John Ottman
Ottman in 2011
Ottman in 2011
Background information
Born (1964-07-06) July 6, 1964 (age 59)
San Diego, California, U.S.
GenresFilm score
Occupation(s)Composer and film editor
Years active1993–present

John Ottman (born July 6, 1964) is an American film composer, director, and editor. He is best known for collaborating with director Bryan Singer, composing and/or editing many of his films, including Public Access (1993), The Usual Suspects (1995), Superman Returns (2006), Valkyrie (2008) and Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), as well as the X-Men film series. For his work on Singer's 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Ottman won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

Life and career

Ottman was born in San Diego, California. Growing up in San Jose, Ottman made many amateur films garnering local attention in the community. He attended De Anza College and then transferred to the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California, where he graduated in 1988.[1][2] One of his first assignments was to provide original music for the computer game I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. In 2007, Ottman appeared in the documentary Finding Kraftland for his agent Richard Kraft.

He is best known for his multi-tasking as editor and composer for Bryan Singer's films, and on a few occasions, producer roles to boot. The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X2, Superman Returns (including adapting themes originally composed by John Williams), Valkyrie, Jack the Giant Slayer, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. Other notable films he worked on as composer are Snow White: A Tale of Terror, the 2005 remake of House of Wax, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Fantastic Four and its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Invasion, and Astro Boy.

He also directed (in addition to editing and scoring) the 2000 horror film Urban Legends: Final Cut. He won a BAFTA Award for Best Editing for The Usual Suspects, as well as two Saturn Awards for Best Music for The Usual Suspects and Superman Returns. In 2019, he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Editing and won the ACE Eddie Award and the Academy Award his work on Bohemian Rhapsody, a film Ottman saw through on his own after both directors' departure (Bryan Singer being fired and Dexter Fletcher beginning pre-production on "Rocketman" shortly after finishing the shoot.) Ottman navigated the film's development in post and the tricky waters between film-maker and studio, working with producer Graham King and Dennis O'Sullivan. Upon Bohemian Rhapsody getting nominated for, and winning its Best Editing awards, a scene of the band outside a pub went viral online after a post by Youtuber Thomas Flight, who was critical of the editing style. Ottman, aware of the clip, explained that for a test screening, a heightened pace for the first act was asked for by the studio. After the test, Ottman returned the scene to its original pace and design. Ottman regretted that he missed returning the scene outside the pub closer to his original version. The scene (directed by Fletcher) contained no master shot of the band at the table.[3]



Feature films
Year Title Director Notes Distributed by
1993 Public Access Bryan Singer Occidental Studios
1995 The Usual Suspects Spelling Films International
Gramercy Pictures
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Night Train John Coven Short film
The Antelope Chess Game Lance Tracy
1996 The Cable Guy Ben Stiller Columbia Pictures
1997 Snow White: A Tale of Terror Michael Cohn PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Interscope Communications
Incognito John Badham Warner Bros. Pictures
1998 Goodbye Lover Roland Joffé
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later Steve Miner Themes by: Miramax Films
Apt Pupil Bryan Singer TriStar Pictures
1999 Lake Placid Steve Miner 20th Century Fox
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Himself Also director Columbia Pictures
2001 Bubble Boy Blair Hayes Buena Vista Pictures
2002 Pumpkin Anthony Abrams
Adam Larson Broder
United Artists
Eight Legged Freaks Ellory Elkayem Warner Bros. Pictures
Trapped Luis Mandoki Columbia Pictures
2003 X2 Bryan Singer 20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment
Gothika Mathieu Kassovitz Composed with: Warner Bros. Pictures
Columbia Pictures
2004 Cellular David R. Ellis New Line Cinema
Imaginary Heroes Dan Harris Main theme only Sony Pictures Classics
Lonely Place Kevin Ackerman Short film
2005 Hide and Seek John Polson 20th Century Fox
House of Wax Jaume Collet-Serra Warner Bros. Pictures
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Shane Black
Fantastic Four Tim Story 20th Century Fox
2006 Superman Returns Bryan Singer Themes by: Warner Bros. Pictures
2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Tim Story 20th Century Fox
The Invasion Oliver Hirschbiegel
James McTeigue
Warner Bros. Pictures
2008 Valkyrie Bryan Singer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
2009 Orphan Jaume Collet-Serra Warner Bros. Pictures
Astro Boy David Bowers Summit Entertainment
2010 The RRF in New Recruit Short film
Astro Boy vs. The Junkyard Pirates
The Losers Sylvain White Warner Bros. Pictures
Halloween: The Night He Came Back Eric Iyoob
Darla Rae
Short film Film It Productions
2011 The Resident Antti Jokinen Image Entertainment
Unknown Jaume Collet-Serra Composed with: Warner Bros. Pictures
Optimum Releasing
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer Bryan Singer Warner Bros. Pictures
2014 Non-Stop Jaume Collet-Serra Universal Pictures
X-Men: Days of Future Past Bryan Singer 20th Century Fox
2016 The Nice Guys Shane Black Composed with: Warner Bros. Pictures
X-Men: Apocalypse Bryan Singer 20th Century Fox
Year Title Director Notes Distributed by
1998 Fantasy Island Michael Dinner TV series theme and pilot score Columbia TriStar Television
2002 Brother's Keeper John Badham Television film USA Network
Point of Origin Newton Thomas Sigel HBO Films
2015 Battle Creek Bryan Singer Episode: "The Battle Creek Way" CBS Television Studios
Sony Pictures Television
2017 The Gifted Bryan Singer 20th Television
Video documentaries
Year Title Director Notes Distributed by
2002 Round Up: Deposing The Usual Suspects MGM Home Entertainment
2003 Evolution in the Details: The Design of X2 Short 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
The Second Uncanny Issue of X-Men! Making X2
2004 Celling Out Jeffrey Schwarz Short New Line Home Entertainment
Dialing Up Cellular
Video games
Year Title Director Notes Distributed by
1995 I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream David Mullich Cyberdreams

MGM Interactive

Other credits

Year Title Director Notes
1988 Lion's Den Bryan Singer
1993 Public Access
1995 The Usual Suspects
1998 Apt Pupil
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Himself With Rob Kobrin
2003 X2 Bryan Singer With Elliot Graham
2006 Superman Returns
2008 Valkyrie
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer With Bob Ducsay
2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past
2016 X-Men: Apocalypse With Michael Louis Hill
2018 Bohemian Rhapsody Academy Award Winner - Best Film Editing / BAFTA Award Nomination - Best Editing
Year Title Director Notes
1988 Lion's Den Himself Directed with:
  • Bryan Singer
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Also composer
Year Title Director Notes
1998 Apt Pupil Bryan Singer Associate producer
2008 Valkyrie Executive producer
2013 Jack the Giant Slayer Associate producer
2016 X-Men: Apocalypse Co-producer


See also


  1. ^ "Notable Alumni" Archived 2009-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, webpage of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, retrieved April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ "De Anza Alum Wins Oscar".
  3. ^ "'Bohemian Rhapsody' Editor is as Embarrassed About that One Scene as You Are". /Film. March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  4. ^ The Marvels Press Kit Final