A never-heard-before, totally new and different version of METALLICA's classic song "Nothing Else Matters" appears twice in Disney's new movie "Jungle Cruise".
METALLICA stated about the track's inclusion in the film: "It was an honor to work with renowned, legendary composer James Newton Howard as we reimagined the song by performing his arrangement and creating a rendition we like to think is fit for an excursion through the Amazon.
"The film stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt who take the fan favorite ride and transform it to a theatrical adventure. Not only are we big fans of Disney, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with Howard, an eight-time Oscar nominee who has been recognized for films such as 'The Fugitive', 'Michael Clayton', and 'The Village'.
"Our collaboration with Howard will be featured on the film's soundtrack, available to stream or download on your favorite music platforms tomorrow."
It was last September that METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich first confirmed the band was working with James Newton Howard on an orchestral version of "Nothing Else Matters" for the "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 was excited to work with Howard.
"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 in June 2020 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 features 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."
Inspired by the famous Disneyland theme park ride, Disney's "Jungle Cruise" is an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank's questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila — his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities — possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate — and mankind's — hangs in the balance.
Jaume Collet-Serra directs the film, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, with Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti. The producers are John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment; Dwayne Johnson, Hiram Garcia and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions; and Beau Flynn of Flynn Picture Co., with Scott Sheldon and Doug Merrifield serving as executive producers. The story is by John Norville and Josh Goldstein and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and the screenplay is by Michael Green and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
Disney's "Jungle Cruise" will be released in U.S. theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 30, 2021.