Lars Ulrich has confirmed that METALLICA is working with composer James Newton Howard on an orchestral version of the band's classic song "Nothing Else Matters" for the upcoming "Jungle Cruise" movie.
"It really goes back to [Disney production president] Sean Bailey, who is a lifelong rock fan, and is just all-around one of the greatest, most friendly, generous, warm, and embracing people you'll find in the music business," Ulrich told Collider. "I think he's always been a METALLICA fan, and we've gotten to know each other well. My wife and I are big Disney fans, so there's a great friendship there, and he's always looked for the right match where there was a way that METALLICA could contribute to some project of theirs. This was the right fit, with Sean leading the calvary, and with James Newton Howard and his track record, and what he's done."
Ulrich went on to say that he is excited to work with Howard, who is an eight-time Oscar nominee, having been recognized for films such as "The Fugitive", "Michael Clayton" and "The Village".
"James Newton Howard, the man, the myth, the absolute legend," Ulrich said. "Considering what's he's done, it's an absolute honor to have done this with him, and we're excited for the world to hear it. It's kind of an interesting morph, because it's kind of — and I don't want to give too much of it away — but it's a very unusual morph in that it's kind of his arrangement of 'Nothing Else Matters' that we're playing. We wrote the song, but he took the song and rearranged it to fit something specific in the film — and obviously, I'm not going to give any of that away — but we then kind of took on his version of it. I think that's all that should be said."
The possibility of METALLICA contributing to the "Jungle Cruise" movie was first raised this past June when Mitchell Leib, the president of music and soundtracks for The Walt Disney Studios, told The Entertainment Outlet that he was working with Ulrich on the film. Howard created an orchestral version of "Nothing Else Matters", which is set to feature in the film in two key places, for a total of about seven minutes, to set up the film's back story.
Leib said: "I came up with the idea of, let's have some fun, and why don't we take your tracks up to METALLICA's studio in San Francisco, and why don't we have Lars do the drum tracks, and James Hetfield do some of the guitars, and have Rob [Trujillo]… and so I'm dealing with METALLICA right now, and as well as helping him [Lars] become an Academy member."
"Jungle Cruise" stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Due on July 30, 2021, the film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and revolves around skipper Frank Wolff (Johnson) and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton (Blunt),the latter of whom travels from London to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank's questionable services to guide her downriver in his beat-up boat La Quila. Her quest: to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities that could transform modern medicine, if it doesn't end up in the wrong hands.