Composer Hans Zimmer and filmmaker Christopher Nolan have a unique working relationship. Plenty of directors have composers that they work with over and over again, but Nolan involves Zimmer at the very beginning of the process. Zimmer famously wrote the theme for Interstellar based solely on a one-page story about a father and son that Nolan sent him, without telling Zimmer anything about the plot or genre of the film. This partnership has resulted in some of the most exciting scores in recent memory, from Interstellar to The Dark Knight, and so anticipation for Nolan’s World War II action-thriller Dunkirk also extends to Zimmer’s score for the movie.
With the release date now a few weeks away, Warner Bros. has unveiled the first full track from Zimmer’s score, “Supermarine.” This is our first listen at what Zimmer has put together for the film, and it tells us we’ve actually been hearing some bits and pieces of the score in the trailers. The main thing that’s clear from this track is that Zimmer is drawing heavily on digetic noises and sounds inherent to what’s going on in the story—one listens to this track and hears the unmistakable sound of a plane propeller, gun fire, and sirens, albeit all twisted in a very Hans Zimmer way.
Dunkirk is Nolan’s shortest film since Following and is very light on dialogue, so the current theory is that the film is just one non-stop nail-biting thrill-ride. If that’s indeed the case, and if “Supermarine” is indicative of Zimmer’s score as a whole, audiences are in for one tense ride. I like what I hear and I can’t wait to check out the rest of the score in the full context of the film.
Check out the Dunkirk score clip in the video below. The film stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. Dunkirk opens in theaters on July 21st.