John Williams is not retiring, says he likes to ‘keep an open mind’ at age 91

2 January 2024, 12:00

Legendary film composer and conductor John Williams confirms he is not retiring from music yet.
Legendary film composer and conductor John Williams confirms he is not retiring from music yet. Picture: Getty

By Siena Linton

The 91-year-old film composer says ‘everything is possible’, following rumours he would retire after the fifth Indiana Jones film.

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Legendary composer John Williams has denied claims that he has written his final film score, after rumours of his retirement swirled in July 2022.

The 91-year-old movie maestro has gifted us the beloved music to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T. and many more silver screen hits, and it appears we haven’t heard the last of him yet.

Williams revealed in an interview with The Times that he “wouldn’t want to rule anything out” when it comes to new film scores.

In July 2022, Williams hinted that his score to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the fifth film in the franchise, might be his last. After lead actor Harrison Ford announced it would be his final film, Williams told the Associated Press: “I thought: If Harrison can do it, then perhaps I can, also.”

Read more: John Williams hints at retirement from film music, says new score might be his last

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However, in January 2023, John Williams delighted us all at a conference with director and long-time collaborator Steven Spielberg, when he responded to a journalist on whether or not he had really retired.

“Steven [Spielberg] is a lot of things,” the composer replied. “One thing he isn’t, is a man you can say no to.”

And now, after a year of keeping us guessing, Williams has confirmed that we absolutely shouldn’t count him out just yet.

“I don’t care music for grand pronunciamentos, statements that are firm and finished and surrounded by closed doors,” he told The Times. “If I made one without putting it in context then I withdraw it.”

He continued: “If a film came along that I was greatly interested in, with a schedule that I could cope with, then I wouldn’t want to rule anything out.

“Everything is possible. All is before us. Only our limitations are holding us back.

“Or, to put it more simply: I like to keep an open mind.”

Read more: Steven Spielberg confirms a documentary on film music legend John Williams is coming

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So what might we have to look forward to, from movie maestro John Williams’ next project?

Well, he’d love to score a Bond film, as he told Classic FM in an exclusive interview for his 90th birthday.

And he could even be writing the soundtrack to his very own story, as we speak. In January 2023, Steven Spielberg revealed that he was making a documentary on John Williams’ life and music.

For now though, it looks like we’ll have to wait in anticipation for more clues...