Scattering Musical Breadcrumbs So Cinephiles (Or Soundtrack Nerds) Can Find Their Way Home

The post-ComicCon trailer deluge is always one of my favorite things about post-ComicCon (because trailers are one of my favorite obsessions). But this year's batch was particularly enjoyable to me because it played right into the hands of another of my favorite obsessions: film music. Specifically, the trailer for Spielberg's Ready Player One, which contains a musical nod/shout-out to another movie built around the conflict between fantasy and reality. Check out what's happening at the 0:26 mark.

Recognize anything?

Sure sounds like a slowed-down (and heavily-orchestrated) version of "Pure Imagination," sung by Gene Wilder as part of the 1971 adaptation of Charlie & the Chocolate FactoryHere. Hear. (Or jump to the 2:46 mark for the instantaneous effect.)

The Ernest Cline book upon which the film is based has been described as "Willy Wonka meets The Matrix," so it seems quite possible that Spiely (and/or his marketing folks) are making an intentional reference in order to a) borrow on some of the nostalgia associated with Wilder's film, and b) bring in a bit of the magical/bizarre/inexplicable mood that is the primary currently of that film. At least I sure hope that's what they're doing, because thinking of it as a coincidence would make me very, very sad.

I am reminded of my reaction when I saw the first trailer for the upcoming The Dark Tower movie a few months back. Check out what happens at the 0:23 mark.

What about that one? Heard it before? It's the haunting "Watch Chimes" theme from Ennio Morricone's superb score for the second of Sergio Leone's legendary "Man with No Name" films, For a Few Dollars More.

Again, I can't say with absolute certainty why they chose it—could be nothing more than its fragile beauty, I suppose but I'd much prefer to think that they used it to bring along some of the gunslinging/Western images so associated with that film. (Its main theme is too weird for the trailer, I suspect, and wouldn't really fit the mood they're trying to convey. Using the "Chimes" track, on the other hand, preserves both the mood and the references.)

Oh, and here one last little (non-musical, this time) "breadcrumb" from that Dark Tower trailer. Check out the image that appears at 0:40. The one in the picture frame. Yep, that's the Overlook Hotel, from Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Shining." Shot at Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge.

Attribution(s): "Hänsel and Gretel" By Alexander Zick (source) is in the public domain via Wikipedia