ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

If you were a -loving child of the 90s, then there's no doubt that like me, you were delighted to learn that Nickelodeon was planning on bringing classic gameshow to life in a TV movie to be released on November 26.

While the film has removed the game show element of the series, the live-action movie will following three siblings as they work to conquer a obstacles after wandering off a boring temple tour (lead by original Legends host, Kirk Fogg!). Legends of the Hidden Temple will even bring back much-loved elements of the show such as Olmec (voiced by the original Olmec, Dee Bradley Baker!), the scary temple guards and as the trailer reveals - a green monkey!

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The film will clearly be a shade darker in tone than the upbeat game show series, and the tense musical score certainly reflects the shift. To get the inside scoop on what fans of the series should expect from the Legends of the Hidden Temple movie, Movie Pilot spoke with composer Paul E. Francis, the man responsible for the epic sound of the film.

Legends of the Hidden Temple composer, Paul E. Francis
Legends of the Hidden Temple composer, Paul E. Francis

Despite not being overly familiar with the original series due to growing up in the United Kingdom (though he has now watched a few episodes and concedes building the statue of the Silver Monkey is probably beyond his skill set), Francis knew from the moment he read the script that the Nickelodeon film would be a great fit for his music. After initially speaking with director Joe Menendez, Francis said the pair knew what direction they wanted the score to head in - a direction quite different to the original TV series.

"I had a conversation with Joe Menendez, he and I hit it off straight away as we both shared an appreciation for the same films and composers," Francis says. "I think it was clear that Nickelodeon and I had the same vision in terms of how we wanted to approach the music in Legends. We didn’t want it to be a lighthearted score; we wanted to make the audience feel the tension and a sense of danger. That’s what got me excited about the project."

The silver monkey returns in Legends of the Hidden Temple [Nickelodeon]
The silver monkey returns in Legends of the Hidden Temple [Nickelodeon]

But fear not die-hard fans, because Francis also let slip that the film definitely pays homage to the TV series. "We do reference the original theme once or twice within the film, but we wanted to be very clear that we are in our world with our version of events that are taking place," Francis said. He then went on to explain that given that the TV series had such upbeat, almost video game-like music, it made sense that the movie score would only hint at the original themes.

"The film is essentially an action/adventure movie and it required the score to be such. My personal disposition was more towards an orchestral, proactive approach in terms of style and we all agreed that once we had established the sound, we didn’t want to throw things out by suddenly shifting style. So without giving too much away, we do tilt our hat towards the original music, but then we move on and carry on with our own adventure."

Various scenes from Legends of the Hidden Temple [Nickelodeon]
Various scenes from Legends of the Hidden Temple [Nickelodeon]

As well as being influenced by composers such as John Williams (Indiana Jones franchise), Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future) and Jerry Goldsmith (Total Recall) Francis' also has experience scoring horror films, and all of this combined has meant Legends has an epic, yet tense, sound.

"When Nickelodeon hired me, part of my pitch to them was giving the score a darker element that would tighten the tension when needed. I think that is important. For example, if you were to take the score from any of the Indiana Jones movies and listened to it without picture, you could be forgiven for thinking elements of it was taken from a horror film. I took the same approach with Legends of the Hidden Temple."

Legends of the Hidden Temple [Nickelodeon]
Legends of the Hidden Temple [Nickelodeon]

"I grew up in the eighties when we had films like the Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, The Goonies," Francis says. "Even though I am very much up to date and in the present with modern production techniques, I still cannot help but be inspired by that golden period of film... As for Legends of The Hidden Temple we just really wanted to make it fun for old and new audiences and I think that is exactly what we've done."

Legends of the Hidden Temple will premiere on Nickelodeon at 8pm ET/PT on November 26, 2016


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