[UPDATE: Hans Zimmer has revealed he will not be scoring the film and was never approached in the first place.]
Composer Hans Zimmer frequently collaborates with Christopher Nolan, and it always seemed like a strong possibility that he might score the upcoming Superman reboot, The Man of Steel. Zimmer previously offered his thoughts on whether or not the iconic themes by John Williams should be utilized for the upcoming reboot film, but gave no confirmation of his involvement.
Zimmer is one of the most in-demand composers currently working and now Thompson on Hollywood is reporting that after he finishes working on the scores for Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Sherlock Holmes 2, and Kung-Fu Panda 2, Zimmer will compose the music for The Man of Steel. (I’m not sure this guy has enough on his plate.)
Nolan and director Zack Snyder are rebuilding the Superman film franchise from the ground up, so unlike Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns – any nods to previous films seems extremely unlikely. I think it’s safe to assume that includes the score.
Here’s what Zimmer said back in October regarding the approach he favored:
“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.’ So I think ultimately you’re supposed to reinvent.”
The Man of Steel is rumored to be a Clark-centric story that focuses on the mild-mannered reporter traveling the globe and coming to terms with his destiny. If that’s true, it sounds incredibly similar to the series Superman: Birthright. Yet, Snyder previously commented that Man of Steel isn’t based on any Superman comic. Regardless, if a total reinvention is the name of the game, it just doesn’t make sense to use any of John Williams’ music. Here’s why:
That theme music is just too closely associated with past films and with Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Superman. I know many fans probably feel that there’s no way to top a piece of music so completely perfect for the character (and that might be true), but as Zimmer stated – this won’t be the first time he’s been tasked with following up an iconic score.
As a matter of personal taste, I largely prefer Danny Elfman’s Batman scores to Zimmer’s work on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight – but I also realize that anything resembling Elfman’s music would have sounded wildly out of place in Nolan’s films. They had a different tone, style, and sensibility.
If Man of Steel is as different from past Superman films as Batman Begins was from prior Batman movies (and it should be), it’s going to require an entirely different musical approach. Something that’s still suitable for the character, but immediately recognizable as its own entity.
Is Zimmer qualified to deliver such a score? I do prefer him to Snyder’s usual composer, Tyler Bates, and I have no doubt he’ll bring something unique to the table; however, to be totally honest, I was keeping my fingers crossed for Michael Giacchino (Star Trek, Up). It was a long shot, I know. Zimmer has a tendency to recycle cues from past work, and his formerly distinctive style is now being imitated by countless other composers.
Update: Judging by the comments on this article, many of you will be relieved to know that Zimmer has spoken to THR and revealed he is NOT scoring the film. He insists he’s never even met Zack Snyder and that it’s his affiliation with Nolan that lead to this story gaining traction. Furthermore, Zimmer suggests that even if were approached he would still turn down the opportunity:
No! Absolutely not! You know, I can’t even remember ever talking about Superman. It’s a little bit, you know, it’s a little bit like “guilty by association” isn’t it? How can I say it: My heart belongs to Batman. I wouldn’t even know how to go and give voice to it. I haven’t thought about it.
Anyone that was put out by this news can officially relax. But if Zimmer isn’t scoring The Man of Steel, who should get the job?
Update Source: THR.