Hans Zimmer to Score Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:59 pm,

hans zimmer superman Hans Zimmer to Score Zack Snyders Man of Steel

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.’”

First Image of Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel Hans Zimmer to Score Zack Snyders Man of Steel

Henry Cavill as the 'Man of Steel'

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 ManThe 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.


Source: Variety

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  1. Who didn’t see this coming was just waiting for the official announcement lol.

    I want it to feel like his Gladiator score. Think he will be able to work something up in time for comic-con?

  2. Lets give some up and comers a shot now and again. Hans Zimmer is good but not a god like everyone and their sister thinks he is. He reuses material like its his job.. I do like some of his stuff. I just wish we could get some fresh ideas into the mix.

    • This could be his time to something fresh since Superman and Batman are different.

    • Sorry, that’s where you’re really REALLY wrong. Hans Zimmer is just as good as his reputation – and the last thing anyone would do is give an incredible franchise like “Superman” to some far-less experienced composer.
      How in the world would that possibly be a good idea?
      Yes, get the guy who gave the Joker a theme that only used two ascending notes…
      Zimmer’s THE guy to do this movie. Warner Bros. got him because they had to.

      • I think Zimmer is one of the best movie composers in the biz (and I’m happy that he got the job), but he does re-use a lot of his material… I’m sorry, but that’s just a fact (if you listen to Inception, BB (& TDK), the Pirates flicks and Sherlock Holmes’ scores back-to-back, you will find more similarities than there should be)

        I’m hoping we’ll see something more original for MoS…

        • “he does re-use a lot of his material”….AGREE !

  3. I am thrilled that he’s onboard for MOS. I love the “Inception”, BB, and TDK soundtracks and am hopeful he’ll bring that same excellence now…

  4. great, now nolan fans are going to become snyder fans ;P

    jokes aside, this movie will now have great visuals and a score that will allure viewers into the scene, i guess that’s why a lot of people ‘love’ nolan’s batman movies ;)

    • This Nolan fan is already a Snyder fan. Dawn Of The Dead, on-wards.

  5. YES, that’s awesome.

  6. I feel sorry for the guy, honestly. No matter how good it sounds people will likely not accept it. That John Williams theme has been synonymous with Superman for, what will be 35 years by the time this movie comes out. Even the Batman comparison pales next to Superman, much like the comics those movies set the standard for CBM’s. That opening plays and people instantly know, it’s Superman.

    • something tells me he will pay tribute to it. at the very least. I mean, you almost have to. That’d be like redoing Star Wars and not at the very least using some of Williams music. (oh crap shouldn’t have said that, now George Lucas will do it!) No but seriously, to not at least pay a little tribute to John Williams would be a crime

      • Totally agree here, it’s similar to how Smallville, while from time to time playing segments from the Williams theme (the two prime examples are the first time Christopher Reeve appeared on the show, and then the very last scene of the series) but still carried its own theme music throughout, which acknowledged what had come before, while still being its own.

    • I cannot agree more. I understand someone has to come in and score this movie, but nothing will replace Williams. In fact, I would hope at least the main parts of the iconic theme has a place somewhere in this film. You can “re-imagine” all you want for the 21st century. It does not mean everything that came before it is completely useless. The theme is timeless and synonymous with the character. And yes, it is ridiculous to even make Batman comparisons. Superman is the ultimate superhero franchise.

    • Agreed. No one should ever have to follow a John Williams Legacy unless they are allowed to incorporate and build upon it (like the various Harry potter Soundtracks did).

      Personally I think the newest Batman soundtracks have been unbelievably boring. I think I could have done as good a job using some collection of stock music for small video production houses.

      I enjoyed the inception soundtrack, but everything else I have heard from Zimmer has been snore-riffic.

      They should tap Elfman. I would like to see his take on Superman after his AMAZING soundtrack for Batman.

      • Oh or wait I would also love to hear something from Murray Gold. His Doctor Who music is deep, iconic, and amazing.

      • I found the BB and TDK soundtracks to be dramatic, haunting, intense, and beautifully composed.

        Elfman’s music, while entertaining, is what I find to be consistently repetitive.

        • Are you seriously comparing THE John Williams to Danny Elfman? That is sacrilege. See I do want Zimmer to make a soundtrack that will capture the essence of the film that Snyder and Nolan are making. However, I also want him to pay tribute to the great theme that was composed by one of the greatest composers of our time, and possibly of all time. Elfman is good, but to compare his work to that of William’s isn’t… no words can describe what it is! Williams is in a class of his own, and Zimmer (I believe) is the only modern composer who can even come close to him. Maybe Michael Giacchino, but his compositions aren’t as well known or well done.

          I do agree with you to some degree on what you are saying however, Elfman’s was iconic. Zimmer just compossed a better score than Elfman. However, I have a hard time believing that Zimmer can top Williams. We shall have to see.

          • No. I’m comparing the repetitiveness of Elfman’s music versus the repetitiveness of Zimmer’s. Williams did not even come into play in my comment.

            My response directly responded to Chad’s belief that the BB/TDK soundtracks were boring, while the “Batman”/”Batman Returns” soundtracks were “AMAZING”.

            I simply disagreed with him.

            WHERE did you get the idea I was comparing ANYONE to Williams?

      • Great point about Harry Potter!

  7. ok um… not sure if you knew this Sandy, but ahhh the first Pirates movie was not done by Zimmer. The score was done by Klaus Badelt. Just saying. The third movie I would agree was repetitive, however the second movie he had to take the themes that Badelt had created and reinvent them to fit the feel of 2 and 3. Also repetition is not necessarily a bad thing. Often times it helps keep a theme in the movie, and movies like Rango benefit from having a theme to stitch the movie together, to give it a certain feel.
    On a different note, I think Zimmer is the next John Williams.

    • My apologies – Zimmer did work on the music for the first Pirates movie (as an editor/producer), but didn’t actually compose the main theme (I always forget that). That bit’s been corrected.

      I should also clarify that my comment was referring to Zimmer repeating his work from previous films. Specifically, I recall certain themes in Rango sounded a bit *too* much like the music in Sherlock Holmes, at times – even though I actually enjoyed the soundtracks for both, overall.

      • Ahhh that makes more sense with the repetition thing u were talking about. I do agree Rango and Sherlock Holmes have a similar soud

  8. how long has this been in post production?

  9. This movie is just getting better and better. Can’t wait!

  10. My favorite beginning to any film.
    Thanks to John Williams masterpiece.

  11. This should be good!

  12. Great news!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Zimmerman had a wait and see attitude about Man Of Steel and perhaps he was shown some footage that won him over?

    It would be kind of heartbreaking if they don’t use the John Williams theme song in at least one form or another, then again the 2009 Star Trek had a great score that stood on its own merits without using the classic theme.

  13. who the hell is Zimmerman??? and how hard is it to get someones name right, i mean…seriously!

    • Bwah! :)

      I would blame it on my adult onset dyslexia, if there were such a thing…

      • Well when you get it, tell me how I can get it lol

  14. Terrific news!
    I think Zimmer is a perfect choice for MoS (a no-brainer actually) and from the way MoS is shaping up to be, I think his style would go hand-in-hand with the film…

    Like I’ve said in my above comment though, I do hope that he’ll compose a more original score with this one – I would love to see a tribute to John Williams’ iconic theme, but other than that, keep it fresh I think.

  15. Despite watching Superman, I forgot the theme song, had to youtube it….I don’t know how it’s going to fit in a Snyder Movie, especially with the direction they seem to be going….

    • Well its going to be a new sound isn’t it. They aren’t using the old music for this. People are saying he’ll use the old one a little but I doubt it. That’s all just talk. New music please. Lets move on.

  16. John Williams is the man. Ive never been the biggest fan of Zimmer. His movies sound very similar and way to much “rock” for my taste. But then again Williams is known for stealing a lot of themes from great classical pieces….

    Go to YouTube and watch “holst’s The Planets: Mars” and let me know if that sounds familiar

    • Williams didn’t really steal that. Actually if we wanted to be technical, Star Trek stole it WAY before Star Wars. The Planet symphonies is what has defined the sound of outer space. John Carter’s soundtrack sounded like that symphony, the Prometheus soundtrack had parts of it infused in it. Its just how it works. haha. Williams is still a genius whichever way you slice it :)

  17. i think he did the soundtrack for kung fu panda. that was very different from his usual work. so i have faith he’ll come up with something good AND different for this. considering he already recognizes what a big deal the superman theme is.

  18. This movie just got twice as good. The Williams script is iconic, but it’s dated. I’m sure Mr. Zimmer will come up with something that’s no less than genius.

    • Dated? It’s classic. And for a very good reason. People will still be humming Williams Superman theme for decades to come. I don’t think I have ever heard anyone whistling along to the TDK score.

      Williams music for the character is totally and utterly synonymous with the character, as much as his red pants… Oh wait, they’re gone too. That piece of music is as important to Superman as Alfred is to Batman.

      You called it “Iconic” That’s because it is, in every possible way.

      • Abe Lincoln’s stove top hat is iconic, but I don’t see anyone wearing one. And at the end of the day, it’s not like the Williams score – or anything else that came before Man of Steel – will be forgotten, or invalidated or burned like books in the town from Footloose. You can still watch and like them. What if art just stopped anytime someone, “Wait. It’s perfect the way it is; no more of that”?

        • YES!

          Exactly, Eric.

          I LOVE the John Williams “Superman” theme…it IS iconic. It cannot, however, be the only theme ever recognized for a hero that must also remain fresh to remain relevant. Aspects may change while keeping the essence familiar and true.

          That is simply the nature of art.

          BTW, I do not think the current music is dated, BUT I DO feel perfectly comfortable with and understanding of the fact that a reboot requires new music…otherwise, it’s NOT a reboot.

      • I will have to agree with Dr. Sam on this one. Williams composed many themes that are synonymous with their films. For example, Jurassic Park, ET, Superman, STAR WARS (HELLO????), Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List, Home Alone, heck he has even composed a few theme’s for the Olympics!
        Now if we were to go back and reboot Star Wars, this would not even be a discussion. If George Lucas were to have Zimmer do the score, he would have to keep the opening theme at the very least. If he didn’t I am pretty sure that the entire population of the world would kill him XD. That is the same deal here with Superman. Williams has composed one of THE most iconic themes of all time. Tribute must be paid in some fashion.
        And Im all for Zimmer doing a new re-imagining of the sound of Superman, but he must pay some sort of tribute at the very least to the great theme that Williams composed.
        I do think Zimmer will do that, he isn’t stupid. haha

        • Look at the new Star Trek. Great original score, yet it did a great job of using the old theme music at certain points.

    • @ Eric Nixon

      It’s dated? I doubt that when i know people who that score on their cell phones when they ring & my co-workers & i still hum to that score every once in awhile. Lol, even one of my supervisors whistles Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor’s tune.

  19. Several of today’s active film composers cut their teeth under Hans Zimmer, so even when we aren’t getting him we have his tutelage and influence. Given the scope of his career, he’s had more hits than misses and remains iconic. I’ve no problem with his working on this film. I am disappointed, however, that James Newton Howard dropped out of TDKR. I wasn’t a fan of the Inception score that–apparently–made JNH back out of the one-two punch of HZ & Christopher Nolan.

  20. Awful choice. At least we know what the score will sound like. All of his other work.

    • You really don’t seem to like virtually anything about this film (yeah, yeah, I know: you DO like the costume)…are you even planning on seeing it? It’s a shame that you, as self-professed lover of the Superman character and mythos, cannot seem to hold out ANY hope for the film. Why?

      I understand that you don’t agree with some of the choices (okay…MOST of the choices) being made, but your THAT big a fan, shouldn’t you be holding out SOME hope for the release…just for the sake of getting to see Superman, live-action, back on the big screen? Please, BTW, don’t start with, “Yes, I want that, but I it done RIGHT.” We ALL want it done right, and there are many other people who don’t like how it’s developing who, while complaining about the problems they see, are AT LEAST hoping everything cleans up (whether miraculously or…somehow) by the film’s release…or they simply do not post on these threads (at least often).

      You’re not happy with MOS; you think it’s destroyed; you think it will be a disaster; you’re passionate about wanting a GOOD (nay, a GRAND) film and think THIS will not be it. Fine. You’re obviously entitled to your opinions, and bringing up concerns about the production is a good thing…but have you heard of that expression, “Too much of a good thing…”?

      You are ALWAYS negative on these threads. It’s depressing. Please, calm down…have hope.

      • …sigh.

        The second section: That should be: “but IF you’RE THAT big a fan…”


      • DOUBLE sigh.

        Also, second section: “‘Yes, I want that, but I WANT it done RIGHT.’”

        DOUBLE sheesh.

      • Why have I no hope? Because I, as a huge fan, don’t see anything resembling my childhood hero in this production. I may not love Nolan’s Batman films but I can recognise the quality involved and the casting is generally good (apart from the women) but with TMOS, I don’t even get that vibe.

        Maybe a trailer will help. But I don’t see one of those coming.

        I can see the whole thought process behind this film. “Let’s make it as much like The Dark Knight as possible. Dark and gritty. Yeah that fit’s Superman perfectly, we’ll get Nolan to produce, Goyer to write it, Zimmer to score it…”

        Do you see my point? And are you really happy about the choice of director?

        Why can’t we have a huge Superman movie, the scale of the Avengers? TMOS is Superman fighting Zod and Faora. Where’s Brainiac? Doomsday? Darkseid ? Metallo? Something new! Making it darker, isn’t new or original, it’s lazy.

        • Scale of the Avengers? How confusing would that be in a two hour time slot. .

          I strongly disagree with the lazy remark. This is nothing like the dark night, and yes they made the right choice with the director. Your negetivity and pre-determined conclusions are shameful considering the actual available information.

          Lets take a look at the optimistic side of the coin;
          - great cast (undeniable)
          - big budget (comic book movie must have)
          - One of the best visual directors of our generation supported by a great writing team
          - And now Hans Zimmer (whose late addition should only testify to the quality of this film)

          Why can’t “purists” understand that movies have to be made to make money and that no movie would ever satisfy there needs and wants? These remakes are not to compete with the original, they are to give the new generation a movie within the current criteria.

          Dr.Sam Beckett, I challenge you to detail the type of movie you think this should be (keeping in mind that it has to make money).

        • u cant compare The Avengers to TMOS. The Avengers is a team up movie and TMOS is a solo movie.

          also it make sense for Zod to be in TMOS cause its a reboot and origin story. Brainiac, Doomsday, Darkseid, and Metallo can come later when they do sequels.

        • I feel it important to clarify a few things.
          1) Warner and DC didn’t bring Nolan on board. He sought them out. He’s come out and said that. He’s even alluded to the idea that his coming back to finish his Batman trilogy was partly under the condition that this idea that David Goyer brought to him be the launchpad for the new Superman movie. He clearly thought there was something worthwhile in the concept, and despite your detractions, even you must admit that Nolan knows something about cinematic storytelling. I refuse to believe there is no hope in the concept of this movie.

          2) Zimmer seemed pretty adamant a year and a half ago that he wasn’t going to be a part of this project. Something changed his mind, and you have to be slightly curious as to what that was.

          3) How can you dispute the quality of casting for MoS? Henry Cavill is untested, I grant you that, but he so far looks the part. But leaving Cavill out of the equation, the supporting cast is pretty strong in it’s own right. I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Costner, but I’ll be damned if those midwestern, salt of the earth type characters aren’t his forte. Then you have Russell Crow, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Shannon. Award winners and respected thespians all.

          4) Zack Snyder. Does he have an impressive track record? No. The guy is the poster child for style over substance. But Snyder has something big to prove after Sucker Punch proved to be a disaster. And while Nolan isn’t being a hands on producer, I just don’t believe that Nolan is going to completely sit on the sidelines. If Snyder can be reined in and given some good areas of focus in what is hopefully a decent story by Goyer and Nolan, and if he can effectively bridge the gap between his hyperstylization and the more level headed and pragmatic Nolan approach, then this movie might be able to deliver on even the most die hard fan expectations (and for a guy who has been reading Superman books for 25 years, I think I fall into that category).

          I know an awful lot has to come together just right for this movie to be good, but if there is one thing you learn being a fan of Superman, is that hope can pay off. And the slimmer the chance, the bigger reward if it pays off.

          • Well said, sir

          • Excellent response, Barry.

          • “2) Zimmer seemed pretty adamant a year and a half ago that he wasn’t going to be a part of this project. Something changed his mind, and you have to be slightly curious as to what that was”


        • Pretty sure the trailer is gonna debut at Comic Con this year, maybe even with Dark Knight Rises.

          And come now, they’re not going to blow all those great villains on the first Superman movie, let’s do Zod and Faora first and save some for the sequels. They’ve got their hands full just telling Superman’s origins in this one.

        • @ Dr.SamBeckett

          I agree with ya.

          • Dr.Sam, I think I’d be worried about the director too if Nolan wasn’t producing. I think the worst thing we’ll get with this film is some bad slow motion shots that Snyder’s so fond of, but now that he’s not so focused on DKR, it’s entirely possible that Nolan’s throwing his attention to MoS, which might be why Zimmer finally got involved. And I don’t buy that he’s going to ‘go dark’ with Superman, that’s appropriate with Batman but not Superman. Nolan knows a good story, he doesn’t just ‘go dark’ as his solution to all his stories. The problem I think is that Nolan’s Batman films are pretty much for adults, which is great for adults, but I get it when you get panicky because your memory of Superman was defined by Christopher Reeve, a (slightly racy but) very child friendly take on the character and I mean that in a good way. I think the action will be epic not violent, and the score will be respectful of John Williams whether they use it in any incarnation or not. To have tried to update and use the Adam West Tv show theme song for the new movies would have been foolish, even though we all LOVED that song, but on the other hand anything Star Wars just doesn’t seem right without the familiar theme song march in there in some way or another. I think they’ll make the right choices. They basically got Superman’s outfit right, which is a really good sign for any Superman purist, and I’m talking about the collar and the emblem. Superman Returns got both of those hugely wrong and I knew it was an omen immediately that Singer and Co. didn’t get Superman’s core spirit.

            I’m optimistic until I see reason to feel otherwise. I’m pretty sure there will be no moral ambiguity with this Superman and he will stand up for truth, justice, and the American way and life in general, which is how it should always be.

            • “if Nolan wasn’t producing”

              He’s not on set every day looking over Snyder’s shoulder making sure he does a good job. He was busy filming TDKR.

              • He doesn’t have to be. The movie was Nolan and Goyer’s idea, they broke the story and all else followed. Snyder is making their film, not the other way around. Nolan cares way too much about his films to let Zack Snyder go running away with the production. Trust me.

        • Sam…

          The reason you seem to have NO hope about this film is that you complain constantly about most aspects of it…Even when you don’t outright complain, you’ll often throw in a backhanded compliment. You just SOUND (of course, speaking in terms of the fact that you’re typing, not speaking) hopeless.

          Many people are seeing all of the developments for this film as evidence that it WILL, in fact, be an epic film. You do not; that’s perfectly fine, but you’re adding an inescapable heaviness to the air of this thread (and related ones) by CONSTANTLY complaining.

          That is why I said what I did.

        • Exactly its not the Superman I grew up with!

  21. I’ll place a large bet that the majority of the soundtrack goes something like this:


  22. I had a feeling this would happen personally after watching Band of Brothers i would have suggested MIchael Kamen to be the composer, but i think Hans is terrific and he’s got some major shoes to fill after Williams so good luck to you Hans and Enjoy it.

    • Michael Kamen died in 2003 bro.

  23. This made me so happy!!! Hans Zimmer is great!

  24. I think the worst score for any comic book movie were the ones done for all the x-men films and the fantastic four films.

  25. great news

  26. Without doubt, the first truly positive news about Man Of Steel.

    Hans Zimmer is simply a magnificent composer. From Glory, The Last Samurai, The Rock, Inception. All ironically great films especially The Thin Red Line which was amazing.

    And please everyone, please watch The Power Of One if you can. Zimmer’s music truly soars and the movie is just incredible. One of the most underrated movies of the 90s for sure.

  27. Hans Zimmer’s scores all sound the same? Are we all talking about the same Hans Zimmer?

    • Whoops meant to write a little bit more on that. Maybe I just haven’t picked up on the similarities (or it’s also possible I haven’t listened to enough of his scores). Could someone give me the names of 2 tracks from two different movies that sounds similar?

      • Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean are basically the same. Listen to the first fight scene from Gladiator its the exact same as pirates of the Caribbean…

      • They do all sound the same. Pirates. Batman. Sherlock Holmes. Inception. The cues are identical on some of them, there are even snatches of the same music. I don’t need to hear his TMOS score because I’m sure I have heard most of it before.

  28. Good luck to Zimmerman, but John William’s Superman score will ALWAYS be iconic & a classic.

    • Yes, but maybe (just maybe) Zimmer can come up with a 21st century iconic “Superman” theme. I wish him luck…it WILL be difficult to follow Williams.

      • John Ottoman did a nice followup in Superman Returns.

  29. The Crimson Tide score is probably his masterpiece.