Much of the time, the musical scores of superhero films are as outsized as their subjects. One need only hear the opening bars of John Williams’ classic opening theme for Superman or the pounding drums of Hans Zimmer’s Batman Begins score to evoke Metropolis or Gotham City.
For all its good qualities, 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man sported a fairly lackluster example of the usually bombastic superhero score. Perhaps this is why that film’s composer, James Horner, has been switched out in favor of the aforementioned Zimmer for its sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Intriguingly, it looks like Zimmer will actually receive help on the film’s music with an somewhat unusual source – veteran rapper, producer, and composer Pharrell Williams.
In an interview with Billboard, Pharrell revealed that he will be working closely with Hans Zimmer on the score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This would not be the first time Pharrell has worked with Zimmer – the pair have worked together multiple times, including on the scores for Man of Steel and the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012.
A prolific artist of multiple talents, Pharrell is currently best known for his recent collaborations on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” two songs that have dominated charts and airwaves in 2013. Despite this recent fame, Pharrell has been an active as the voice of funk/hip-hop band N.E.R.D. and production duo The Neptunes for over a decade. He has collaborated on projects with Madonna, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and many more.
The exact extent and nature of Pharrell’s collaboration on the score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is unknown. He may take a role similar to the one he had on Despicable Me 2, a film for which he wrote several original songs (and received an Annie Award nomination as a result). Or, Pharrell could take on a full co-composer position along with Zimmer – surely a coup for that portion of his career and for the character of the resultant soundtrack.
After the bland-but-serviceable score for The Amazing Spider-Man, bringing on the combination of a highly in-demand, major film composer and an up-and-coming producer-performer could be quite the shot in the arm for its sequel. Whether it’s original songs or simply behind-the-scenes production, Pharrell’s involvement is yet another aspect of what’s shaping up to be a movie more interesting than the average follow-up.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will drop into theaters on May 2nd, 2014.