For Man of Steel, Hans Zimmer took on the task that many Hollywood composers would outright refuse: attempt to craft a Superman score that would somehow be able to stand outside of John Williams’ iconic shadow. His solution was to work with director Zack Snyder to craft something not better, but different.
The new Superman theme gave many goosebumps, but it seems that Zimmer is in no hurry to sign on for the sequel, Batman vs. Superman. In a recent interview, the composer explains why he’s unsure, and why a return to Batman “might not feel right.”
This news is anything but a bombshell, since Hans Zimmer isn’t exactly in need of work, and made it clear from the very first announcement that the dark knight would appear in a Man of Steel sequel that he “thought he was done with Batman.” For his part, Zimmer has supported the decision to cast Ben Affleck as a new caped crusader, but has maintained that a second crack at Batman’s music isn’t something he’s aching to take part in.
It’s safe to say that for an entire generation, Zimmer has brought a new level of drama, suspense, and quality to Batman’s onscreen appearances, supplying the score for every one of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight pictures. With that still fresh in his memory, Zimmer explains to Vulture that he has serious reservations, and at this point is leaning towards not revisiting Batman, in whatever film he may appear:
“Honestly, I’m just sort of grappling with that right now… Quite seriously, the thought right now is that no, I don’t want to go and take what I did with Chris and just plonk it into another movie. There isn’t one good reason to do it, and there are so many good reasons not to do it.”
Besides supporting director Chris Nolan and Christian Bale in their belief that “three Batman films were enough,” Zimmer’s comments make a strong case for why a new Batman – specifically set in the far more optimistic, hopeful world created by Zack Snyder – should be left to a new composer.
That being said, Zimmer has the luxury of choosing whichever projects he wishes. And after a strong experience working with Zack Snyder on Man of Steel, there may be reason to hope that Zimmer will bring a completely different take to Batman in the upcoming sequel. But much of that depends on the direction Snyder wishes to take Bruce Wayne; and while Batman vs. Superman production may be progressing faster than some might expect, it seems Zimmer has yet to even meet with Snyder about continuing their relationship:
“I really enjoyed working with Zack Snyder, so part of it would be a personal decision… At the same time, I wouldn’t want to put the ideas I used in the Chris Nolan Batman movies into a Superman movie. It just wouldn’t feel right.
“I’m a procrastinator, and right now, I don’t want to make a decision… Zack hasn’t talked to me about it, so I don’t have to worry about it! I’ll worry about it when I have to worry about it, and then, if I’m lucky, I’ll have an idea. If I have an idea, I can do something with that, but if I don’t have an idea, then my good idea is going to be, ‘Get somebody else.'”
At this point, the overwhelming evidence seems to support the idea that Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer’s idea for a new Batman in a Man of Steel universe is very different than Christian Bale’s. Ben Affleck explained that was mainly the reason he accepted the role, so if Snyder is as good at making a story pitch as that would imply, that same pitch might just be able to get Zimmer’s creative juices flowing.
We’ll have to wait and see, but if we’re honest, having another composer step into Zimmer’s role would be a bit of a disappointment. His scores are some of the most iconic in recent memory, and the idea of having him shape the sounds of a Superman trilogy is too tempting to pass up. Hopefully, he’ll feel the same way.
What do you think of Zimmer’s comments? Do you respect his desire to do something completely different, or pass the job to someone who can? Or is a bit of distance between the Man of Steel films and The Dark Knight a good thing? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Man of Steel 2/Batman vs. Superman will hit theaters July 17, 2015.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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