Epic movies simply wouldn't be the same without their rousing scores. Think back on some of your favorite action films, even only your favorite moments, and then imagine them without any music accompaniment. Boring, right? And in the case of fight scenes, no music leaves only a soundtrack of smacking flesh, grunts, and heavy breathing - sounds that don't really lend themselves to any film's grand, cinematic spectacle.
In superhero movies, the music can be even more important, where heroes often come with their own musical themes. Whether it's the first moment they're introduced in full superhero garb or a scene where they need to rise above adversity - their theme is there, playing alongside their on screen exploits like a trusty sidekick. And when it comes to DC's cinematic superheroes, they've enjoyed some stellar and truly memorable themes, like John William's Superman theme and Danny Elfman's Batman score. Most recently, Hans Zimmer composed a new theme for Superman with Man of Steel, which will return in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. For Batman, Mad Max: Fury Road composer Junkie XL has the honor, and the first clip from his eagerly anticipated Batman theme has been released online. Give it a listen below.
Obviously, Junkie XL's theme is up against some tough competition, including Zimmer's own Batman theme from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy. But what's immediately noticeable about this Batman theme is the heavy percussion. It's not necessarily as defining as the percussion in Zimmer's Man of Steel Superman theme, but the fact that both are using drums to create a resounding rhythm throughout is interesting; almost as if the themes are hinting at Batman and Superman having more in common than not.
Beyond the percussion, Junkie XL's melody doesn't necessarily invoke any previous themes, instead giving Ben Affleck's Batman a worn and battle-tested sound. And after all, that's quite fitting for a Batman who's been operating as Gotham's protector for years by the time he and Superman come face to face. This theme certainly is exhilarating, but the hard edge we expect from Affleck's Batman is there, too.
It also should be noted that the track is titled, "Men Are Still Good," which in the case of Batman, may pertain to him rediscovering his principles. There's some evidence suggesting Batman is now acting as judge, jury, and executioner in Gotham, treating the criminals with zero mercy. It would stand to reason that this title could be referring to Batman realizing the error of his ways, leading to he and Superman coming together to create a more fair and just way of protecting the Earth - like some, oh I don't know, league for justice or whatever.
What do you think of Junkie XL's Batman theme, "Men Are Still Good"? Does it remind you of any previous Batman themes? How would you rank it when compared to those previous themes? Let us hear from you in the comments below!
The Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice soundtrack will be available March 18th on CD, Deluxe 2-CD set, and limited edition 3-Disc Vinyl edition. It’s also available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will hit theaters on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016, Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017, Justice League on November 17th, 2017, The Flash on March 23rd, 2018, Aquaman on July 27th, 2018, Shazam on April 5th, 2019, Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019, Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020, and Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020.
Source: WaterTower Music