James Newton Howard has taken over scoring duties on the dramatic thriller The Tourist starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. He is replacing composer Gabriel Yared who has already recorded music for the movie in London earlier this year. The movie directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Live of Others) revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart and Elise, an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path. The recording sessions for the score have recently started in Los Angeles and the movie is scheduled to be released on December 10 by Sony Pictures.

The Tourist is just one of many projects the composer has coming out in the next couple of months. As previously reported, James Newton Howard is also currently working on the score for Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants. This month will also see the release of Edward Zwick’s romantic comedy drama Love and Other Drugs for Fox which Newton Howard recorded earlier this year in London. According to our sources, the movie has roughly 20 minutes of score and features vocals by Vonda Sheppard. Also coming up in January is the coming book adaptation The Green Hornet which is a scoring assignment that Howard took over from Danny Elfman who had to step down due to a scheduling conflict. In the Michel Gondry movie starring Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz and Christoph Waltz, debonair newspaper publisher Britt Reid fights crime as a masked superhero known as The Green Hornet. Sony Pictures has a January 14, 2011 release date scheduled for the movie. Finally, the animation Gnomeo and Juliet which features songs and score by Elton John and James Newton Howard is coming out in February 2011.