"James was an incredible human being," Fuqua tells NPR's All Things Considered. "He was a filmmaker through and through. He was one of the most gentle people I've ever met. Even the way he spoke was very soft and thoughtful. He was magical. He had this childlike wonderment in his eyes, but he was an amazing artist, an amazing poet. I loved him and we became friends. James was a family man. He loved his children. He called me on a Saturday after he watched Southpaw, and I said, 'I don't have any money,' because it wasn't a big budget movie. And he said to me. 'I love the movie. I love the father-daughter relationship. Don't worry about the money, I'm just going to do it.' And he did it for nothing. He paid his crew out of his own pocket."
And while Horner's death might have ended that collaboration, it turns out that he had one more generous contribution to Fuqua's career.
"I just found out a few days ago – his team flew out here, to Baton Rouge, and they brought me all the music for The Magnificent Seven. He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, 'Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it's just glorious.'" While it is certainly unusual – though not unheard of – for a composer to write based on a script, the final cut of the film might require some tweaking or additional music. But with luck, we will get to hear Horner's music when The Magnificent Seven arrives in UK cinemas on 13 January 2017. For the full interview with Fuqua, head to NPR's site.