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Oscars Predictions: Original Score – Daniel Pemberton’s ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ is the Dark Horse for Statuette

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Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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2024 Oscars Predictions:
Best Original Score

Melinda Sue Gordon

Weekly Commentary (Updated Dec. 21, 2023): After Sony Pictures brought the house down with the live orchestra concert for “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (you can watch clips above) at the Academy Museum, the movie is picking up steam.

There was lots of diversity of genres in the Oscar shortlist, which included the animation medium, getting a huge boost with “Spider-Verse” landing in song, sound, visual effects, and score, which also had GKids’ “The Boy and the Heron” composer Joe Hisaishi. With Sony putting a concerted effort to get the fourth animated best picture nominee, which would also be the first non-Disney flick, it is one step closer to that ultimate goal.

In the music categories are compositions from Ludwig Göransson (“Oppenheimer“) and the late Robbie Robertson (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) were among the named. We also have a fair amount of veterans including Thomas Newman (“Elemental”) and John Williams (“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”).

Notable is the diversity among the composers that made the shortlist including Black composers Jon Batiste (“American Symphony”) and Kris Bowers (“The Color Purple”), female legendary musician Laura Karpman (“American Fiction”) and nonbinary and Oscar nominee for “Jackie,” Mica Levi (“The Zone of Interest”). Mark Orton being named for “The Holdovers” was also a surprise, considering many believed it didn’t qualify to be submitted. A fine choice by the branch.

The were 149 music scores eligible for the Academy Award.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

The submission deadline for general categories is Nov. 15, 2023. The preliminary shortlist for eight categories is from Dec. 14-18, with the results announcement dropping on Dec. 21. The Oscar nomination period will run from Jan. 11-16, 2024, with the official nominees named on Jan. 23.

The 96th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 10.

***The list below is not final and will be updated throughout the awards season.


And the Predicted Nominees Are:


  1. Laura Karpman — “American Fiction” (MGM)
  2. Michael Giacchino — “Society of the Snow” (Netflix)
  3. Kris Bowers — “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)
  4. Jerskin Fendrix — “Poor Things” (Searchlight Pictures)
  5. Anthony Willis— “Saltburn” (Amazon MGM Studios)

Other Top-Tier Possibilities


  1. Thomas Newman – “Elemental” (Pixar)
  2. Mica Levi — “The Zone of Interest” (A24)
  3. Mark Orton — “The Holdovers” (Focus Features)
  4. Jon Batiste — “American Symphony” (Netflix)
  5. John Williams — “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Eligible Titles (Alphabetized by Studio)**


2022 category winner: “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix) — Volker Bertelmann

** indicates an unconfirmed release date in 2023 or could campaign in the lead or supporting categories. All release dates are subject to change.

Oscars Predictions Categories

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | BEST ACTOR | BEST ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

About the Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.