Hans Zimmer Discusses Retirement From Scoring Superhero Films

Hans Zimmer has built himself a career that in recent years become synonymous with being the composer to spark the renaissance of cinematic superhero scores, at least in my opinion.

Zimmer, for those who don't know him, was tasked with creating a score for a little film called Batman Begins back in the early 2000's. Working closely with Christopher Nolan, Zimmer created something unique and new for the superhero world of cinema. He crafted a new musical layer to the iconic DC Comics character of Batman. Since then he worked on the following two sequels to Begins, giving his take on the musical identity to characters like The Joker, Bane, and Catwoman.

But he was not finished with the comic-book world, he was brought on to develop a new score personality for another iconic DC character, Superman. Teaming up with Zack Snyder for Man of Steel, he along with other musical geniuses like Junkie XL and even Pharrell Williams designed a new theme and musical identity for a new take on the Kryptonian son.

Following this he even had a the privilege of creating something for another iconic superhero, this time it was Spider-Man and some of his villains for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But after all of this he was challenged to make something that no other composer has been asked to make another take on a new iteration of Batman.

For Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zimmer was not only asked to continue his work on curating this new take on Superman but also to deliver a refreshing one for Batman and other characters that should up in the Zack Snyder-directed film. The repercussions of this made retiring from scoring superhero films an easy option for Zimmer.

Speaking to Inverse, while promoting his new online course, Masterclass, on composing was asked about his retirement is going. "Well the retirement is going pretty well, because I’m not doing a superhero movie," Zimmer explained. "I’m working on something completely different with Chris Nolan. I’m also going on tour because all my musician friends said to me, “Time to stop hiding behind the screen, time to actually look the audience in the eye. Time to do things in real time.”
I keep thinking about new styles of music and new ways of using technology, new ways of figuring out how to make everything that we do an experience for other people. And I just couldn’t do it anymore with the superhero movies, it’s as simple as that. If you take the three Chris Nolan Batmans, that’s three movies to you, but to you and Chris, it was twelve years of our lives. So sometimes you just have to say, “I don’t know where I’m heading, but I’m going to jump off this cliff.” As soon as I said it, there were a lot of phone calls coming my way going, “Are you crazy?” But I’ve never written music for money; money isn’t inspiring. And I didn’t want to get into it where it became a job.


"Ron Howard actually said something very smart to me. He said, “Don’t say you will never do a superhero movie again, wait for somebody to turn up with an amazing script for a superhero movie.” And I suppose that’s what I’m saying: Can I please have the amazing script?


"It just did my brain in to have written Christian Bale as Batman, and suddenly it’s Ben Affleck [in *Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice*]. And it felt like I was betraying everything Christian had done. So there’s a certain amount of loyalty attached to those movies, as well."


Zimmer continued on to say that creating such a new take on Batman proved to be difficult. "I spent months trying to come up with something for Ben," Zimmer said. "The Batman that I know and the one I learned is the one that Christian did, and Ben plays it differently. And I can’t quite shake that off. For me, the Christian Bale character was always completely unresolved. It was always about that moment at the beginning of the first movie, where he sees his parents getting killed. It was basically arrested development. The Ben character is more middle-aged, he seems to be grumpy as hell but I didn’t feel the pain that I felt in Christian’s performance. And it was that pain that made be interested."

Luckily for Zimmer he had a friend in Junkie XL to come on board and help him craft the score for Batman v Superman. "We did it together," Zimmer noted. "Well, you know, honestly, thinking about it, we really did do it together. And it was great having a partner in crime on this thing. And you can’t have a better partner than Junkie, the guy is on fire constantly. He’s one of the most creative people I know, and plus he’s as geeky as me."

Zimmer's will be seen at Coachella later this year and has a score for Nolan's Dunkirk coming out sometime in the summer.

Source: Inverse

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