Back in fall 2010, it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion that Hans Zimmer would end up composing the Superman franchise reboot, Man of Steel. That film would mark the Oscar-winning composer’s fifth collaboration with Christopher Nolan (after the filmmaker’s Batman trilogy and Inception) – and the first live-action film directed by Zack Snyder to not feature musical accompaniment by Tyler Bates.
However, last winter, Zimmer revealed that he was not, in fact, onboard for Man of Steel (which Nolan produced and co-conceived the screen story for). At the time, Zimmer indicated that he might have to outright pass on Snyder’s retooling of the Superman film series, due to a scheduling conflict.
Variety is reporting Warner Bros. have finally tapped Zimmer to score Man of Steel (apparently, his schedule cleared up). The acclaimed musician finds himself in a position similar to the time he signed on to collaborate with James Newton Howard on the score for Batman Begins. There, the pair had to re-imagine “the sound” of the Batman franchise – which, throughout the 1990s, was largely defined by Danny Elfman’s iconic theme for Tim Burton’s Batman (back in 1989).
John Williams’ Oscar-nominated Superman theme has likewise cast an intimidating shadow on that movie franchise for over thirty years (since its premiere in 1978 with Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie). Here are some previous thoughts from Zimmer about following in Williams’ footsteps with Man of Steel:
“It’s a hard one, but I followed one of the most iconic things on ‘Batman’ with Chris [Nolan] as well, and it’s the same thing. You are allowed to reinvent, but you have to try to be as good or at least as iconic and it has to resonate and it has to become a part of the zeitgeist. That’s the job. On ‘Gladiator’ I remember people always talking about ‘Spartacus’ and I kept telling them, ‘When you saw “Spartacus” and how it affected it you, that’s how I want a modern audience to be affected by what we do now.’”
For the most part, this writer is a fan of Zimmer’s work. His sequel soundtracks occasionally leave something to be desired (especially on the Pirates of the Caribbean series) and Zimmer has a tendency to repeat himself, as was partly the case with the central themes in Sherlock Holmes and Rango (again, in this writer’s opinion). However, he has also produced some of the most memorable and recognizable blockbuster tunes in recent film history – including the main themes for Gladiator, Dark Knight, and Inception. Not to mention Zimmer’s contributions to the great film scores for Rain Man, The Lion King, Prince of Egypt, Black Hawk Down, and numerous others.
That’s all to say: there’s good reason to believe that Zimmer can devise a fitting theme that’ll help to redefine Superman for the 21st century in Man of Steel. He could therefore play a pivotal role in ushering in a new age of DC superhero movies in the process. Of course, feel free to voice your disagreement (or agreement) with that sentiment in the comments section.
Man of Steel will be released in theaters around the U.S. on June 14th, 2013.