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Composer Michael Giacchino Confirms Return For Star Trek Sequel November 23, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Music,Star Trek Into Darkness , trackback

Composer and long-time JJ Abrams collaborator Michael Giacchino has confirmed that he will be returning for the Star Trek sequel. While not a surprise, it is welcome news for fans of the Oscar-winner’s music. 



Giacchino back to the final frontier

Michael Giacchino composed the music for JJ Abrams 2009 Star Trek movie and had in in the past spoken about how he hoped he would be returning. Now Coming Soon quotes the composer as confirming "Yes, I’ll be back…I’ll be there just as soon as they finish it."

Giacchino will next be heard on another JJ Abrams production, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which comes out December 16th. He will also be doing the score for the live-action  John Carter film due March 9, 2012.

Michael Giacchino scoring the 2009 "Star Trek" movie

What to expect?

With Giacchino back, fans can start speculating on what they can expect for his next Star Trek score. ComingSoon notes that it will likely not be more of the same:

Though he provided the score for 2009’s Star Trek, fans shouldn’t necessarily expect more of the same. Giacchino points to the differences between his scores for Mission: Impossible 3 and Ghost Protocol as an example of how he likes to treat sequels like altogether new projects. That said, he’s not sure at this stage what direction the Trek sequel will take.

And at a screening of the Star Trek movie in September 2010, Giacchino spoke about possibilities for the Star Trek sequel. Here are some highlights.

See original article for more from Giacchino and to watch the video discussion.


1. dmduncan - November 23, 2011


2. captian Khan Krunch - November 23, 2011

I would not want it any other way.


3. Daoud - November 23, 2011

Of course, by the time the film gets here, it might call for Giacchino writing “Enterprising Older Men” and “Used Car Smell”.

4. OneBuckFilms - November 23, 2011

Awesome !!!

5. SciFiGuy - November 23, 2011

I think it’s good they are sticking with the same composer. One of the things I didn’t like about the other Trek films was that they kept changing composers all the time. I was not ga-ga over the the score for the last film though…too many starts of something great that just degenerated into the same old “sonic wallpaper” kind of stuff (although bombastic sonic wallpaper) that we’ve had in Trek for the last decade or two. The original series music was always very thematic….and so were Goldsmith’s scores and even Ron Jones’ scores for TNG. I miss that style of musical score and I don’t think Giacchino brought enough of that to the last film. Still, he’s a better composer than most. Nowadays, only Alan Sylvestri really comes to mind as a great composer. John Williams isn’t what he used to be and neither is Horner…

6. Odkin - November 23, 2011

I thought MG did a great job on “The Incredibles”.

But I’m hoping he manages to work a MELODY into his Trek score this time.

7. JKP - November 23, 2011

I find Giacchino very hit and miss. Some of the Trek score was very moving and some of it was pretty plain. He’s no Goldsmith or Horner, but Jerry’s not with us anymore and Horner’s not Horner anymore either.

8. somethoughts - November 23, 2011

I like this guy, the opening score was epic and moving.

9. Red Dead Ryan - November 23, 2011

Good to hear!

Also it sounds like the Klingons may not be in the sequel.

10. somethoughts - November 23, 2011


I think he knows and is only playing dumb.

11. Daoud - November 23, 2011

Giacchino did better than any of the TNG scores, and he said many times he purposely avoided using any TOS themes until the end of the movie, at the point where they “became” the TOS crew. Works for me.
Oh, and a few more titles for Star Trek 2’s score:
“Nailin’ the Coffin”
“Geezer Bar Talk”
“Welcome Back, Khan”
“Galaxy’s Worst Khan Recasting”
“Orci Sighted”
“Plotter? I Barely Know Her”
“Did You Zip Up Your McFly?”
“Orci Planks, Lindelof Lightsabers”
“To Boldly Get Around To It”
“100 Light Year Dash”
“Call of Doody”

12. TJ Draper - November 23, 2011

I like consistency, but I am not a fan of Giacchino’s score on the previous film. I was kind of hoping they would find someone else. Oh well, he’s not “awful” just not my favorie.

I doubt if Star Trek will ever see composers as good as Horner or Goldsmith again (yes, in that order)

13. John in Canada, eh? - November 23, 2011

I wasn’t thrilled with the music on my first (and second) showings in the theatre, but it has grown on me. And my four-year-old loves humming the theme as he’s playing with his action figures.

I really hope that Giacchino takes a cue (so to speak) from the John Williams-Star Wars approach, and realizes that the classic theme should not be like holiday china, only taken out for special occasions: it should be used whenever possible, and incorporated into other motifs.

And hearing some reworked versions of TOS musical cues would be wonderful – in addition to the fight music from ‘Amok Time,’ there’s the staccato beat of ‘The Doomsday Machine’, and I’d even be happy to hear a reworking of Goldsmith’s Klingon theme from TMP.

So: my hopes are up. Giacchino certainly has the talent to hit it out of the park; I hope he allows himself the freedom to do so.

14. Red Dead Ryan - November 23, 2011

I’d prefer that “Enterprising Young Men” be retained as the theme for the sequel. Honestly, I don’t want to see any of the TOS music rehashed. I think the time has come for an entirely original score, unique to the J.J Abrams films.

Christopher Nolan brought in Hans Zimmer to score his Batman movies. He did not bring back any of the music from the previous films.

Speaking of Zimmer, I’d love to see him do music for Trek once J.J Abrams is done. I like his work on the Batman movies, as well as “Inception” and “The Lion King”.

15. Dr. Cheis - November 23, 2011

Glad to hear it. Sequels never feel right to me when they switch composers.

16. Shunnabunich - November 23, 2011

I have mixed feelings about his return for the second movie. On one hand, he’s done some really good stuff. On the other hand, this is how I imagine the scoring session for ST09 went:

*ring ring*

“Bluhh…I’m comin’, I’m comin’.”

*ring ri—*


“Mike? Where the hell are you? We’ve been waiting for half an hour!”

“Ow, why are you yelling? Could you not yell? My head’s just…is really hurting right now.”


“Man, that was a hell of a party last night. Y’should’ve been there, Jayj—JJ. Aw, I dunno if I’m up to comin’ in, though. I can’t…can’t find my, uh…can’t find my pants. Know they’re around here somewhere…”

“Wha…? C’mon, man, Jesus, you gotta give us something. We’re running out of time up here!”

“Ow. The yelling. OK, um. Um.”


“Mike? You still there?”

“Uh-yeah, OK, here, I just…I just, uh…daah, da-da-da-daah…daah, da-da-da-daah, daaaah, da-dah-dah-dah-daaaaa!”


“OK, and then what?”

“Whaddya mean, then what? I dunno, just loop it until the end credits. My head hurts. Man, that was a great party. Buddy, you shoulda been—”

“Fine, OK, OK. Listen…crap, OK, I’ve gotta go, they’re expecting something, anything. Call me back, alright? Mike?”



17. Odkin - November 23, 2011


No droning, atonal, unwhistleable crap.

I’m no score fanboy, just know what I (and the general public) like. I saw the last Trek movie 6 or 7 times. and could not even BEGIN to hum or whistle any musical theme from the movie.

Why do directors of the Bay/Abrams ilk go for every lowball visual trick, but try to get all arty and subtle about the music? I want the score to grab me by the collar and shake me!

18. Shunnabunich - November 23, 2011

@17: While I agree that there are few memorable melodies in the score (and the few I do remember, I really wish I could forget), the phrase “grab me by the collar and shake me” does come to mind at times. It certainly doesn’t lack enthusiasm, which is a quality I think suited the overall tone of the movie (in a positive way).

19. Commodore Adams - November 23, 2011

YESSSS! Klingon theme!!!!

20. somethoughts - November 23, 2011

When I listen to this

I imagine a huge epic reimagined Klingon Warship passing by and the camera pans through the enormity of the ship as it decloaks and passes by the Klingon home world, slowly camera pans towards the homeworld and we see the home world in all it’s glory and act 1 scene 1 starts. Enter Kor.

21. Charla - November 23, 2011

So glad to hear about MG!! He is an excellent composer. Now all the “old” crew is back! Now, hurry up 2013!!

22. Odkin - November 23, 2011

Maybe they should just recycle the beautiful and memorable music from “The Rocketeer”.

23. Fubamushu - November 24, 2011

Not surprised by this announcement, as JJ can’t seem to find another composer to work with.

This film is now officially stillborn. I’ll wait until I can rent it on Netflix. At least then I’ll be able to watch it with the sound off.

24. Fubamushu - November 24, 2011

Bear McCreary

25. Reign1701A - November 24, 2011

Boo. A lot of the soundtrack by MG is very generic sounding. Sure there are highlights, Enterprising Young Men (and the main theme that goes with it) and Labor of Love come to mind, other than that, it’s all sort of cookie-cutter bland. Keep the main theme and jettison just about everything else, Michael.

26. Aurore - November 24, 2011

“Composer Michael Giacchino Confirms Return For Star Trek Sequel”

Welcome back !

27. Cervantes - November 24, 2011

It would be nice to hear a version of one or two of the original ‘Fred Steiner’ cues weaved in to the sequel this time, to really capture that TOS vibe.

But what I’d REALLY love to have incorporated into the next soundtrack is the awesome trailer music that ‘Two Steps From Hell’ came up with for the first movie. Hell, it should be the MAIN THEME this time around!

‘Freedom Fighters’ by Two Steps From Hell –

28. VZX - November 24, 2011

Yay! One of the better parts of the 09Trek! The music was terrific, it actually had a theme you could hum! I hate how current films do not have recognizable themes. But, Giacchino is old school in that way. He’s a theme-fan!

29. Kirk, James T. - November 24, 2011

I hope “Enterprising Young Men” makes a return – that was an amazing track and also, it wouldn’t be Star Trek without the Original Theme.

30. Kirk, James T. - November 24, 2011

Collaborating with Two Steps From Hell would be awesome!!!!

31. TrekMessiah - November 24, 2011

Enterprising Young Men, Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns, Labor Of Love… Some of the best tracks I’ve heard in the last decade. The ST09 OST is the only OST I listen to repeatedly on my mp3 player while walking to work. I hope for more like that. Maybe a bad ass Klingon theme.

32. Jason - November 24, 2011


I agree completely; “Enterprising Young Men” should be the theme for the next movie. I’d also love for it to be the reveal for the Enterprise; just like they played the same tune in the Pirates movies when the Black Pearl first appeared on screen.

33. Jason - November 24, 2011

I also think he should collaborate with Bear McCreary; both of them are great composers.

34. RFK - November 24, 2011

Seems a few fanboys are out in force on this news.

Reminder that Giacchino won an Oscar for his 2009 work… on another film. His ST had a few good secondary cues, but the primary stuff was severly unmemorable. Perhaps he should listen to prior work from Goldsmith, Horner & even Eidelman, might get some ideas that might help him along.

Perhaps he’ll do an Oscar-worthy job on ST this time around, not for some other film in the same year?

35. Sebastian S. - November 24, 2011

That’s good news; I still think his Oscar winning score for “Up” was one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. Bought it off i-tunes and absolutely love it. Track 3 still moves me to tears!

As for the next Trek movie, now that ST is settling into a somewhat more familiar pattern (Kirk and crew are all assuming their familiar TOS roles), it’d be nice if the music had a few more familiar cues from TOS sprinkled throughout the movie.

36. Bob Tompkins - November 24, 2011

I want John Williams to do a Trek before it is too late… He won’t be around forever.
Don’t like Giacchino’s work.

37. Jerry Modene - November 24, 2011

I like Giacchino’s work – not only on The Incredibles but on Speed Racer – but I was a little let down by his work on ST09, or maybe I was expecting too much. I’m OK, though, with him having another crack at it.

My favorite ST movie soundtrack scores:


38. Cervantes - November 24, 2011

@ #36 Bob Tompkins

I sure love the way he reworked the original TOS theme with the Boston Pops, I gotta say. It’s a great version!

39. David Jones/790 - November 24, 2011

Sorry but the musical score to Star Trek The Motion Picture was more memorable. This guy added nothing to abrams vision.

paramount should have totally sold out and gone to the legend, “John Williams” for the score. Since they were shooting a Star Wars plot anyway.

40. Jim Nightshade - November 25, 2011

I enjoyed the score enuf to buy the limited edition deluxe soundtrack-luv it—also luv that mg is a true trek fan…trek was one of the reasons he became a film composer–also luv his trek model on the ceiling n his wearing of the gold uniform shirt …he won an academy award-he is one of the top film scorers of today—great news all around-

41. Keachick - rose pinenut - November 25, 2011

#39 Of course, the musical score to TMP is more memorable. People have heard it played for more than 30 years, off and on, and then it became the theme tune to TNG. Anything would be memorable if it had that much air time as the TMP theme has. Not that I am saying it is not good, because I think it is brilliant, but it is silly to compare it to the much later Giacchino score because it is more memorable.

42. SciFiGuy - November 25, 2011

#41 — I immediately loved the TMP score when I saw the film. Aside from Enterprising Young Men, and Spock’s theme, such was not the case with MG’s score for the last film. It was a very uneven score with a lot of bombast to be sure…but it just wasn’t very melodic overall.

That’s the problem as I see it.

43. Vultan - November 25, 2011


Sounds good to me! The Rocketeer had an excellent score. Of course, this is James Horner were talking about….

44. Moses Ashford - November 26, 2011

They should use the Star Trek theme music from the Insurrection end credits at the end of the sequel. The inclusion of the album version of Russell Watson’s ‘Where My Heart Will Take Me’ would be a bonus.

The Original Series theme music and new theme music in the last movie was unnecessary. The soundtrack was disappointing overall. ‘Labour of Love’ was the best part of it.

45. RFK - November 26, 2011

The reason people have been hearing TMP for 30 years is because it was an excellent score. We knew that at the time it was in theaters, all that re-use followed later. It didn’t become excellent only after 30 years of re-use. It doesn’t work that way.

MG’s work on ST 2009 won’t be noticed 30 years from now. Or even next week. Except when people compare it to so much other ST work that was better.

Maybe JJ’s just to tough on his composers so no one else (that’s really good) will work with him? Or he’s just stubborn? (Odds we’ll see some redesign work on the awkwardness of the E?)

46. David C - November 26, 2011

I just read the last paragraph and looked up to see “Music by Gerald Fried” come up on my TV screen at the end of a movie. Weird…

47. Shunnabunich - November 26, 2011

@45: I disagree with your implication that Giacchino isn’t good — he’s done far, far better work for a number of other movies. Why he came up with what he did for ST09, and why it got green-lit anyway, are mysteries which may forever be hidden away behind the egos of the filmmakers involved.

48. somethoughts - November 26, 2011


You are lying if you didnt think enterprising young men theme was not epic.

From the delta shield turning to the reveal of the enterprise, anyone who didnt like it is tone deaf or trolling.

49. somethoughts - November 26, 2011

*delete didnt

50. Joey Lodes - November 26, 2011

I for one will not be seeing the next film. The ONLY way I would have been interested in seeing this wold have been if James Horner reprised his incredible scores for Star Trek.

One day people will realize that what JJ is shitting out has nothing to do with Trek.

51. somethoughts - November 27, 2011


Thats like proclaiming you will not ever have sex or self love, how are we to trust someone who takes their time to post on a star trek site?

Horner, Williams etc all emulated Gustov Holst, so get over your nostalgia

52. RFK - November 27, 2011


No doubt he’s done better work. He won an Oscar for his work in 2009. For another film. I’d rather JJ hire someone who will excel on ST, not on some other project. I never got the impression that Goldsmith nor Horner gave ST their second-best effort.

MG did have some strong secondary cues, no doubt. But the overall effort fell way short. My opinion, of course, but I doubt you’ll be hearing much of that score 30 years from now.

53. somethoughts - November 27, 2011


Up score was good but I liked his enterprising young men and labor of love theme much more. I was annoyed he won it for up instead of st09

54. Ian Brown - November 27, 2011

kirks birth music in the first film was fantastic

55. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - November 28, 2011

Giacchino has a phenomenal track record for scores. To jump around, take his scores for:

* THE INCREDIBLES (gorgeous mix of “Jonny Quest”/”James Bond” style 60’s scores)
* “ROAR! End Credits from “Cloverfield” (homage to 50s kaiju (big monster) films)
* SPEED RACER (best possible blending of classic SR themes with a modern twist)

That last one was what got me so excited when I heard he was up to score STAR TREK (’09). On its own, it’s a great score, but I expected so much more from it — especially in light of his earlier works and how he can craft things with his own signature sound while still blending in earlier/original themes.

I’ll take the argument “they didn’t get the Courage theme until they earned it” argument — I liked how David Arnold did that with the 007 gun barrel theme in “Casino Royale” and I think John Ottman should have done that in “Superman Returns” — but I was hoping for more of a Trek sound, not just a big action movie sound.

I digress. I bought both the regular and the deluxe edition scores for JJ’s STAR TREK so I must have liked it. But those 60’s TOS scores were great, and the TOS film scores were always top-notch, from Goldsmith’s TMP to the Horner years (“man-o-war battles in space!”) to Eldelman’s nearly Trek-theme-less STVI score. They have that Trek sound and feel, and though Giacchino’s take on TREK will surely be lasting, I hope to hear at least a hint or two of some of that original sound in the next outing.

(As an aside, for goodness’ sakes, I understand giving odd titles to throw off plot hunters who might see the track titles in advance, but I’d rather something like what Hans Zimmer did with the “Batman Begins” score than another album filled with titles like “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Beam Up!”, “Matter? I Barely Know Her” and “I Gotta Beam Me”.)

56. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - November 28, 2011

To add to my last; the “End Credits” track is spot-on perfect.

57. cd - November 28, 2011

Knowing that Giacchino did The Incredibles, I was hoping for something fantastic in Star Trek 09. However, it was pretty underwhelming, which was appropriate to the movie. Maybe if Star Trek 09 had been better, the music would have been as well.

58. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - November 28, 2011

glad to see he will be making more great music

59. RFK - November 28, 2011

I would agree that Enterprising Men was a largely successful cue – its only shortfall was reverting to that plodding main cue right at the E’s reveal (which was also underwhelming on its own).

I should probably just stick to the real world. But after many decades ST is still very much a guilty pleasure.

60. somethoughts - November 29, 2011


That was the most epic part, the enterprise reveal and the delta shield with star trek logo

61. Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane - November 29, 2011


In the original teaser trailer, that was quite cool (the shield reveal) — we heard the strands of Courage’s original theme (the fanfare, sure, but the shield at about one minute):–vmdNTPTHs

62. Cafe 5 - November 29, 2011

Giacchino is one hell of a composer, but Trek09 wasn’t one of his best scores. Some of his video game scores are far superior. He can do better and J.J. stated he reined him in for the movie. It would be nice to hear some of the themes that made the music of Star Trek so iconic. Lets hope this time that J.J. lets him go all out.

63. German thoughts - November 29, 2011

How about Nick Phoenix & Thomas J Bergersen the Trailer Score was better than the Original Film Score.

64. Robofuzz - December 2, 2011

I want more of the musical cues from what’s gone before. For me, the music has been as symbolic of Star Trek as the image of the Enterprise. We need more of the original Alexander Courage theme worked in. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.