Spanish composer Roque Banos brings his mastery for creating bone-chilling aural suspense to Spike Lee's re-imagination of Chan-wook Park's cult South Korean provocative thriller Oldboy, in theaters on November 27 from FilmDistrict. Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L. Jackson, Oldboy tells the story of Joe Doucett (Brolin), an advertising executive who is mysteriously kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When Joe is inexplicably released, he embarks on a path of revenge to discover who orchestrated his bizarre punishment. An award-winning and highly coveted composer in the United States and Spain, Banos recently received rave reviews from horror aficionados for his emotionally-charged, choral infused score in Fede Alvarez's reboot of Evil Dead. In capturing the fall and rise of a crushed, innocent man in Oldboy, Banos remarkably wrote and scored 35045]Oldboy in under a month's time, and conducted it with the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra in Slovakia.
Spike Lee tapped Banos for Oldboy based on the composer's mesmerizing work in Evil Dead. While contemporary string textures were one of the prime instrumental highlights in Evil Dead, for Oldboy Banos relied upon electronic instruments in creating looping rhythms, which he then combined with strings, brass and percussion.
Banos wrote two main themes used throughout Oldboy, one for the suppressed protagonist Joe and the second for the acerbic villain Adrian Pryce (Sharlto Copley). Says Banos, "Adrian's theme is dark, but also sad because of his past. Joe's theme has a touch of epic given his heroic rise. It's not an entirely epic theme because it has touches of emotion and revenge. Hitting the emotion was key as Oldboy follows the transition of a man who has been confined for 20 years who then becomes more serious. He finds a lot in his life."
Like his father, Banos became a saxophonist and studied music at a very early age at Upper Music Conservatory of Murcia, Spain. He earned several degrees in various aspects of music at the Real Conservatorio Superior in Madrid before continuing on to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Banos embraced film scoring and majored in composition and jazz. Banos received several Goya nominations and three wins (Spanish Academy Awards) for best original score as well as various accolades from the Spanish Recording Academy of Music and the Cinema Writer Circle Awards. Since 1998 when Banos scored his first feature Backroads directed by Emilio Martínez Lázaro, he has worked with Spain's most renowned directors such as Álex de la Iglesia, Daniel Monzón and Carlos Saura. Baños' thematic work can also be heard in Santiago Segura's notable Spanish action comedy Torrente franchise as well as the Oscar-nominated film Sexy Beast and the critically acclaimed Christian Bale drama thriller The Machinist. Banos is currently working on the score for the Ron Howard historical epic Heart of the Sea based on the New York Times bestseller by Nathaniel Philbrick.