Is it time for Hans Zimmer to step away from Batman?

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Now don’t all shoot me at once for this, but a thought has come into my head today and it’s been hard to shake. Warner Bros. has released a sample of Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg’s (Junkie XL) score for the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film. It’s good but highly reminiscent of his work on Man of Steel (perhaps that’s the point, we’ll have to wait and see).

Given Zimmer’s involvement with the Man of Steel and his previous involvement with Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment, it is highly likely that he will continue composing or producing soundtracks for the new line of DC movies. Whether or not he will have a hand in the rumoured new trilogy of Batman films with Ben Affleck is another question, but at present, it’s a safe bet.

But is this an issue? If you read Darrow often you’ll know I LOVE Hans Zimmer (and yes, I’ve indulged a Daily Mail idiocy of putting words in capitals, such is my enthusiasm). From Dark Knight to Inception to Interstellar with Crimson Tide and The Lion King thrown in for good measure, Zimmer’s music brings heady emotional heights to pictures which I sincerely believe would have been denied something special without his presence (think The Last Samurai and The Dark Knight Rises).

That’s why he can’t do Batman ever again (ducks from flying beer bottles). Hans Zimmer has been involved with some of the biggest blockbusters of the last twenty years. Yet in the past ten years, stylistic patterns have started to form, particularly with his five collaborations with director Chris Nolan. He uses a signature synthesis of computer sounds and orchestras, as with Inception, to Tcreate a tragically powerfully emotional punch while generating scale through sound for the ‘dream world’.

Although the new DC films are still Warner Bros. produced, they offer audiences an entirely new vision and opportunity to embrace these classic characters. The new Batman iteration should be a break with what came immediately before, even if it is hard to believe that Batman Begins is over a decade old.

It’s my passion for Zimmer’s music that makes me think that his prolonged association with the Batman character and DC, in general, will eventually lead to accusations of cliché and repetition. If the most recent sample from the upcoming film is anything to go by then innovation may have slowed in regard to these characters, albeit I am happy to eat my words.

I might be wrong, I hope I’m wrong, but I do think there can only be so many ways to portray the Batman/Bruce Wayne story in sound without being influenced, referencing or accidentally copying your own work from not one but an entire trilogy of films you did before.

Christian Bale was widely reported to have been offered an obscene amount of money to return as Batman. He was also reported to have been a bit jealous when he found out Ben Affleck got the job. Maybe’s it’s time for Hans to pass on the baton too.

As they say, “he’s the hero we deserve, but not…”– oh, forget it.

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About Alastair Stewart 228 Articles
Alastair Stewart is a freelance writer and journalist. He was previously a press officer in the Scottish Parliament and worked in public affairs. He graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in International Relations and writes regularly on politics and the arts in the Spanish and British press.

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