'Dark Knight' Score Oscar DQ'ed

November 13, 2008

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Ut oh, Dark Knight fans, it looks like the prediction that the film "will win every award ever dark knight rules" might not be entirely accurate. Variety is reporting the score has been disqualified from nomination because too many names were listed on the cue sheet:

The score for "The Dark Knight" has been disqualified by the executive committee of the Academy music branch.

Their previous collaboration, on "Batman Begins," was similarly disqualified in 2005.

Sources inside the committee said that the big issue was the fact that five names were listed as composers on the music cue sheet, the official studio document that specifies every piece of music (along with its duration and copyright owner) in the film.

Zimmer said, in an interview with Variety prior to this week's Acad action, that listing multiple names on the cue sheet was a way of financially rewarding parts of the music team who helped make the overall work successful. (Performing-rights societies like ASCAP and BMI use the cue sheet to distribute royalties to composers.)

Zimmer, Howard and the other three individuals -- music editor Alex Gibson, ambient music designer Mel Wesson and composer Lorne Balfe -- reportedly signed an affidavit stating that the score was primarily the work of Zimmer and Howard.

That apparently wasn't enough for the majority of the committee, which was also supplied with documentation indicating that more than 60%, but less than 70%, of the score was credited to Zimmer and Howard.

From the facts that have come forward so far, I don't at all agree with this ruling, but I am willing to let it slide so long as it also means Tom Cruise can't be nominated for Valkyrie under the same conditions. He may be the only name given credit for his performance, but there are clearly numerous other entities--many of them alien, all beyond our realm of understanding--living inside his physical form, contributing to his eye-patch acting.

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