Imagine being the composer tasked with coming up with a new Superman theme after John Williams’ iconic work on the Richard Donner films. The task is so monumental the challenge might overwhelm you before you even start. But a few years ago, that’s what director Zack Snyder asked Hans Zimmer to do for Man of Steel, and not only did he craft one of his best scores of all time, he made a new generation believe a man could fly. I’ve probably listened to the Man of Steel soundtrack hundreds of times and it never gets old.
With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice getting ready to be released around the world, I recently sat down with Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) to discuss their work on the sequel. During the extended interview they talked about the way they collaborated on the score, how daunting it was to tackle the first movie starring Batman and Superman, how Zimmer was originally only going to do Superman’s them and Holkenborg would do Batman’s but he “couldn’t entirely let go” so it became a collaboration, their first meeting with Zack Snyder about the film, the chances they could be working on Justice League, and so much more. If you’re a fan of these two great musicians I’m very confident you’ll enjoy this interview.
Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL:
:05 – They talk about how Junkie XL has the flu.
- :35 – Hans talks about how he’s about to go on tour and take a break from film scoring for a bit.
- 1:00 – How daunting was it to tackle the first movie starring Batman and Superman? Zimmer talks about the difficulty in following The Dark Knight Trilogy.
- 2:25 – The process and benefits of collaboration.
- 3:50 – Hans says he originally intended to do Superman’s theme while Tom did Batman, but he “couldn’t entirely let go” so it became a collaboration.
- 4:55 – They recall their first meeting with Zack Snyder about the film.
- 5:35 – The pressure of creating a new Batman theme.
- 8:30 – Hans tells the story behind how he came up with the Wonder Woman motif, which involves a cello.
- 10:50 – Tom praises Hans’ work on Man of Steel then tells a story about how Hans changed an action scene by suggesting Zack take out all the sound effects and bombast.
- 13:10 – How much more music is in the R-rated cut of the film?
- 14:23 – When did they finish their work on the movie?
- 14:58 – Talk about the experience of getting to work on such great films with such great filmmakers, from Christopher Nolan to Mad Max: Fury Road.
- 16:23 – Hans explains how their work is genuinely hard work.
- 19:15 – What are the chances they could be working on Justice League?