Alexandre Desplat: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The seventh movie in the Harry Potter franchise looks to the series' past, but Alexandre Desplat still makes it his own.

How do you go about continuing the legacy of one of the most important film franchises in recent history? That's the conundrum French composer Alexandre Desplat found himself answering in 2010 when he became the Harry Potter series' fourth main composer, with the added pressure of one of them being the great John Williams. But, gamely, Desplat gave the seventh film in the series an especially dark sound world that followed on from what went before, but looked to the future as well.

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Desplat was careful to include John Williams' Hedwig's Theme as much as he could, but he also brought confusion, stress and murkiness that mirrored the movie's development from child's fantasy to adolescent nightmare. The trio of heroes in the film, Harry, Hermione and Ron, are in constant motion throughout and so is Desplat's score - never settling for too long on the same theme or missing an opportunity to pick out a narrative detail. Andit obviously worked, as Desplat returned to finish off the whole series with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, too.