When it comes to Superman there’s only one sound many people associate with the ‘Man of Steel’ and that’s the sound of John Williams iconic and symbolic “Superman Theme”. Williams has created some of Hollywood’s most recognizable themes; everything from Superman (1978), Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park to the first three Harry Potter films have received ‘The Williams treatment’. Unfortunately, Williams won’t lend his talents to Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman film, Man of Steel. The job will go to The Dark Knight Rises composer Hans Zimmer.
At age 80 Williams has composed for over 141 films and shows now signs of slowing down, so exactly why didn’t the studio ask him to compose? Well that’s a question many fans have in mind. Variety reported today that the studio hired Zimmer to take on the film’s score. This news comes after several rumors back in 2010 stating that Zimmer had indeed signed on as composer, to which he denied, stating that he had not signed on and hadn’t even met with Snyder. In fact he said that the inevitable comparisons to Williams’ work was the main reason why he turned down the job.
John Williams, the greatest living composer — full stop. And that happens to be one of his greatest themes. So no. And I’m not thinking of rewriting Beethoven’s ninth either. It just sounds like a thankless task, you know? So that’s unequivocally a no.
Zimmer Filling Big Shoes
Man of Steel will be Zimmer’s 5th time working with director and writer Christopher Nolan. The last time the two teamed up we had all become obsessed with the amazing sound of Inception. And with Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises on the horizon, which Zimmer also composed, the two are becoming an expected duo — where’s there’s Nolan you may expect Zimmer.
Sure, people will expect a lot from Zimmer with Man of Steel and the composer is fully aware of that. He understands the shoes he has to fill, but with several Academy Awards to his name, Zimmer is no stranger to composing for big budgeted films. Prior to working with Nolan, he scored The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 2, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor and Madagascar. If the studio didn’t want to go for Williams then there’s no question as to why they chose Zimmer.
As one director-composer relationship strengthens another takes a hit. Man of Steel will be Snyder’s first time not working with composer Tyler Bates (Watchmen, 300, Sucker Punch). It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out and I’m curious to find out whose idea it was to hire on Zimmer, not that it’s a bad choice. I’m looking forward to the score. But I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall when Nolan, Snyder and the studio were discussing possible choices.
What do you have to say about all of this? Should’ve the job went to Williams? Or do you think the studio made the right choice in choosing Zimmer? Also how much of Williams sound are you hoping to appear in Zimmer’s soundtrack? Let us know.