Steven Spielberg convinced legendary composer and frequent collaborator John Williams not to retire.
By Philip Moyer |: Published
Thanks to Steven Spielberg, the legend Star Wars, Jawsand: Indiana Jones Composer John Williams will not end his retirement plans. Why not? how Variety reports that it’s because she just can’t say no to Steven Spielberg. In an interview with Steven Spielberg at the American Film Institute, John Williams revealed that he would rather not retire after being asked if the next Indiana Jones film would really be his last. He did it in a roundabout way, framing it with how much he respects Fablemans director.
“Well, Steven is a lot of things,” John Williams said. “He is a director, a producer, a studio head, a writer, a philanthropist, an educator. One thing he’s not is someone you can say no to.”
It wasn’t just Steven Spielberg’s influence that convinced John Williams to continue working as a composer. Williams pointed to Spielberg’s father, Arnold, who worked for the Shoah Foundation until his death at the age of 102, as an inspiration. He also said that it is impossible to leave music, because music is like breathing for him.
“But also, you can’t walk away from the music,” Williams said. “I said earlier that it’s like breathing. It’s your life. This is my life. And so a day without music is wrong.”
Steven Spielberg was stunned by John Williams’ confession, saying that the composer had never revealed his changed retirement plans that evening. An excited Spielberg called this new discovery extraordinary and said that now it’s up to him to “find out what I’m going to do next.” He made it very clear that he now plans to work closely with Williams on his future films.
Steven Spielberg has worked with John Williams a lot during his long Hollywood career. They first worked together on the 1974 crime film The Sugarland Express, a little-known Spielberg film in which Goldie Hawn plays a woman who helps her husband escape from prison and tries to kidnap their son in hopes of reuniting her broken family. The following year, Spielberg and Williams worked together on a much more iconic work; Jawswith Williams, forming the film’s iconic theme.
From there, Steven Spielberg and John Williams would work together on many other classic films. They include: Close encounters of the third kindEvery Indiana Jones movie, ET extraterrestrial, empire of light Jurassic Park, Schindler’s list, Saving Private Ryan, and: Catch me if you can.
Steven Spielberg was not the only director with whom Williams had a close professional relationship. Williams also worked closely with George Lucas, working with him on all of them Star Wars film — his 1977 score to the original film, which was selected as the greatest motion picture of all time by the American Film Institute. He has been involved in the music for every Harry Potter film and has worked with famous directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler and Robert Altman.
John Williams didn’t just compose film scores. He composed music for the 1984 Olympics, NBC Sunday Night Football and NBC News. He also composed music for the TV series Lost in space, land of giants, and: Gilligan’s Island.
While Steven Spielberg has enthusiastically welcomed John Williams’ non-retirement, the composer’s path forward remains unclear. Williams is not currently signed on for any other films besides the upcoming film Indiana Jones and the Fate Collector. However, given his long history of amazing films, he will certainly have no problem finding work.