It's probably too early to call any of the Oscar races, and we won't know who the winners will be until they are read aloud when the show airs live on Sunday, February 27, but it's probably safe for Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor to clear off some space on his mantle for his Academy Award. Reznor is nominated for Best Original Score for his subtle, haunting contributions to "The Social Network" (which was directed by friend and collaborator David Fincher). He is going up against some stiff competition, including previous winners A.R. Rahman ("127 Hours") and Hans Zimmer ("Inception"), as well as four-time nominee Alexandre Desplat ("The King's Speech") and fellow first-timer John Powell ("How to Train Your Dragon"), so it won't necessarily be a walk in the park for Reznor (and partner Atticus Ross).
But considering the pair behind the score to "The Social Network" has already taken home the Golden Globe, Reznor and Ross definitely have a leg up. That would make it especially interesting for Reznor, who already has a Grammy (he scored one for Best Metal Performance for a live version of "Happiness in Slavery," which appeared on the Woodstock '94 album, which means that he'd be half way to an EGOT. The EGOT, of course, is the rare accomplishment wherein one performer wins an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony over the course of one career. Most of the winners are composers (music is versatile like that), so Reznor would fit right in.
So if he takes care of his Grammy and Oscar, how would Reznor go about scoring an Emmy and a Tony? The Emmy might be next, as Reznor is somewhere in the process of developing his "Year Zero" mini-series for HBO. The project is based on the 2007 Nine Inch Nails album of the same name and promises to be a dynamic, ambitious and thrilling bit of television that could easily make for killer awards bait when the time comes.
And while Reznor will probably be distracted by "Year Zero" and his work scoring "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (also directed by Fincher), he may be able to cram a stage show in there somewhere. But what should Reznor do? Is he a one man show kind of guy, or should one of his concept albums get adapted into a stage show a la "American Idiot"? In reality, probably neither of those ideas are good, and Reznor has never cared all that much about awards. Still, the possibilities are there, and no matter what his next move is, there's no doubt that it will be envelope-pushing.