Oscars Predictions: Original Score – Will Thomas Newman Garner His 16th Career Nom for ‘Elemental?’

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2024 Oscars Predictions:
Best Original Score

Society of the Snow
Society of the Snow

Weekly Commentary (Updated Nov. 30, 2023): Renowned composer Thomas Newman has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, tying him with fellow composer Alex North for the most without a win. Those losses include “American Beauty” (1999), “Road to Perdition” (2022), “Finding Nemo” (2003), “WALL-E” (2008) and “1917” (2019). There’s also the double nom year of “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) and “Little Women.” Sooner rather than later, right?

In Pixar’s “Elemental,” he captures the essence of a story through the music, making him one of the most sought-after composers in the industry.

He’ll be battling with Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson for his bombastic work on “Oppenheimer” and the growing sentiment for the late Robbie Robertson, who scored “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Other animated movie competitors like Daniel Pemberton’s stunning chords on “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

This will be a tough race to call all season long.

Alexandre Desplat also has two contenders worth considering — Netflix’s “Nyad” and the still unseen “The Boys in the Boat” from Amazon MGM Studios. Variety confirms Desplat’s music on Focus Features’ “Asteroid City” was not submitted for consideration.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 15, 2023. The preliminary shortlist for eight categories is from Dec. 14-18, with the results announcement dropping on Dec. 21. The Oscar nomination period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominees named on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

***The list below is not final and will be updated throughout the awards season.

And the Predicted Nominees Are:

  1. Ludwig Göransson — “Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures)

  2. Robbie Robertson— “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures)

  3. Kris Bowers — “Origin” (Neon)

  4. Laura Karpman — “American Fiction” (MGM)

  5. Michael Giacchino — “Society of the Snow” (Netflix)

Next in Line

  1. Daniel Pemberton — “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures)

  2. Anthony Willis— “Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)

  3. Jerskin Fendrix — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)

  4. Thomas Newman – “Elemental” (Pixar)

  5. Christopher Bear, Daniel Rossen — “Past Lives” (A24)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities

  1. Mica Levi — “The Zone of Interest” (A24)

  2. Hans Zimmer — “The Creator” (20th Century Studios)

  3. John Williams — “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  4. Joe Hisaishi — “The Boy and the Heron” (GKids)

  5. David Metzger — “Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures)

  6. Martin Phipps — “Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures)

  7. Daniel Pemberton — “Ferrari” (Neon)

  8. Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross — “The Killer” (Netflix)

  9. Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch — “All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures)

  10. Hans Zimmer — “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate)

Also In Contention

  1. Alexandre Desplat — “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)

  2. Alexandre Desplat — “Nyad” (Netflix)

  3. Laura Karpman — “The Marvels” (Marvel Studios)

  4. Branford Marsalis — “Rustin” (Netflix)

  5. Richard Reed Parry — “The Iron Claw” (A24)

  6. Will Bates — “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures)

  7. Alexandre Desplat — “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM)

  8. Hildur Guðnadóttir — “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios)

  9. Philip Glass, Paul Leonard-Morgan — “The Pigeon Tunnel” (Apple Original Films)

  10. Marcelo Zarvos — “Flamin’ Hot” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures)

All Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**

  • “A Haunting in Venice” (20th Century Studios) — Hildur Guðnadóttir

  • “The Creator” (20th Century Studios) — Hans Zimmer

  • “Beau is Afraid” (A24) — Bobby Krlic

  • “The Iron Claw” (A24) — Richard Reed Parry

  • “Past Lives” (A24) — Christopher Bear, Daniel Rossen

  • “Priscilla” (A24) — Phoenix

  • The Zone of Interest” (A24) — Mica Levi

  • “The Burial” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Michael Abels

  • “Cassandro” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Marcelo Zarvos

  • “Foe” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Park Jiha, Oliver Coates, Agnes Obel

  • “Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios) — Anthony Willis

  • “Fingernails” (Apple Original Films) — Christopher Stracey

  • “Flora and Son” (Apple Original Films) — Gary Clark, John Carney

  • Killers of the Flower Moon” (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures) — Robbie Robertson

  • “Napoleon” (Apple Original Films/Sony Pictures) — Martin Phipps

  • “The Pigeon Tunnel” (Apple Original Films) — Philip Glass, Paul Leonard-Morgan

  • “Golda” (Bleecker Street) — Dascha Dauenhauer

  • “My Love Affair with Marriage” (8 Above) — Kristian Sensini

  • “The Boy and the Heron” (GKids) — Joe Hisaishi

  • “Flamin’ Hot” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures) — Marcelo Zarvos

  • “BlackBerry” (IFC Films) — Jay McCarrol

  • “Migration” (Illumination) — John Powell

  • “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (Illumination) — Brian Tyler

  • “Story Ave” (Kino Lorber) — Pierre Charles

  • “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” (Lionsgate) — Hans Zimmer

  • “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate) — James Newton Howard

  • “Joy Ride” (Lionsgate) — Nathan Matthew David

  • “Kokomo City” (Magnolia Pictures) — D. Smith

  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Marvel Studios) — John Murphy

  • “The Marvels” (Marvel Studios) — Laura Karpman

  • “American Fiction” (MGM) — Laura Karpman

  • “Bottoms” (MGM/Orion) — Charli XCX, Leo Birenberg

  • “The Boys in the Boat” (MGM) — Alexandre Desplat

  • “Creed III” (MGM) — Joseph Shirley

  • “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” (MGM) — Chris Benstead

  • “The Mission” (National Geographic) — Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans

  • “Eileen” (Neon) — Richard Reed Parry

  • “American Symphony” (Netflix) – Jon Batiste

  • “The Deepest Breath” (Netflix) – Nainita Desai

  • “Fair Play” (Netflix) — Brian McOmber

  • “The Killer” (Netflix) — Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

  • “Leave the World Behind” (Netflix) — Mac Quayle

  • “Nyad” (Netflix) — Alexandre Desplat

  • “Rebel Moon” (Netflix) — Tom Holkenborg

  • “Rustin” (Netflix) — Branford Marsalis

  • “Society of the Snow” (Netflix) — Michael Giacchino

  • “Origin” (Neon) — Kris Bowers

  • “Dungeons & Dragons” (Paramount Pictures) — Lorne Balfe

  • “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (Paramount Pictures) — Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

  • “Elemental” (Pixar) — Thomas Newman

  • “Somewhere in Queens” (Roadside Attractions) — Mark Orton

  • “All of Us Strangers” (Searchlight Pictures) — Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch

  • “Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures) — Kris Bowers

  • “Next Goal Wins” (Searchlight Pictures) — Michael Giacchino

  • “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures) — Jerskin Fendrix

  • “Dumb Money” (Sony Pictures) — Will Bates

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony Pictures) — Daniel Pemberton

  • “A Little Prayer” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Greg Danner

  • “The Teachers Lounge” (Sony Pictures Classics) — Marvin Miller

  • “Ferrari” (Neon) — Daniel Pemberton

  • Oppenheimer” (Universal Pictures) — Ludwig Göransson

  • “She Came to Me” (Vertical Entertainment) — Bryce Dessner

  • “Barbie” (Warner Bros.) — Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt

  • “Blue Beetle” (Warner Bros.) — Bobby Krlic

  • “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.) — Kris Bowers

  • “Wonka” (Warner Bros.) — Joby Talbot

  • “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Walt Disney Pictures) — John Williams

  • “The Little Mermaid” (Walt Disney Pictures) — Alan Menken

  • “Wish” (Walt Disney Pictures) — David Metzger

2022 category winner: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) — Volker Bertelmann

** indicates an unconfirmed release date in 2023 or could campaign in the lead or supporting categories. All release dates are subject to change.

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About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

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