James Horner Secretly Wrote 'The Magnificent Seven' Score Before His Death

James Horner Secretly Wrote 'The Magnificent Seven' Score Before His Death

Jul 20, 2015

Oscar-winning composer James Horner died unexpectedly in June when his plane crashed, leaving behind not just an incredible legacy of film music, but apparently a few surprises. One of Horner's final completed scores was for Antoine Fuqua's boxing drama Southpaw, which hits theaters this week. It may not actually be his last, though.

Horner had already committed to doing the score for Fuqua's next movie, the currently-filming remake of The Magnificent Seven. Apparently Fuqua got an emotional surprise recently when it was revealed that Horner, fueled by inspiration after reading the script, had secretly written the score before his fatal crash.

Speaking to NPR [via JamesHorner-FilmMusic.com], Fuqua broke the news during an emotional segment when talking about Southpaw, which he actually dedicated to the composer.

"James was an incredible human being. He was a filmmaker through and through. He was one of the most gentle people I've ever met. Even the way he spoke was very soft and thoughtful. He was magical. He had this childlike wonderment in his eyes, but he was an amazing artist, an amazing poet. I loved him and we became friends.

James was a family man. He loved his children. He called me on a Saturday after he watched [Southpaw], and I said "I don't have any money," because it wasn't a big budget movie. And he said to me. "I love the movie. I love the father-daughter relationship. Don't worry about the money, I'm just going to do it." And he did it for nothing. He paid his crew out of his own pocket.

And I just found out a few days ago - his team flew out here, to Baton Rouge, and they brought me all the music for The Magnificent Seven. He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, "Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it's just glorious." So that's my memory of James."

It's worth hearing it Fuqua's own words so you can understand how genuinely emotional he gets just talking about it. 

James Horner fans will be able to hear new music from him in Southpaw (July 24, 2015), The 33 (November 13, 2015), and now The Magnificent Seven (January 13, 2017). And who knows, maybe that wasn't the only score Horner wrote as a surprise for some of his regular collaborators. The world may be discovering new Horner music for years to come.


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