WaterTower Music will release the full 17-track soundtrack for the New Line thriller, starring Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, on May 7.
Directed by Oscar-nominated writer-director Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water, Wind River), the film centers on Hannah (Jolie), a smokejumper still reeling from the loss of three lives she failed to save from a fire, when she comes across Connor (Finn Little), a traumatized 12-year-old boy with nowhere else to turn.
A multiple Emmy and BAFTA Award nominee, who has served as a composer and conductor on more than 70 feature films, Tyler boarded the project after collaborating with Sheridan on his acclaimed Paramount Network drama, Yellowstone.
Sheridan turned to Tyler, given his ability to tap into both intense action and genuine emotion through his music. “Brian has done many big films—really massive set-piece movies,” he noted. “With this film, we wanted the score, the sound design, and the sounds of fire to blend together and leave the audience unsure whether it was being guided by a designed sound, by the sounds of the forest or by the score.”
On Those Who Wish Me Dead, Tyler would channel “an array of contrasting thematic tones, such as heartbreak, fear, and hope.” Often he did so by playing instruments (including the cello, piano solos and a range of percussion) himself.
“Taylor and I discussed how…the two main characters are lost souls searching for deliverance,” said Tyler. “Hannah is a prisoner of her own guilt and memory, while Connor is battling a tragic loss. But this is also a story of human versus nature, as well as the evils of mankind, which is all echoed in the score.”
In his pursuit of a distinctive and memorable score for the film, Tyler did something he’d never done before. “I recorded the sound of a burning cello that I set ablaze with lighter fluid and played the strings until it burned to a point where it made no sound. That recording of the burning cello recurs as a sonic presence throughout the entire score,” the composer explained. “It pained me to burn a beautiful instrument like that, but I like to think that that particular cello was sacrificed for a good cause.”
Those Who Wish Me Dead is set for release in the U.S. in theaters and on HBO Max on May 14, 2021 and will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from release.
Scripted by Sheridan, Michael Koryta and Charles Leavitt, based on a book by Koryta, the film also stars Nicholas Hoult, Aidan Gillen, Jon Bernthal, Tyler Perry, Medina Senghore and Jake Weber.
Steven Zaillian, Garrett Basch, Aaron L. Gilbert, Kevin Turen and Sheridan produced the pic, with Steven Thibault, Ashley Levinson, Andria Spring, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell, Kathryn Dean, Michael Friedman, Daria Cercek and Celia Khong exec producing.
Tyler’s other upcoming projects include DJ Caruso’s Redeeming Love and Adam Robitel’s Escape Room 2. At the moment, the composer is also in the process of launching a new project called “Are We Dreaming,” which is billed as “a completely immersive audiovisual experience.”
To check out Tyler’s latest epic score, for Those Who Wish Me Dead, click above.