After working on numerous superhero films, including Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy and new DC movies “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” composer Hans Zimmer surprised fans last year when he announced he was retiring from the world of superhero scores. It’s been a year since Zimmer made the announcement.
In a new interview with Inverse, the composer reveals what made him give up the genre: Ben Affleck’s Batman.
“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’],” said Zimmer. “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 said he “spent months trying to come up with something for Ben,” but it proved difficult since Affleck played the character so differently from Bale. “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.”
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” featured both music from Zimmer and Junkie XL, a collaboration that Zimmer spoke highly of. “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.”
Overall, though, Zimmer said he wants to explore new styles of music that don’t necessarily lend themselves to superhero films. He also said that working on the “Dark Knight” trilogy took up a large chunk of his life. “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.”
There is something that could get Zimmer to come back to superhero films, though. “[Director] 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?”
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