John Debney - Next Generation composer

John Debney - photograph John Debney is certainly part of the younger generation of film composers having pursued a career in films for only a couple of decades. But he has served a full apprenticeship in television music gathering a wealth of experience in the process, working with composers such as Mike Post and Hoyt Curtain. Although his film career has been relatively short so far, he has staked out a place on several high profile film projects and is already beginning to appear as prolific and versatile as say Jerry Goldsmith. Much of his most recent work for cinema has been blockbuster family movies and comedies, including "Inspector Gadget", "Spy Kids", "Cats & Dogs", "Bruce Almighty" and the 2003 Christmas release "Elf". He has also produced some good TV work, including Seaquest DSV, the Doctor Who Movie starring Paul McGann, and (appropriately enough) Star Trek: The Next Generation. Between his film scoring, Debney finds time to conduct various orchestras, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, for recordings of film music.

John Debney - The Passion of the Christ soundtrack CD cover In 2004 Debney's challenge was quite surprising in some respects given his previous portfolio. He was asked by Mel Gibson to score his controversial film The Passion of the Christ and rose to the challenge. For this score Debney has used ethnic instruments including the "Oud" and "Duduk" plus a range of vocals. He has blended this in a contemporary way with percussion, synth sounds and effects. The emotional aspects of the film have certainly not been neglected, and the overall impression is moving and powerful. "The Passion of the Christ" soundtrack is available from and, and there is a web-site dedicated to John Debney at Debney adapted his music for this film into a Symphony which was given its premiere in Rome on 6th July 2005. Other performances are planned or have been held in other locations around the world.

John Debney - Elf soundtrack CD cover John Debney has had a busy year in 2010 with two major and eagerly anticipated sequels - "Iron Man 2" and "Predators". Both score albums are due for release this summer, with "Iron Man 2" expected to be a double album. Following years of rumours and speculation, it now transpires that director Robert Rodriguez will score "Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For" himself. However John Debney remains a very busy composer, with films including "Jobs" (the biopic of Steve Jobs), "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" and "Wolves and Dogs: Howls for Full Moon". His latest film score on general release is the excellent mostly CGI but some live action version of The Jungle Book. This is much better than you would anticipate for a re-imaging of a classic and is highly recommended, both score and movie.

Films by John Debney:

    John Debney - Cutthroat Island soundtrack CD cover
  • Jetsons: The Movie
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Cutthroat Island - a modern swashbuckler and musically too
  • Liar, Liar
  • The Relic - dark and Alien like
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer - among the pop music, some standard horror fare plus a little music-box innocence
  • Sudden Death
  • My Favourite Martian
  • The Emperor's New Groove
  • Paulie - unusual movie about a talking parrot, with music in an engaging family comedy vein
  • Inspector Gadget
  • End of Days - not many films can claim to have both Rod Steiger and Miriam Margoyles, the music has touches of traditional horror and religious apocalypse, with a modern Matrix-like style in places
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
  • The Princess Diaries 1 and 2
  • Spy Kids 1 and 2
  • The Scorpion King - a great action adventure score which seems to avoid the desert cliches
  • Heartbreakers - the musical material works very well in this comedy, seemingly drawing inspiration from the Russian Group on screen with their balalaikas and the main theme provided by Danny Elfman
  • Cats & Dogs
  • Swimfan
  • Bruce Almighty
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action - additional music to assist Jerry Goldsmith
  • Elf
  • Welcome to Mooseport
  • The Passion of the Christ - combining ethnic instruments and the film's ancient languages with a contemporary synth and percussion sound
  • Sin City - the film's music was a combination of score by John Debney, Graeme Revell and director Robert Rodriguez himself
  • The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D
  • Chicken Little
  • Zathura - also known as "Zathura: A Space Adventure"
  • Cheaper by the Dozen 2
  • Idlewild - Debney worked with the band "OutKast" whose members star in the film (no connection with the rock band called Idlewild)
  • Spider-Man 3 - additional music to this Christopher Young score, having previous done some some work on "Spider-Man 2"
  • Evan Almighty - follow-up rather than a sequel to "Bruce Almighty"
  • Meet Dave
  • My Best Friend's Girl
  • Hotel for Dogs
  • Hannah Montana: The Movie
  • Aliens in the Attic - a fun scary movie like "Gremlins" with funny sound effects similar to Jerry Goldsmith and with Theremin-like sounds like "Mars Attacks"
  • John Debney - Aliens in the Attic soundtrack CD cover
  • Old Dogs
  • Yogi Bear - animation set in Jellystone park
  • Valentine's Day
  • Iron Man 2 - Iron Man 3 has been scored by Brian Tyler
  • Predators
  • Machete
  • No Strings Attached
  • The Change-Up
  • Dream House
  • The Double
  • New Year's Eve
  • John Debney: The Jungle Book - film score CD
  • A Thousand Words
  • The Three Stooges
  • Alex Cross
  • Broken Horses
  • Jobs - biopic of Steve Jobs
  • The Call
  • Draft Day
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
  • Wolves and Dogs: Howls for Full Moon
  • Broken Horses
  • The Jungle Book - the movie is far better than expected and the music is great, while also revisiting your favourite songs from the animated version
  • Home Again
  • The Greatest Showman - the score rather than the songs
  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold - with co-composer Germaine Franco
  • I Still Believe
  • Come Away
  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog
  • Home Sweet Home Alone - with reference to the original movie in the form of "Somewhere in My Memory" by John Williams and the late Leslie Bricusse
  • Hocus Pocus 2 - a sequel after a long gap
  • 80 for Brady

TV work by John Debney:

Although Debney has worked in television on and off for many years with various TV series and one-off TV movies, he has lately scored a string of high-profile mini-series with the most recent being "Houdini". He also created game scores for the epic fantasy "Lair" and "The Sims: Medieval".

    John Debney - Houdini Volume 1 soundtrack album cover
  • Seaquest DSV
  • Doctor Who: The Movie - with Paul McGann in the lead role, and including a pounding version of the Ron Grainer theme
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation - some work on this
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - and also this Star Trek series
  • The Lazarus Man
  • Hatfields & McCoys - mini-series
  • Supah Ninjas
  • Bonnie and Clyde - mini-series
  • Houdini - latest mini-series starring Adrien Brody as the famous escape artist, and 2 volumes of the series music have now been released on CD
  • The Orville - largely sharing scoring duties with Joel McNeely

John Debney - Memorabilia:

Here are some CD covers signed by John Debney. "A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project" CD has been signed by John Debney and Christopher Lennertz. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to show his collection of autographed CDs. Click any thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.

Various Composers - A Symphony of Hope: The Haiti Project - signed CD John Debney: Cutthroat Island - signed CD John Debney: Dragonfly - signed CD John Debney: Dream House - signed CD John Debney: Elf - signed CD John Debney: Iron Man 2 - signed CD John Debney: Predators - signed CD John Debney: The Passion of the Christ - signed CD John Debney: The Stoning of Soraya M - signed CD John Debney: The Young Riders - signed CD