How much of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight‘s phenomenal scores depended upon the input of James Newton Howard might end up mattering a good deal. That’s because, according to a user on NolanFans who attended a concert with the composer the past weekend, he revealed he will not reteam with his Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises. You can read the post on the matter below:

James Newton Howard gave a concert over the weekend in Dallas. Though unable to attend myself, I did hear back from someone who did. After playing the Harvey Dent suite with the orchestra, James spoke highly of working with Nolan and Zimmer on Begins and Dark Knight. He also mentioned that it was his decision to bow out of the next film. He stated that Nolan and Zimmer had established such good chemistry working on Inception, and he didn’t want to be a third wheel.

It’s probably best to admit upfront that this doesn’t come from a credible source — ever read something false on a message board? — but the reasons for his departure, though odd, don’t sound all that unbelievable. While an auteur like Nolan has extended a forceful hand in getting the right people in every department — a history that makes me a just a little skeptical of this development — I still can’t figure out why, of all the Dark Knight Rises news you could conjure out of thin air, this is the one you’d go for. If it’s true, it’s also a shame.

Additional scoring news comes from ThePlaylist, who’ve learned that Nicolas Winding Refn and Cliff Martinez are getting back together for Only God Forgives, his currently-shooting, Thai-tinged Ryan Gosling feature. Drive‘s music consultant, Johnny Jewel, was thought by some to have the job, but this isn’t going through; oh well. A fair move, in my own little viewpoint, seeing as Drive worked just fine with Martinez‘s input — even if I didn’t enjoy his monotone work.

One can enjoy the scores of The Dark Knight Rises and Only God Forgives when the former arrives in theaters July 2012 and the latter hopefully a few months down the road.

Do you think Howard has left Rises? Are you happy to hear about Martinez doing Forgives?

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