• Axl Rosenberg


We got all excited back in September when word first got out that Mastodon are contributing to the score for Jonah Hex, one of the next big graphic novel movie adaptations/franchise hopefuls, which Warner Bros. currently has scheduled for a June 18 release. But we haven’t really heard much about it since then, and, to be honest, I’d kind of forgotten all about Jonah Hex – the only big mega-budget movie opening this summer that I’m really excited to see is Christopher Nolan’s Inception, so I guess thoughts of Megan Fox in a corset lost out to Leonardo DiCaprio’s (apparently literally) dreamy face.

But now New York Magazine‘s Vulture blog has an update on the movie and Mastodon’s score, and they paint a picture which strongly suggests the flick is in deep doo-doo. Apparently it’s been the victim of quite a bit of re-shoots, and Mastodon’s music has undergone some major changes in the process, as the movie’s re-shuffled schedule meant original composer John Powell (the Bourne franchise, the recent How to Train Your Dragon, etc.) had to leave the project and was consequently replaced by Marco Beltrami (who scored the Scream franchise, the last Die Hard movie, and worked on Chinese Democracy). Beltrami, of course, made major changes to the soundtrack, which were hard for Mastodon to keep up with, given their busy tour schedule:

[Mastodon guitarist/vocalist Brent] Hinds says that Beltrami wanted a more restrained, subtle approach than the vigorous shredding Mastodon recorded for Hex in L.A. last fall. “I totally had to go back and start over again,” says Hinds, reached in Atlanta as he prepped for the band’s 37-date spring tour of North America, which begins in Charleston, South Carolina, tonight. “We’re still working on it. We wrapped a little of it today; we’re doing a little more tomorrow. Tomorrow is enough for me. I was finished months ago. We had such short notice to work on the thing.”

Though constant last-minute change isn’t a new phenomenon in Hollywood, Hinds, a first-time movie composer, has found the process frustrating. “I blew my wad over there,” he says of the time Mastodon spent recording and composing in L.A. last fall. “It was some of the best shit I’ve ever written in my life. Now I’m just trying to finish with as much patience as possible.”

Studios often put meeting a pre-announced release date ahead of actually making a good movie (which is why so many pictures go into production without finished screenplays), and all this rushing around makes it sound as though Jonah Hex was no different. And Hinds seems pretty fatalistic about the whole ordeal. But if he considers the original Powell/Mastodon score to be “some of the best shit I’ve ever written in my life,” then I hope the band finds some outlet by which to release it. That might sound like a distant dream, but it’s not, really; in the age of DVD, Director’s Cuts of films with alternate/original scores get released not infrequently (Ridley Scot’s Legend and Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy both come to mind), and if Warner Bros. are smart, they’ll recognize that Mastodorks everywhere will most likely run out and buy whatever the band releases, even if it’s just Hinds farting into his Marshall.

Still, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. A trailer for Hex will apparently be in front of the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street,which some out April 30. In the meantime, you can read the rest of New York‘s Hex gossip here.


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