One of the world’s most prolific film composers is about to make a monster leap. Michael Giacchino, who recently directed the Marvel Studios special Werewolf By Night, has just signed with Warner Bros. to direct a remake of the 1954 sci-fi classic Them!, which was about giant, killer ants.
Giacchino, of course, is best known for his film scores, which have spanned basically every major geek franchise including Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, and Pixar. He’s won an Oscar (for Up) and will write the music for Them! along with directing. Deadline broke the news, which the director confirmed on Twitter.
“There’s always a movie in your mind that never leaves your head,” Giacchino told the trade. “For me, that’s Them! It wasn’t until much later in life until I learned what it was about — the nuclear age.” In the original film, ants are infected with radiation and grow to massive proportions, terrorizing the United States. io9 wrote about it back in 2021 and said it was as relevant as ever.
“What I love about Them! is exactly what it’s called: Them!,” Giacchino continued. “It’s about the other, the unknown which one refuses or can’t understand. The current version of Them! is about immigration, and to tell a story about the subject through a lens of this insane science fiction monster movie.”
Them! is a little ways off, as the director is currently meeting with writers to hopefully get a script going. But this feels very much like a culmination of Giacchino’s aspirations over the past few years. While the composer has continued to write music (in 2022 alone, five films were released for which he wrote the music: The Batman, Jurassic World Dominion, Thor: Love and Thunder, Lightyear and Werewolf by Night. The month before, he did Spider-Man: No Way Home) he has been amping up his directorial prowess for years. In 2018, he debuted his excellent first short, Monster Challenge (which you can watch here), followed that up with an episode of Star Trek: Short Treks and then, finally, Werewolf By Night.
io9 spoke to Giacchino about that project and he spoke about how his incredible career has prepared him for this. “I’ve worked with the greatest directors on the planet and I’m so fortunate and lucky to get to watch them do what they do,” he said in September. “And a lot of times I go to set just for fun because I love filmmaking. I’ve been doing it since I was nine years old. I’m just a nerd about it. I love it. Also, I am involved in a lot of story discussions with them along the way. Even if I’m just scoring a film, I’m involved a lot more than you normally would be for someone who does what I do. So it all prepared me. It all helped get me to here.”
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