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2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: Unavailable
BACKGROUND: Bachelor’s in Composition at Manhattan School of Music, Masters in Music for Visual Media at UCLA; taught Electronic Music and Composition curriculum at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music; arranger, music producer, video game composer, theater composer
TYPECAST IN: Sci-fi action
1. Straight Outta Compton--161 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. The Divergent Series: Insurgent--130
3. Oblivion--89
4. Earth to Echo--38
5. The Raid--4
6. The Raid 2--2
Trapanese had racked up plentiful credits as assistant and arranger for feature composers as well as a composer on his own right on shorts and documentaries before receiving his first major feature scoring credit for the U.S. release of the stunning Indonesian action film The Raid. Following his work as an arranger/orchestrator on Daft Punk’s popular score to Tron: Legacy, he scored the animated spinoff TV series Tron Uprising, and collaborated with Anthony Gonzalez and his band M83 for Oblivion, the lavish futuristic thriller from Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. He returned for the music for the sequel The Raid 2 and also scored the found-footage E.T. riff Earth to Echo, but in 2015 he had his highest grossing films to date -- Insurgent, the second in the Divergent series (the first in that series was scored by Tom Holkenborg, who’s since gone on to much bigger and much much better things), and the commercial and critical smash Straight Outta Compton, which even (and unexpectedly) spawned a recently released score CD. His newest film is the third of the Divergents (yet another final-book-made-into-two-movies, though the studio is downplaying that fact, perhaps wisely), and Variety’s review cited Trapanese’s “fresh ‘Tron: Legacy’-like score” as one of the film’s few praiseworthy elements. [When originally posted, this column erroneously reported that Trapanese is the son of session musician Joseph Trapanese, Sr.; I apologize for the error]
WHAT’S NEXT: The Divergent Series: Allegiant
2011 RANKING: 40
(2013 RANKING: 31)
AGE: 55
REP: Kraft-Engel
BACKGROUND: Studied guitar and composition at conservatory; solo recording artist; session musician; collaborator with Hans Zimmer
FAN FAVORITES: Despicable Me
TYPECAST IN: Kids movies
1. Despicable Me 2--364  
2. Minions--336 
3. Despicable Me--251
4. The Smurfs--142
5. Spy Kids--116
6. It's Complicated--112 
7. Beverly Hills Chihuahua--94
8. The Smurfs 2--70  
9. Curious George--58
10. If I Stay--50  
Just a few years ago, Pereira had his then-biggest hit with the film version of The Smurfs, but it’s been a different set of animated characters that has given him even greater success.  2010’s hit Despicable Me featured Steve Carell as its top-billed star, but it was the film’s supporting creatures, the Minions, that became an instant audience favorite, with Pereira sharing the music credits with Pharrell Williams. The inevitable sequel was an even more formidable box-office juggernaut (helped by Williams’ Oscar-nominated pop hit “Happy”), and last year both the Minions and Pereira himself had the chance to shine on their own with the summer hit prequel Minions, which was nearly as big a hit as Despicable Me 2.  He also proved his scoring abilities aren’t limited to music for Smurfs and Minions with a 2014  surprise hit, the romantic afterlife drama If I Stay, but he returns to kid-friendly animation with the film version of the popular Angry Birds game.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Angry Birds Movie
2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: 40
BIRTHPLACE: Inverness, Scotland
REP: Rain Talent
BACKGROUND: Composer for short films, TV; session musician; additional composer for Hans Zimmer/Remote Control
FAN FAVORITE: Penguins of Madagascar
TYPECAST IN: Animation
1. Home--177  
2. Megamind--148 
3. Terminator: Genisys--89 
4. Penguins of Madagascar--83 
5. Son of God-- 59
6. 13 Hours--52 (as of 3/6/16)
7. The Dilemma--48 
8. Captive-- 2 
Lorne Balfe first gained notice as one of Hans Zimmer’s most valued collaborators, receiving prominent credit for his work as music producer on Zimmer’s Oscar-nominated scores for Sherlock Holmes and Inception and sharing the principal scoring credit with Zimmer on Ron Howard’s The Dilemma and the underrated animated Megamind. Balfe began to go solo on relatively low-profile projects like the medieval action-adventure Ironclad and the film version’s the UK TV hit The Sweeney, as well as the highly-promoted documentary Salinger. In just the last 18 months, Balfe has had several solo efforts receive wide theatrical releases. He followed the hugely entertaining Madagascar spinoff Penguins of Madascar with one of the surprise hits of last spring, the animated alien invasion comedy Home (scored with Rihanna’s producers Stargate). Moving into relatively grownup territory, he scored the latest iteration of the decades-long Terminator franchise, Terminator: Genisys, and worked in a more intimate vein for the faith-themed drama Captive, starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara. He got back into action this year with the controversial (but surprisingly not bad) Benghazi drama 13 Hours, his first solo assignment for director Michael Bay (he’d previously contributed additional music to the first Transformers), and his next major feature is the dark copy comedy War on Everyone, from writer-director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard, Calvary).
WHAT’S NEXT: War on Everyone
2011 RANKING: 36
AGE: 51
BIRTHPLACE: San Diego, California
REP: Kraft-Engel
RELATIONSHIPS: Shane Black, Bryan Singer, Joel Silver
BACKGROUND: USC, film editor
FAN FAVORITE: The Usual Suspects
TYPECAST IN: Superheroes, horror
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past--233  
2. X2--214
3. Superman Returns--200
4. Fantastic Four--154
5. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer--131
6. Non-Stop-- 92  
7. Valkyrie--82
8. Jack the Giant Slayer--65
9. Unknown--63
10. The Cable Guy--60
Bryan Singer’s renewed role as the principal director for the ongoing X-Men franchise is keeping his composer-editor John Ottman equally busy, as 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, the first in the franchise to receive an Oscar nomination and the highest-grossing of Singer’s films, is being quickly followed by this summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse, putting the movie-star mutants against the ubiquitous Oscar Isaac. While the Apocalypse is expected to keep Ottman fully occupied until the film’s Memorial Day release, Ottman has renewed his partnership with writer-director Shane Black for this year’s highly anticipated '70s private eye comedy-thriller The Nice Guys (sharing the scoring credit with David Buckley). Since Bryan Singer is currently expected to helm a remake of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, one can only assume that Ottman will get to supply his own musical take on one of the classic science-fiction adventure stories.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Nice Guys, X-Men: Apocalypse

2011 RANKING: 35
AGE: 40
BIRTHPLACE: Unavailable
REP: Gorfaine/Schwartz
RELATIONSHIPS: Michael Bay, Peter Berg 
BACKGROUND: U.C. Berkeley, Media Ventures
FAN FAVORITES: Transformers
TYPECAST IN: Sci-fi action, remakes of 70s/80s horror
1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen--402
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon--352   
3. Transformers--319
4. Transformers: Age of Extinction--245  
5. Lone Survivor--125  
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre--80
7. Battleship--65  
8. The Amityville Horror--64
9. Friday the 13th--64
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street--63
Surprisingly, Jablonsky was not involved with 13 Hours, the latest project from his most steady collaborator, director Michael Bay (the assignment went to Lorne Balfe), but Jablonsky seems to have found a suitable Bay substitute in actor-turned-director Peter Berg, who collaborated with the composer on the box-office flop Battleship and the hit Lone Survivor, and the pair is reteaming for the docudrama Deepwater Horizon. While still collaborating with Bay, Jablonsky got a welcome chance to move away from clanking robots with the underrated true crime dark comedy Pain & Gain, and found even more varied musical opportunities with the underrated, long-in-development film version of the sci-fi classic Ender’s Game, and last year’s lively B-movie The Last Witch Hunter. Despite his absence from 13 Hours, Jablonsky has clearly not left the Bay stable, as this June sees the release of the Bay-produced, Jablonsky-scored reboot-sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He also gets a welcome opporutnity for self-parody as he teams with Purge composer Nathan Whitehead for the Key & Peele action comedy Keanu.
WHAT’S NEXT: Deepwater Horizon, Keanu, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: 46
BIRTHPLACE: Reykjavik, Iceland
REP: Gorfaine/Schwartz
BACKGROUND: Indie rock musician, acoustic-electronic composer, European cinema
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: The Theory of Everything
RELATIONSHIPS: So Yong Kim, Denis Villeneuve
1. Prisoners-- 61
2. Sicario-- 46  
3. The Theory of Everything-- 35  
Johann Johannsson scored his first movie in 2000, an Icelandic sport comedy called The Icelandic Dream, but it was 13 years before he would break out as a film composer in the United States. His first major English language project was director Denis Villeneuve’s grim 2013 suspense drama Prisoners – Villeneuve said he imagined Arvo Part music when he read the Prisoners script, and hired Johansson for his “Nordic” sensibility.  While the documentaries and other Icelandic films Johannsson scored between 2000 and 2013 received little notice in the United States, he was making an even more impressive parallel career for himself with his non-film music like Fordlandia (2008) and IBM 1401, A User’s Manual (2006). The somber, brooding nature of his Prisoners score made his next high-profile assignment even more surprising, as his warm, Desplat-esque score for the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything earned the composer his first Oscar nomination as well as a Golden Globe (he was invited to join the Academy in 2015). Returning to the dark side, he reunited with Villeneuve for 2015’s gripping drug war drama Sicario, and Johannsson’s unnerving, percussive music earned him a second, back-to-back nomination. Other recent credits include the indie drama McCanick, the final film of Glee star Cory Monteith, and the grim WWII drama The Notebook, Hungary’s 2014 submission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar. He’ll be teaming with Villeneuve for a third time for the upcoming science-fiction drama Story of Your Life, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, but it’s unknown whether he’ll join the director for his highly anticipated Blade Runner sequel.
WHAT’S NEXT: Story of Your Life

2011 RANKING: 39
AGE: 63
BIRTHPLACE: Uddingston, Scotland
REP: Air-Edel
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Sense and Sensibility, Gosford Park
RELATIONSHIPS: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Regis Wargnier
BACKGROUND: Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, actor, stage composer
FAN FAVORITES: Henry V, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
TYPECAST IN: Youthful fantasy
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire--289
2. Brave--237  
3. Cinderella--201 
4. Thor--181  
5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes--176  
6. Eragon--74
7. Bridget Jones's Diary--71
8. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit--50  
9. Nim's Island--48
10. Nanny McPhee--47
Patrick Doyle’s film scoring career began nearly 30 years ago with Kenneth Branagh’s directorial debut, the 1989 film version of Henry V, and to this day, Doyle’s success as a film composer often seems inextricably linked with Branagh’s. After a period where Branagh’s films seemed to have trouble getting released -- his film of Shakespeare’s As You Like It ultimately premiered on cable -- the director is suddenly in demand, following the first Thor movie with an attempted Jack Ryan reboot and Disney’s hit live-action remake of Cinderella, and, coming up, a planned remake of Murder on the Orient Express (with Branagh as Poirot). But Doyle’s other recent projects prove he doesn’t need Branagh to stay in the game, as he had two of his biggest hits with the surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Pixar’s 2013 Animated Feature Oscar winner Brave. Though he doesn’t have anything major currently announced, his recent run of smashes suggest with or without Branagh, he should have no trouble lining up a plum scoring assignment.

2011 RANKING: 27
AGE: 52
REP: Air Edel
RELATIONSHIPS: Travis Knight, Joe Wright
BACKGROUND: Theater and dance composer, concert composer, European cinema
TYPECAST IN: Arthouse fare, women's stories
1. Eat Pray Love--80
2. V for Vendetta--70
3. Atonement--50 
4. The Boxtrolls--50
5. Everest--43
6. Pride & Prejudice--38
7. The Brothers Grimm--37
8. The Brave One--36
9. The Soloist--31 
10. Jane Eyre--11
Marianelli’s film scoring career has always been eclectic in its subject matter, and while his first soundtrack release was for the crime comedy I Went Down, he’s still best associated with period dramas thanks to his three Oscar-nominated scores for director Joe Wright -- Pride & Prejudice, Atonement (the 2007 Original Score winner) and Anna Karenina. His future with Wright is up in the air right now -- he was originally attached to score Wright’s most recent project, the lavish Peter Pan prequel Pan, but John Powell ended up with the assignment, which ended up as one of the most critically reviled films of 2015 -- but he’s been able to demonstrate his musical diversity with other filmmakers. In 2014 he scored the Oscar-nominated The Boxtrolls, the latest dazzling display of stop-motion craft from Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman), and just last fall he wrote an evocative score for the true-life disaster film Everest.  He also scored the underrated, little-seen Jason Statham vehicle Wild Card (a remake of 1986’s Heat), but the credits cited a disconcerting number of tracked in cues from other scores. Next he reteams with Laika for one of 2016’s most promising projects, the stop-motion Kubo and the Two Strings.
WHAT’S NEXT: Kubo and the Two Strings
2011 RANKING: 14
AGE: 72
BIRTHPLACE: Los Angeles, California
REP: Cathy Kerr Management
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Awakenings, Seabiscuit, Toy Story 3
RELATIONSHIPS: John Lasseter, Pixar 
BACKGROUND: Nephew of Alfred Newman, popular singer-songwriter-pianist
TYPECAST IN: Comedy, computer animation
1. Toy Story 3--414
2. Monsters Inc.--289 
3. Meet the Fockers--278
4. Monsters University--268  
5. Toy Story 2--245
6. Cars--244
7. Toy Story--191
8. Meet the Parents--166
9. A Bug's Life--162
10. Seabiscuit--120
Randy Newman has one of the longest careers of any current film composer, having scored his first film, Cold Turkey, in 1971. Balancing scoring with a remarkably acclaimed career as a singer-songwriter, his movie work has never been what you could call prolific -- only 24 scores in 45 years, including his rejected score for Air Force One -- but during that time he wrote some of the best Americana film music of recent decades, particularly the classic The Natural, and scored Pixar’s first four blockbusters.  Like his uncle Alfred and his cousin Thomas, he has an almost embarrassing number of Oscar nominations -- 20 to date--– as well as two Oscars for his original songs. In Newman is not known for suffering fools lightly, and at the age of 72, he seems especially likely to work as little or as much as he wants to. For those worried that he might be easing into retirement, he announced in an interview that he’s planning to score the upcoming Cars 3, and it would be no great shock if he scored the more eagerly anticipated Toy Story 4, due in 2018.
2011 RANKING: 32
AGE: 57
BIRTHPLACE: Winnipeg, Canada
REP: Fortress Talent
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Capote, Little Miss Sunshine, Moneyball, Life of Pi
RELATIONSHIPS: Atom Egoyan, Ang Lee, Bennett Miller
BACKGROUND: University of Toronto, Canadian cinema
FAN FAVORITE: Ride with the Devil
TYPECAST IN: Suspense, romantic comedy
1. Life of Pi--124  
2. The Good Dinosaur--122 (3/6/16)
3. Moneyball--75   
4. The Time Traveler's Wife--63
5. Little Miss Sunshine--59
6. Surf's Up--58
7. Lakeview Terrace--39
8. Fracture--38
9. The Nativity Story--37
10. 8mm--36
Mychael Danna has never been a conventional film composer, which made it even more of a welcome surprise when he received two Academy Award nominations -- and the Original Score Oscar -- for 2012’s gorgeously crafted Life of Pi. His reunion with fellow Pi Oscar winner Ang Lee was particularly gratifying, since after two impressive scores for the director – the gamelan-infused Ice Storm and the more traditionally orchestral Ride with the Devil -- the pair parted ways during the scoring of Lee’s ambitious and stylish 2003 Hulk (Danny Elfman wrote the final score). While he has continued his most important creative partnership, with Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan (two films released in 2014 and their latest, Remember, to be released this week), he’s made welcome ventures into various genres, such as cinematographer-turned-director Wally Pfister's '70s style science-fiction drama Transcendence, and Pixar’s recent The Good Dinosaur, for which Mychael and his brother Jeff provided a charming, Western-tinged score. He also scored the Oscar-nominated Pixar short Sanjay’s Super Team, and he and his brother have been keeping active in TV as well, earning two Emmy nominations for the series Tyrant.
The rest of list so far:

31. Rob Simonsen
32. Michael Andrews
33. Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross
34. Nick Urata
35. John Debney
36. Daniel Pemberton
37. Ramin Djawadi
38. Mark Isham
39. Tyler Bates
40. Steven Price
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Randy Newman was announced as the composer for TOY STORY 4 at the presentation for the film at the D23 Expo in August 2015, Lasseter introduced Randy onstage to perform "You've Got A Friend In Me" and said he's returning for the new film.

Jim Morris, the President of Pixar Animation Studios, also confirmed the news during an interview on Australian television in September 2015, saying Randy will be writing a new song and scoring the film.

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