A new video recuts the official Justice League trailer by bringing in Danny Elfman’s classic theme from Tim Burton’s Batman. Following a largely negative reception to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. and DC Films wanted to make it clear Justice League was going to be a change in style and tone. After quickly reworking the film and lifting a set visit embargo early, they’ve been able to maintain a largely positive outlook for the film. But, heartbreaking news of Zack Snyder stepping away from the project was followed with Joss Whedon being brought in to finish the film – where he will reportedly finish Snyder’s vision.
Even with Whedon being brought in at the request of Snyder and his involvement starting before Snyder left, fans of the polarizing director were worried that the final product would be closer to a Whedon movie and not one from Snyder. This shift in the film’s direction may have been further emphasized with Danny Elfman replacing Junkie XL as the film’s composer, and now fans can hear how his musical style fits with Snyder’s action.
ScreenCrush recut the official first trailer for Justice League to see how well Elfman meshes with what we’ve already seen. In doing so, the video featured at the top of this post not only adds Elfman’s theme from Burton’s Batman, but also makes some other modifications. Stripping out most of the dialogue, changing the order of scenes, and removing Junkie XL’s rendition of “Come Together” makes this trailer leave a very different impression.
While the trailer opens the same way, Ben Affleck’s monologue is completely removed. Elfman’s score still allows the imagery to work as the scenes shown are building towards the finale, just as the theme itself. Since the new version clocks in at 1 minute and 38 seconds, it is almost a full minute shorter than the official trailer. The score does drastically change the tone of the trailer with the use of Elfman’s Batman theme making this feel more grand, whereas Junkie XL’s version had an electricity to it that pumps up viewers.
This test just goes to show how different of stylings the two composers have, but in no way indicates a tonal shift for Justice League that some have been worried about. Elfman was hired on for a specific reason and maybe it was to use callbacks to his original theme while making the film feel less like rock n’ roll, but it could also just be to better fit Whedon’s sensibilities and the tonal shift will not be as large. What will be truly telling is the next trailer (expected at San Diego Comic-Con), and with Elfman already in the fold, it is not out of the question for some part of his score to be included then and be the true litmus test for how well the composer fits with Justice League.
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