Hans Zimmer Talks Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR and the Influence of the DARK KNIGHT Trilogy Score on Blockbuster Filmmaking

     October 14, 2013


After first teaming up on Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan and composer Hans Zimmer have now worked together a total of four times (five counting Man of Steel, which Nolan produced), and the two are set to reteam once again for Nolan’s 2014 sci-fi film Interstellar.  Unsurprisingly, very little is known about Interstellar at this point.  We know that the film has an absolutely stacked cast and follows a group of space explorers journeying through a wormhole, but the rest is under lock and key until the film hits theaters next November.

Steve recently visited Hans Zimmer in his studio for an extended interview, and while the composer was tight-lipped about story details for Interstellar, he did reveal that he wrote a theme back in January while Nolan was writing the script.  He said the two are trying to tell the story in a way that nobody has ever done, which includes throwing out all the hallmarks of their previous collaborations.  Additionally, Zimmer addressed the influence of his Dark Knight trilogy score on the current blockbuster climate and talked about whether he will score The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Hit the jump to read on. 

hans-zimmer-interstellarSpeaking with Steve, Zimmer revealed that while he won’t start work in earnest on Interstellar until next year, he wrote the film’s theme all the way back in January:

“At the back of my mind constantly I’m inventing stuff for Interstellar.  Weirdly I’m a bit ahead on that one.  Circumstances beyond my control, I wrote [Nolan] a main theme in January while he was writing… There’s a tune, there’s a theme there.”

Zimmer went on to talk about what he and Nolan have planned for the film, noting that they want to move away from their previous work together:

“We had this sort of conversation about—you know nine years we spent in our Batman world.  The textures, the music, and the sounds, and the thing we sort of created has sort of seeped into other people’s movies a bit, so it’s time to reinvent.  The endless string of sonatas need to go by the wayside, the big drums are probably in the bin.  So right now it’s sort of the time where I’m pondering what else we can do.”

christopher-nolan-interstellarThe composer was understandably guarded when talking about the pic specifically, but he did reveal that Nolan intends to shake things up:

“Chris feels the same challenge, ‘Let’s do something new.  We have something to say.’  He really has got something to say, there’s a solid backbone to this thing and it’s an important story, and we want to tell it in a way that nobody else has ever done.  And the same goes for the music, of course.”

When speaking about the fact that his scores for the Dark Knight trilogy have been aped a bit for other big studio films, the composer said it was a tad relieving to be finished with the Batman franchise once and for all:

“Thank God it became this sort of stopping point after the third one, we’re done with Batman.  When James Newton Howard started on the first one, we never thought we would have to go and stretch this material over three movies.  The whole point was I was trying to do this minimalist thing that would survive for two hours in one movie (laughs).  And then I had to come back and I had to come back again, and in a weird way it became so much part of the sort of action movie vocabulary.  It really started to dilute us, what we were doing.”

the-dark-knight-rises-christian-bale-batman-imageZimmer elaborated a bit on why he thinks his work on the Batman films became the de facto style in other franchise pics:

“I don’t think it was the success of the Batman movies that really made that style spread like a bad virus through so many other movies, it was just we came up with something that seemed to be appropriate for where we are musically in time at the moment.”

Finally, Steve asked Zimmer if he would be reuniting with his Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie on the filmmaker’s upcoming spy pic The Man from U.N.C.L.E.:

“I have no idea, because once I’m really in full Interstellar mode I’m just gonna go be in full Interstellar mode.  I think it might not work out timewise.  I love Guy and I’d love to do something else with him.  If it’s not this then I’m sure we’ll meet up again sometime.”

Watch the portion of Steve’s interview with Zimmer regarding Interstellar and the legacy of the Batman films below, and look for the full interview on Collider soon.

  • If you missed what Zimmer had to say about his work on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, click here.
  • If you missed what Zimmer had to say about returning for the Man of Steel sequel and Ben Affleck as Batman, click here.


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