When "The Hunger Games" became a world-wide hit last Spring, the soundtrack, in addition to the film starring Jennifer Lawrence, played a role in that success, boasting original songs from Taylor Swift, the Civil Wars, and the Decemberists. The soundtrack was the product of collaboration between musician/producer T Bone Burnett and composer James Newton Howard, but as the former explained in a recent interview with MTV News, "The Hunger Games" almost had a very different sound.
Burnett had originally began work on the soundtrack with composer Danny Elfman, known for his work on Tim Burton's "Batman" movies, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" and many other films. The two planned on creating a futuristic sound with the help of Arcade Fire's Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, but that work was, according to Burnett, cut short when director Gary Ross decided to change things up on the soundtrack.
"Danny Elfman and I were collaborating on it, and we were working with Arcade Fire. We had written several really beautiful pieces," Burnett said. "The director wanted to take over the music, so he fired Danny. He sort of stopped this process in the middle, which is a bummer. It really is because Danny was some beautiful [music]." Burnett's take on the event differ from the official reports, including a confirmation from Entertainment Weekly, that Elfman has dropped out due to a conflict in his schedule.
Burnett was quick, despite his dissatisfaction with how his collaboration with Elfman ended, to sing the praises of Howard, who took over at the departure, but he still lamented the soundtrack that never was.
"By the way, James Newton Howard is a fantastic composer. I love James. I wouldn't have a bad word to say about James," Burnett said. "[Arcade Fire's] Win [Butler] and Régine [Chassagne] are brilliant, and we were doing this kind of broken future that would have made a lot of sense. The director couldn't handle it."
Don't forget: You can walk the "Catching Fire" red carpet on MTV's live stream tonight at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. MTV News' Josh Horowitz will be there to ask Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and their co-stars your most burning questions -- just tweet them using the hashtag #AskCatchingFire.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" opens in theaters on November 22.