RIP veteran composer James Horner


Sadly, speculation that began earlier today has been confirmed tonight: James Horner, who created music for numerous horror, sci-fi and other genre films, has died in a plane crash.

It was first reported this afternoon that a single-engine aircraft owned by Horner went down near Cuyama, California, and Variety has received confirmation that the composer was the pilot who perished. He was 61 years old. Over his 40-year career, Horner was Oscar-nominated 10 times for movies like AVATAR, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, APOLLO 13 and BRAVEHEART, winning both Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for TITANIC. But his first nod was for James Cameron’s ALIENS, the biggest fright feature on his résumé.

Horner got his start with Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, doing music for the likes of 1980’s HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP and BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (the latter of which also gave Cameron his start as art director and miniature creator). He quickly moved on to such studio chillers as Oliver Stone’s THE HAND, Michael Wadleigh’s WOLFEN and Wes Craven’s DEADLY BLESSING (all 1981). The following year, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN and 48 HRS. launched him into the big-time scoring world, and while his subsequent horror credits were infrequent (like 1983’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES and 2004’s THE FORGOTTEN), he worked on numerous science fiction and fantasy features including KRULL, BRAINSTORM, the two COCOON films, WILLOW, THE ROCKETEER, JUMANJI, DEEP IMPACT, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Upcoming movies featuring his music include SOUTHPAW, THE 33 and the French/Chinese co-production WOLF TOTEM.

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Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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