Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Are Scoring a Pixar Movie. Wait, What?


Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have expanded their horizons somewhat in the years since they first started scoring films (and winning Oscars) for director David Fincher: they’ve done dramatic biopics (Patriots Day), small indie movies (Mid90s), television (HBO’s upcoming Watchmen), and even a musical (the forthcoming Waves)! Still, all of these projects have at least one thing in common: they’re decidedly serious and not kid-friendly. Even that musical is described as being “dramatic,” and coming from the director of It Comes at Night, no one is realistically expecting Mary Poppins.

Which makes this news from Disney’s D23 expo, which took place this past weekend in Anaheim, CA, fairly shocking: Reznor and Ross are scoring a new Pixar movie. And not one of those shorts that usually runs before the actual flick begins — an honest-to-Buzz Lightyear, feature-length Pixar movie. It’s called Soul, it comes from one of the animation studio’s longest-running creators, Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up, Inside Out), and its voice talent includes Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, and and Phylicia Rashad. From Variety:

“’Soul’ imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of playing at legendary New York jazz club The Blue Note. After the wrong step into an open sewer grate, Joe slips back into his soul form back in the other realm — with some existential work to do before he might land his big gig.”

All of this information, along with the first publicly-released promo image for the movie (above left, in case that somehow wasn’t readily apparent), suggest that Pixar are not taking a hard right turn into Felix the Cat territory. Soul sounds like a companion piece to Inside Out. Disney actually hired the guys from Nine Inch Nails to score a kids’ movie.

And sure, Pixar deal with some really adult themes in their movies (death, depression, loneliness, regret, life as a motor vehicle, etc.), but they do so in very G-rated way. I mean, they’re known for working with Randy Newman, not the guy who wrote the lyrics “I wanna fuck you like an animal” and “When I suck you off, not a drop will go to waste.”

Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. At this point, Reznor (and lot of the people who grew up listening to NIN, for that matter) has young kids, and has even expressed regret at swearing so much in the lyrics he penned prior to becoming a father.

Still, I’ve never heard Reznor or Ross do anything I’d describe as “light” or “colorful.” So I am beyond curious to hear what they come up with for this thing.

Soul will be released on June 19, 2020.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Deadline/REX/Shutterstock

[via The PRP]

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