With a current total of 51, John Williams is the second most Oscar-nominated man in history after Walt Disney, but he won’t be padding his total via the magic of Star Wars at the 2019 Academy Awards. Even as the show flounders under the embarrassment of hiring and then firing comedian Kevin Hart as the host of its ceremony within a 24 hour period, another amusing tidbit has come to light: John Powell and John Williams’ score for Solo will be conspicuously absent from the pool of potential nominees. The reason why? Someone at Disney literally forgot to submit it for consideration in time. Is there an intern being chewed out in the Disney offices, as we type this?
More than 150 scores are in the running for nominations, but for any score partially composed by the likes of John Williams to be left out of that field is an oddity. Regardless of your opinions on Solo or its disappointing box office performance, Powell and Williams’ rollicking, adventurous score was undeniably a highlight of the theatrical experience.
Of course, Solo isn’t the only film to be left out. Perhaps the other most prominent omission is the psychedelic, Nic Cage-fronted horror film Mandy, which was the final score composed by the legendary Johann Johannsson. That film was apparently disqualified for the fact that it was released on VOD before it had completed a qualifying theatrical run, which runs against the (rather archaic) Academy rules that determine eligibility. This is a shame, as the Mandy score is brooding, nightmarish and memorable.
Other missing scores include Green Book and The Other Side of the Wind, which were both disqualified for having too much non-original “source music” featured prominently in the film—in other words, they failed on the “original” front of “original score.”
In the end, though, it will be the Star Wars entry that people are talking about. Just one more embarrassment for Solo.