Talking about the film score for the upcoming Superman reboot “Man of Steel,” composer Hans Zimmer tells CNN that he was hesitant to follow the iconic music of John Williams.
Zimmer says: “Look, that was daunting. Seriously, he’s the greatest film composer out there, without a doubt, and it happens to be one of his iconic pieces of music, so I spent three months just procrastinating and not even getting a start on the thing, because I was so intimidated: ‘Oh my god, I’m following John Williams’ footsteps.”
He then had to get on with the job, and had to approach the material in a “very different way,” and one that was also a stark contrast to his work on the Nolan Batman films as he didn’t want to do “another really dark superhero movie”.
He says that “everything’s tinged with irony and sarcasm and bitterness and darkness these days,” so this film’s score will be more about “celebrating everything that was good and fine about America such as small towns where people don’t lock their doors, neighbors get together, and families are families.”
He goes on to say: “What was important for Superman was the simple fact that none of us pay much attention to the Midwest… I thought it was important that the decent folk, simple folk be the heart of the story, and a character who is guileless, who isn’t complicated in the sort of flawed way our Dark Knight is, and isn’t political in any way. He’s just striving to become a better part of humanity”.
How does this translate into actual sound? Orchestral strings will be replaced by pedal steel guitars, there’ll be lots of banging of titanium and steel sculptures, and Zimmer has already assembled and recorded a high profile dozen-strong drum circle.
Meanwhile, visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri has called the film a “nice re-envisioning” that has “abandoned a lot of the pretense that was in the comics and asked ‘Can we still make this work?’.”
He adds that: “They’re sticking to realism as much as possible. Fantastic elements are still there but a lot of it that been trimmed back to make it feel as though this actually happened.”