The latest in Variety‘s series of Billion Dollar Composers (so-called because the aggregate box-office of all their movies exceeds $1 billion) is Englishman Henry Jackman, whose music you may know from the last two Captain America movies — but who may be an awards contender for his music for the upcoming The Birth of a Nation. Jackman is a unique blend of highly trained classical composer and former pop/rock producer, and his thoughts on film music in the 21st century are fascinating. During preparation of the main story and this sidebar on eight of his most interesting scores, I also interviewed Captain America directors Anthony and Joe Russo, Birth of a Nation director Nate Parker, Jack Reacher director Ed Zwick and The Interview co-director Seth Rogen (who, predictably, offered the funniest line in either story).
The first of my online video interviews for SoundWorks Collection this year is with composer Henry Jackman, whose massive, muscular score is helping to drive Captain America: Civil War to the top of the summer box office. Jackman is a smart, funny, classically educated Englishman whose additional experience in pop music has helped to make him a bankable composer for such A-list movies as Wreck-It-Ralph and Big Hero 6. His earlier Marvel movies included X-Men: First Class and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Our lengthy conversation took place in his Santa Monica studio and is punctuated with the composer playing his themes at the piano as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes footage.