Rupert Gregson-Williams is best known for composing scores for films like “Hotel Rwanda” and “The Legend of Tarzan.” His latest feat includes creating the music for Mel Gibson’s World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge.”
Starring Andrew Garfield, the film follows the true story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist who was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. The film received favorable reviews from critics when it premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival and is already garnering Oscar buzz.
Composing the score for such a riveting film isn’t always easy, stated the composer, telling Billboard, “Trying to understand and represent someone’s motives whose principles are so specific and deeply spiritual is not an easy task.”
“Mel and I both felt it was important not to represent Desmond as a conventional war hero – he wasn’t,” Gregson-Williams explained. “I wanted to drill down into the spiritual heart of the man and not represent him falsely. Andrew Garfield’s performance is so powerful I didn’t need to tell people how brave and special a man he was.”
The score was recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios, with an orchestra that included up to 70 musicians and a 36-piece choir. The offical soundtrack was released on November 4 by Varese Sarabande.
Gregson-Williams, whose previous credits also include “Winter’s Tale” and TV show “Veep,” has a handful of projects in the works. He recently composed the music for the new Netflix series “The Crown,” and will provide music for Margot Robbie’s “Terminal,” Adam Sandler’s “Sandy Wexler” and Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ “Wonder Woman.”
Listen to the “Hacksaw Ridge” score below. The film is now in theaters.