Hans Zimmer to replace iconic 'Superman' score

superman-scoreImage Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com; David Livingston/Getty ImagesI didn’t grow up reading Superman comic books and I’ve never seen an episode of Smallville. My Superman universe begins with Marlon Brando and ends with Clark Kent wiping the counter with a bully at a greasy Metropolis diner. (That’s right: The Richard Pryor One and The Quest for Peace never happened.) And when the kids are sleeping and I run around my family room pretending my bath towel is a cape when I think of Superman soaring through the sky, I hear John Williams in my head. His Superman score is so buoyant and heroic that it’s difficult to picture The Man of Steel without it pulsing in the background. When director Bryan Singer attempted to literally recreate the look and feel of those first two Supe films for 2006’s Superman Returns, there was no way he could do so without incorporating Williams’ stirring anthem.

Now that Zack Snyder has been assigned to reinvent the Superman legend — with the guidance of Batman’s savior, Christopher Nolan — it’s understandable that Williams’ theme music must go. According to NBC-San Diego, Hans Zimmer, the maestro behind Gladiator, Inception, and the Nolan Batman films, will compose the new score for Snyder’s superhero. I’m a huge fan of both artists: Where Williams’ best work makes you swoon in its supreme elegance, Zimmer’s rousing anthems evoke the adrenaline of a battlefield charge. Snyder’s new-look Superman — moodier? grittier? —  might still have an “S” on his chest, but he’ll be flying to a new tune. I’m as interested in hearing the new Superman as I am in seeing him.

What do you think about Superman changing his tune? Vote below:

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Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • paige

    I’m suprised that Snyder isnt using his usual composer, Tyler Bates for this one.

    • Jerry

      I couldn’t be happier that Bates isn’t involved, though I thought the same thing as you when I heard Snyder was on board.

    • Etto

      I originally assumed the same thing…that it’d be Tyler Bates (one of my favorites next to Zimmer and Williams).

  • ks

    I love both artists, I think Hans will do a great job and respect the original score and add some of his own magic to it.

  • Zoe

    Oh man…I LOVE the original score and am so happy when I hear bits and pieces of it embedded in Smallville. I guess as long as Kate Bosworth isn’t Lois Lane in this one, things can only get better, though.

    • Jay

      lol, I think it is safe to assume that NONE of the “returns” crew will be there.
      Although I wouldn’t mind Kevin Spacey try his hand at Luthor again

      • The Blur

        No way, he was AWFUL as Luthor. Waaaay too campy.

      • the floacist

        Kevin Spacey was only imitating Gene Hackman, so if you think he was campy then so are the original Superman films.

    • Jerry

      Bosworth was truly awful, wasn’t she. I love “Superman Returns,” but she nearly destroyed it for me.

      • The Blur

        Amen to that.

  • Music man

    I have faith in Hans Zimmer,His music has been epic!!

  • Jonathan

    Well Tyler Bates will probably copy someone else’s music and get sued (300) and Hans Zimmer will write something that sounds like: Pearl Harbor, Batman, Inception, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc etc etc

    • Music man


      • Jonathan

        And it just all sounds the same. the same ostinatos followed by the same rhythms followed by the same overloaded indistinguishable cliched bass melodies.
        Zimmer is capable of writing interesting music (PotC 3, Lion King, Sherlock Holmes)…however as of late he has not been trying hard.

      • ltchy

        Bang on.
        Also see: Danny Elfman

    • Kat

      But I actually think John Williams music sounds the same. I know he’s written some great classic themes, but still.

      • Jonathan

        He does have a certain voice that comes through in some of his scores, but then again he’s also done atonal (War of the Worlds), jazz (Catch Me If You Can), experimented with the avante garde (Images, 1972), westerns (The Cowboys, 1974), and others. Any person who can write a quasi-fugue into an action scene (Quidditch Third Year, Shark Cage Fugue) and can compose Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year is a winner in my book.

  • Jay

    Oh, so conflicted on this one.

    I agree, that the original score will forever be implanted in my head a Superman’s theme music.
    A reboot would work even if it included the original tune… it was perfect.
    But , on the other hand, I can see them wanting to start fresh and try out something new.

    I so dont know if I want to praise this decision… or flame it.

    I guess time will tell

  • Mark Harris

    are you f****** kidding me ?! worst. idea. EVER.

    • Alex

      Really? The Zimmer score is great in the Nolan Bat-films, and the Burton film’s score is also hailed as “iconic.” Zimmer will do fine.

  • nich

    I hear the Superman theme music and it makes me smile.

  • Morgan Edge

    Since it’s a reboot, I guess it makes sense. John Williams is the master and he’ll be hard to match, but hopefully Zimmer could create something decent. Shirley Walker did the theme for the 90’s animated series. I thought that was pretty good, so I have some hope that Zimmer’s score will be passable, but it’ll never top Williams.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Hmmm while I LOVE the original score I do agree that for a fresh start it is best to start with everything and not just pick and choose.

    I will say that I hope Hans Zimmer at least draws inspiration from the original score.

  • Noodley

    Don’t forget James Newton Howard worked with Hans on the Batman films! Someone needed to put beautiful orchestral music in the midst of all of those synths and drums!

  • HollyGV

    I don’t like where they’re going with this. They’re trying to bank on the success of the “dark” and “gritty” Batman movies… but Superman isn’t supposed to be like that. I’m a fan of the original movies (ok, not really the later ones, they kind of sucked), and I actually liked Superman Returns, and I’ve watched Smallville from the very beginning – so as a Superman fan, I’m concerned with the direction they’re taking with this new one.

    • Jelana

      Holly — I agree. Superman isn’t gritty. He’s apple pie — the Norman Rockwell version of a superhero. That said, if they are going to ruin Superman, I’m happy they’re not taking Williams’ perfect score with it. And if the movie reboot is good, better to do a completely new score than just twiddle with Williams.

    • deshawn

      get your facts straight supes started out as a very gritty hero and it was only until the code of conduct was introduced did he become an apple pie hero as someone called him.Even superman the movie for it’s time did things supes wouldn’t have done in the comics(after the code)with supes and lois having sex and her dying they pretty much started the genre of superheroes and well dare i say helped pave the way for pg-13.

    • the floacist

      WHY are you assuming they are doing the same thing with Superman? There hasn’t been one single press release where they said the Superman films will be like the new Batman franchise.

  • Joshua

    NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! The music of Superman is now as iconic as the shield, blue tights, or red cape! The music of Superman is a part of culture. You hear that music and you think Truth, Justice, and the American Way! You think of strength and triumph over evil. You hear that music and……SUPERMAN! I don’t want some generic low strings and pulsing synth to signify that Earth’s Greatest Hero has arrived. Superman and the music are ONE! Imagine if they remade Star Wars without the theme or Imperial March. Imagine JAWS with a different score. I love Superman and I want it done right, but changing the music is wrong. PLAIN AND SIMPLE! Without the music, IT WILL NOT BE SUPERMAN!

    • Rob Grizzly

      People said the same thing about Batman. “Gosh, how can they EVER do a Batman movie without Danny Elfman’s iconic theme?”
      STFU and take a breath. It will be okay.

      • Etto

        Hahaha…thank you. I was going to write something to tell him to calm down too, but your comment did the trick.

        Hans Zimmer has yet to let down ANY movie…so there’s no chance he’ll botch this. If they’re going to reboot it – reboot it!

  • Bettina

    When I was a kid, my favorite part of watching Superman 2 was the extended opening. Watching the galaxy scenery (with scenes from the first movie popping up every now and then) while listening to the score would give me chills every time. So, this is a hard thing for me to swallow.

  • lorraine

    I’m just glad it’s Hans Zimmer. I love his work it envokes emotions and he just knows what he’s doing

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