Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer previously collaborated with James Newton Howard on the scores for both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. However, he is the sole composer working on filmmaker Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy finale, The Dark Knight Rises.
Zimmer was doing press rounds for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows when he opened up a bit about his approach to scoring the third installment in Nolan's Caped Crusader saga. He also addressed long-standing rumors that he is locked to provide musical accompaniment for director Zack Snyder's Superman franchise reboot, Man of Steel, which Nolan helped lay the narrative foundation for (he's receiving story-writing credit) and is serving as a producer on.
On the topic of how he began composing the Dark Knight Rises soundtrack, Zimmer had the following to say (via The Playlist):
“Actually, before I started on[the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ sequel] I had an idea for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and I said to Chris [Nolan], I just have this idea, this experiment, and it really it is something that I have no idea if it will work – have I earned the right yet to just get myself a really big orchestra into a room for a couple of days and just try this experiment? If I think and you think it’s horrible we’ll just throw it away and pretend it never happened and nobody’s going to give me a hard time later about it. It took him half a second to go, ‘Yeah, of course – go knock yourself out.’ So out of that actually came 25 minutes of pretty intense stuff that we have, and honestly I’m overflowing with ideas.
“... Plus, those 25 minutes are [made up of] completely new stuff, and I’ve just started. I think that the problem with working on sequels is how to keep them fresh for yourself, and both with ‘Sherlock’ and with ‘Dark Knight’ so far I’ve been able to manage to do that.”
“We’ve created this world on 'Dark Knight,' and we’re sticking pretty autonomously to this world, but at the same time, our fans and the audience are inhabiting this world. And if you can actually pull them in and let them be part of this adventure, which is really what I’ve been trying to do. You, it’s really just a small facet of the whole thing, but we are trying to think out of the box... [Also, obviously] we’re talking about – who isn’t? – talking about where the world is going at the moment. So the idea of the chant, for instance, that pre-dated Occupy Wall Street by quite a bit, but suddenly you find, oh, hang on a second, there’s something in the zeitgeist which moves us all.”
Lastly, Zimmer said that Man of Steel is "in direct [scheduling] conflict" with another project he is working on; so, while he may ultimately work on that Snyder-directed film, Zimmer is not actively involved with the creative process on that comic book flick (for the time being).
Newton Howard and Zimmer's joint musical work on Nolan's previous Batman films remains quite popular, if only for how well it manages to enhance the broodingly dramatic atmosphere and heighten the (often, volatile) tension that pervades both movies - as perhaps best evidenced by the "Why So Serious?" theme in The Dark Knight.
Given that The Dark Knight Rises is being talked up as a thematically and visually epic conclusion to Nolan's telling of Batman/Bruce Wayne's personal journey, it will be interesting to see just how the film's soundtrack differs from its predecessors. If the aforementioned "Dark Knight Rises chant" is any indication, Zimmer plans to go heavier on the "big, loud, and angry" material with his orchestral themes, this time around. Frankly, that sounds all the more appropriate, given just how (insanely) large-scale everything in The Dark Knight Rises is shaping up to be.
The Dark Knight Rises will hit theaters around the U.S. on July 20th, 2012.
Man of Steel is slated for theatrical release in the U.S. on June 14th, 2013.
Source: The Playlist