominated for three British Academy Film Awards.[64]

In October 2013, Horner received the Max Steiner Award at the Hollywood in Vienna Gala, an award given for extraordinary achievement in the field of film music.[65]


In 2005, the American Film Institute unveiled their list of the top twenty-five American film scores. Five of Horner's scores were among 250 nominees, making him the most nominated composer to not make the top twenty-five.[66]

List of accolades

Award Year Project Category Outcome
Academy Awards 1986 Aliens Best Original Score Nominated
"Somewhere Out There" (from An American Tail; shared with Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann) Best Original Song Nominated
1989 Field of Dreams Best Original Score Nominated
1995 Apollo 13 Best Original Dramatic Score Nominated
Braveheart Best Original Dramatic Score Nominated
1997 Titanic Best Original Dramatic Score Won
"My Heart Will Go On" (from Titanic; shared with Will Jennings) Best Original Song Won
2001 A Beautiful Mind Best Original Score Nominated
2003 House Of Sand And Fog Best Original Score Nominated
2009 Avatar Best Original Score Nominated
BAFTA Awards 1995 Braveheart Best Film Music Nominated
1997 Titanic Best Film Music Nominated
2009 Avatar Best Film Music Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association 1997 Titanic Best Original Score Won
2001 A Beautiful Mind Best Original Score Nominated
2009 Avatar Best Original Score Nominated
Golden Globe Awards 1986 "Somewhere Out There" (from An American Tail; shared with Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann) Best Original Song Nominated
1989 Glory Best Original Score Nominated
1991 "Dreams to Dream" (from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West; shared with Will Jennings) Best Original Song Nominated
1994 Legends of the Fall Best Original Score Nominated
1995 Braveheart Best Original Score Nominated
1997 Titanic Best Original Score Won
"My Heart Will Go On" (from Titanic; shared with Will Jennings) Best Original Song Won
2001 A Beautiful Mind Best Original Score Nominated
2009 Avatar Best Original Score Nominated
"I See You" (from Avatar; shared with Kuk Harrell and Simon Franglen) Best Original Song Nominated
Satellite Awards 1997 Titanic Best Original Score Won
"My Heart Will Go On" (from Titanic; shared with Will Jennings) Best Original Song Won
2001 A Beautiful Mind Best Original Score Nominated
"All Love Can Be" (from A Beautiful Mind; shared with Will Jennings) Best Original Song Won
2003 The Missing Best Original Score Nominated
Saturn Awards 1983 Brainstorm Best Music Won
Krull Best Music Nominated
Something Wicked This Way Comes Best Music Nominated
1985 Cocoon Best Music Nominated
1986 An American Tail Best Music Nominated
1989 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Best Music Nominated
1995 Braveheart Best Music Nominated
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Best Music Won
2009 Avatar Best Music Won
Grammy Awards
  • 1988: An American Tail – Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television
  • 1988: "Somewhere Out There" (from: An American Tail, Winner) – Song of The Year
  • 1988: "Somewhere Out There" (from: An American Tail, Winner) – Best Song Written specifically For a Motion Picture or Television
  • 1990: Field of Dreams – Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television
  • 1991: Glory (Winner) – Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television
  • 1996: "Whatever You Imagine" (from: The Pagemaster) – Best Song Written specifically For a Motion Picture or Television
  • 1999: "My Heart Will Go On" (from: Titanic, Winner) – Record of The Year
  • 1999: "My Heart Will Go On" (from: Titanic, Winner) – Song of The Year
  • 1999: "My Heart Will Go On" (from: Titanic, Winner) – Best Song Written For A Motion Picture or for Television
  • 2003: A Beautiful Mind – Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
  • 2011: Avatar – Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
  • 2011: "I See You" (from: Avatar) – Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

List of scores




Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1980 Humanoids from the Deep Barbara Peeters New World Pictures
Battle Beyond the Stars Jimmy T. Murakami New World Pictures Score reused in later Roger Corman productions
1981 The Hand Oliver Stone Orion Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures
Wolfen Michael Wadleigh Orion Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures
Replaced Craig Safan
Deadly Blessing Wes Craven PolyGram Pictures
United Artists
The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper Roger Spottiswoode Universal Pictures
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Nicholas Meyer Paramount Pictures First Collaboration with Nicholas Meyer
48 Hrs. Walter Hill Paramount Pictures First Collaboration with Walter Hill
1983 Space Raiders Howard R. Cohen New World Pictures Score edited from Humanoids from the Deep and Battle Beyond the Stars
Something Wicked This Way Comes Jack Clayton Bryna Productions
Walt Disney Pictures
Replaced Georges Delerue
Krull Peter Yates Columbia Pictures
Brainstorm Douglas Trumbull Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Testament Lynne Littman Paramount Pictures
The Dresser Peter Yates Columbia Pictures
Gorky Park Michael Apted Orion Pictures (original theatrical release)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (current rights)
Uncommon Valor Ted Kotcheff Paramount Pictures
1984 The Stone Boy Christopher Cain 20th Century Fox
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Leonard Nimoy Paramount Pictures
1985 Heaven Help Us Michael Dinner HBO Pictures
TriStar Pictures
Cocoon Ron Howard 20th Century Fox First collaboration with Ron Howard
Volunteers Nicholas Meyer TriStar Pictures Second collaboration with Nicholas Meyer
The Journey of Natty Gann Jeremy Kagan Walt Disney Pictures Replaced Elmer Bernstein
Commando Mark L. Lester Silver Pictures
20th Century Fox
1986 Off Beat Michael Dinner Silver Screens Partners II
Touchstone Pictures
Aliens James Cameron Brandywine Productions
20th Century Fox
Oscar nomination
First Collaboration with James Cameron
Where the River Runs Black Christopher Cain Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Name of the Rose Jean-Jacques Annaud RAI
Constantin Film
20th Century Fox (North America)
Columbia Pictures (International)
An American Tail Don Bluth Sullivan Bluth Studios
Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Oscar & Golden Globe nomination; also wrote "Somewhere Out There" with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram
First collaboration with Don Bluth
1987 P.K. and the Kid[67] Lou Lombardo Sunn Classic Pictures
Project X Jonathan Kaplan 20th Century Fox
*batteries not included Matthew Robbins Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
1988 Willow Ron Howard Lucasfilm
Imagine Entertainment
Second collaboration with Ron Howard
Red Heat Walter Hill Carolco Pictures
TriStar Pictures
Vibes Ken Kwapis Imagine Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
The Land Before Time Don Bluth Sullivan Bluth Studios
Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
also wrote "If We Hold On Together" with Will Jennings and Barry Mann for Diana Ross
Second collaboration with Don Bluth
Cocoon: The Return Daniel Petrie 20th Century Fox
1989 Field of Dreams Phil Alden Robinson Universal Pictures Oscar nomination
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Joe Johnston Walt Disney Pictures First Collaboration with Joe Johnston
In Country Norman Jewison Warner Bros. Pictures
Dad Gary David Goldberg Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Glory Edward Zwick TriStar Pictures Golden Globe nomination


Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1990 I Love You to Death Lawrence Kasdan TriStar Pictures
Another 48 Hrs. Walter Hill Paramount Pictures Second Collaboration with Walter Hill
1991 Once Around Lasse Hallström Cinecom Entertainment
Universal Pictures
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys Stuart Rosenberg The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Class Action Michael Apted Interscope Communications
20th Century Fox
The Rocketeer Joe Johnston Gordon Company
Silver Screen Partners IV
Walt Disney Pictures
Second collaboration with Joe Johnston
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West Phil Nibbelink
Simon Wells
Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Golden Globe nomination; also wrote "Dreams to Dream" with Will Jennings for Linda Ronstadt
1992 Thunderheart Michael Apted TriBeCa Productions
TriStar Pictures
Sneakers Phil Alden Robinson Universal Studios
Unlawful Entry Jonathan Kaplan Largo Entertainment
20th Century Fox
Patriot Games Phillip Noyce Paramount Pictures
1993 Swing Kids Thomas Carter Hollywood Pictures
A Far Off Place Mikael Salomon Touchwood Pacific Partners
Amblin Entertainment
Walt Disney Pictures
Jack the Bear Marshall Herskovitz 20th Century Fox
Once Upon a Forest Charles Grosvenor ITV
Hanna-Barbera Productions
20th Century Fox
also wrote "Once Upon A Time With Me" with Will Jennings for Florence Warner
House of Cards Michael Lessac Miramax Films
Hocus Pocus Kenny Ortega Walt Disney Pictures Only wrote "Sarah's Theme" with Brock Walsh; film scored by John Debney
Searching for Bobby Fischer Steven Zaillian Paramount Pictures
The Man Without a Face Mel Gibson Icon Productions
Warner Bros. Pictures
Bopha! Morgan Freeman Paramount Pictures
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story Phil Nibbelink
Simon Wells
Universal Pictures
also wrote "Roll Back The Rock (To The Dawn Of Time)" with Thomas Dolby for Little Richard
The Pelican Brief Alan J. Pakula Warner Bros. Pictures
First Collaboration with Mel Gibson
1994 Clear and Present Danger Phillip Noyce Paramount Pictures
The Pagemaster Joe Johnston Turner Feature Animation
20th Century Fox (North America)
Turner Pictures (International)
also wrote "Whatever You Imagine" with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for Wendy Moten
Third Collaboration with Joe Johnston
Legends of the Fall Edward Zwick Bedford Falls Productions
TriStar Pictures
Golden Globe nomination; also wrote "Twilight and Mist" with Brock Walsh
1995 Braveheart Mel Gibson Icon Productions
The Ladd Company
Paramount Pictures (North America)
20th Century Fox (International)
Oscar, Golden Globe & BAFTA nomination
Casper Brad Silberling Harvey Films
Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Apollo 13 Ron Howard Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
Oscar nomination
Third collaboration with Ron Howard
Jade William Friedkin Paramount Pictures
Jumanji Joe Johnston Interscope Communications
TriStar Pictures
Fourth Collaboration with Joe Johnston
Balto Simon Wells Amblimation
Amblin Entertainment
Universal Pictures
also wrote "Reach for the Light" with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for Steve Winwood
1996 The Spitfire Grill Lee David Zlotoff Castle Rock Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
Replaced Bennie Wallace
Courage Under Fire Edward Zwick Davis Entertainment
20th Century Fox
To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday Michael Pressman Rastar
Triumph Films
Ransom Ron Howard Icon Productions
Imagine Entertainment
Touchstone Pictures
Replaced Howard Shore
Fourth Collaboration with Ron Howard
1997 The Devil's Own Alan J. Pakula Columbia Pictures
Titanic James Cameron Lightstorm Entertainment
Paramount Pictures (North America)
20th Century Fox (International)
Oscar, Golden Globe & Grammy winner, BAFTA nomination; also wrote "My Heart Will Go On" with Will Jennings for Celine Dion
Second Collaboration with James Cameron
1998 Deep Impact Mimi Leder Paramount Pictures (US)
DreamWorks Pictures (International)
The Mask of Zorro Martin Campbell Amblin Entertainment
TriStar Pictures
also wrote "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You" with Will Jennings for Tina Arena and Marc Anthony
Mighty Joe Young Ron Underwood RKO Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
1999 Bicentennial Man Chris Columbus 1492 Pictures
Touchstone Pictures (North America)
Columbia Pictures (International)
also wrote "Then You Look at Me" with Will Jennings for Celine Dion


Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Notes
2000 The Perfect Storm Wolfgang Petersen Warner Bros. Pictures also wrote "Yours Forever" with Will Jennings for John Mellencamp
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Ron Howard Imagine Entertainment
Universal Pictures
also wrote "Where Are You, Christmas?" with Mariah Carey and Will Jennings for Faith Hill; based on a book by Dr. Seuss.
Fifth collaboration with Ron Howard
2001 Enemy at the Gates Jean-Jacques Annaud Mandalay Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Iris Richard Eyre BBC Films
Mirage Enterprises
Miramax Films
A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard Imagine Entertainment
DreamWorks Pictures
Universal Pictures
Golden Globe & Oscar Nominee; also wrote "All Love Can Be" with Will Jennings for Charlotte Church
Sixth collaboration with Ron Howard
Windtalkers John Woo Lion Rock Productions
The Four Feathers Shekhar Kapur Lakeshore Entertainment
Mandeville Films
Paramount Pictures (US)
Miramax Films (International)
2003 Beyond Borders Martin Campbell Mandalay Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Radio Michael Tollin Tollin/Robbins Productions
Revolution Studios
Columbia Pictures
The Missing Ron Howard Revolution Studios
Imagine Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
Seventh collaboration with Ron Howard
House of Sand and Fog Vadim Perelman DreamWorks Pictures Oscar Nominee
2004 Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius Rowdy Herrington Film Foundry Releasing
Troy Wolfgang Petersen Warner Bros. Pictures Replaced Gabriel Yared; also wrote "Remember" with Cynthia Weil for Josh Groban and Tanja Carovska
The Forgotten Joseph Ruben Revolution Studios
Columbia Pictures
2005 The Chumscrubber Arie Posin Newmarket Films
Equity Pictures
Go Fish Pictures (through DreamWorks Pictures)
Flightplan Robert Schwentke Imagine Entertainment
Touchstone Pictures
The Legend of Zorro Martin Campbell Spyglass Entertainment
Amblin Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
The New World Terrence Malick New Line Cinema
2006 All the King's Men Steven Zaillian Relativity Media
Phoenix Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Apocalypto Mel Gibson Icon Productions
Touchstone Pictures
2007 The Life Before Her Eyes Vadim Perelman 2929 Entertainment
Magnolia Pictures
2008 The Spiderwick Chronicles Mark Waters Nickelodeon Movies
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Paramount Pictures
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Mark Herman BBC Films
Heyday Films
Miramax Films
2009 Avatar James Cameron Lightstorm Entertainment
Dune Entertainment
Ingenious Film Partners
20th Century Fox
Golden Globe, BAFTA & Oscar Nominee; also wrote "I See You" with Kuk Harrell and Simon Franglen for Leona Lewis
Third collaboration with James Cameron


Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Notes
2010 The Karate Kid Harald Zwart Overbrook Entertainment
JW Productions
China Film Group
Columbia Pictures
2011 Day of the Falcon[68] Jean-Jacques Annaud Image Entertainment
2012 Cristiada Dean Wright ARC Entertainment
20th Century Fox
The Amazing Spider-Man Marc Webb Marvel Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
2015 Wolf Totem Jean-Jacques Annaud
One Day in Auschwitz[69] Steve Purcell Documentary
Living in the Age of Airplanes[15][70][71] Brian J. Terwilliger Terwilliger Productions Documentary
Southpaw Antoine Fuqua Escape Artists
Fuqua Films
The Weinstein Company
Posthumous release
The 33 Patricia Riggen Alcon Entertainment
Phoenix Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures
Posthumous release
2016 The Magnificent Seven Antoine Fuqua Village Roadshow Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Posthumous release


Short films



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