×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pemberton Fuels Scott’s Grisly Drug Dystopia

Director Ridley Scott has worked with some of the most famous composers in the history of movies, from Jerry Goldsmith (“Alien”) and Vangelis (“Blade Runner”) to Hans Zimmer (“Gladiator”) and Harry Gregson-Williams (“Kingdom of Heaven”).

But for his latest opus, “The Counselor,” a thriller by novelist Cormac McCarthy (“No Country for Old Men”), Scott chose someone new: Daniel Pemberton, a 35-year-old English composer who has spent most of the past 15 years penning music for British TV (“Upstairs, Downstairs”).

Pemberton had recently worked with Scott’s editor Pietro Scalia on a short film; plus Scott had liked Pemberton’s score for the U.K. thriller “The Awakening” two years ago.

The Counselor’s” grisly, drug-world saga led to the use of guitars (both acoustic and electric), but that’s just the start of Pemberton’s edgy, often industrial-sounding mix of traditional instruments with electronics. “I wanted to create a sound world that reflected what Ridley was creating in the film,” he says.

Taking his inspiration from the presence of wires and oil barrels in the plot, Pemberton “used guitars in lots of different ways” to suggest the former, and had his percussionists bang on real oil barrels (in addition to a 40-piece string section, all recorded at Abbey Road).

“Ridley gives you a lot of freedom to try things out,” says Pemberton, who has just scored Scott’s pilot for Showtime’s “The Vatican” with “a mad hybrid of organ, electronics, choirs and hip-hop.”

More Film

  • THE CINEMA' 'FRAILTY AT LAEMMLE' FILM

    Laemmle Theatres Arthouse Chain No Longer Seeking Buyer

    Los Angeles-based arthouse chain Laemmle Theatres has stopped seeking a buyer, four months after putting itself on the sales block amid slow sales. Greg Laemmle, president of the 81-year-old exhibitor, announced the development Thursday. He told Variety that discussions with an unidentified buyer had reached an advanced stage but fell apart and that there has [...]

  • Morgan Freeman Lori McCreary Gary Lucchesi

    Film News Roundup: Morgan Freeman's Revelations Teams With Gary Lucchesi for Production Venture

    In today’s film news roundup, Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and Gary Lucchesi are teaming up; Zolee Griggs, Sara Rue and Ed Quinn are cast; and “Clementine” finds a home. JOINT VENTURE Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment is teaming with former Lakeshore Entertainment president Gary Lucchesi for a joint production venture. Lucchesi will develop [...]

  • 'When Lambs Become Lions' Review: A

    Film Review: 'When Lambs Become Lions'

    “For us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” says Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in a televised statement, shortly before several vast hauls of severed elephant tusks — ornately piled like sacred shrines — is ceremoniously set ablaze. It’s a confiscated collection that, Kenyatta tells his audience, is worth $150 million, literally going [...]

  • Shannon Hoon

    Live Nation Productions Boards Danny Clinch-Helmed Blind Melon Doc 'All I Can Say'

    Live Nation Productions and Double E Entertainment have signed on as executive producers of “All I Can Say,” the documentary film featuring footage shot entirely by the late Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon. The film’s title is taken from the opening lines of Blind Melon’s instantly recognizable 1993 smash, “No Rain.” Culled from Hoon’s archives, the [...]

  • Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers

    How Mr. Rogers Influenced the Pacing of 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

    Fred Rogers was an icon to many. Everyone who met him and knew him says, “He really was like that.” He spoke in a soft voice and he was kind. He believed in doing good to others. He spoke to children in “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” in a soft voice, helping them to process complicated emotions [...]

  • Dowdle Brothers

    The Dowdle Brothers Tackle New 'Friday Night Lights' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Erick and Drew Dowdle, aka the Dowdle brothers, have boarded Universal Pictures’ reimagining of “Friday Night Lights.” Both will do a polish on the script, with John Erick directing and Drew exec producing. Sources tell Variety that the movie is not a sequel to Universal’s 2004 film starring Billy Bob Thornton, nor is it [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content