UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from Justice League’s former composer, Antonius Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL.
Warner Bros.’ Justice League film has a new composer, and it’s someone familiar with comic book-based movies: Danny Elfman will now score the film, as reported Wednesday by THR.
Elfman is joining Justice League late in the process, as additional photography is now underway in London. Joss Whedon — the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and someone familiar with superhero team-ups as the director of Marvel Studios’ The Avengers — is overseeing current work on the film, stepping in for primary DC Extended Universe architect Zack Snyder, who’s taking time off following a family tragedy. Whedon and Elfman previously collaborated on 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ulton, and Elfman also joined that film late in production.
Antonius Holkenborg — better known as Junkie XL — had been working on the score, following his work with Snyder on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s not yet clear if anyone of Holkenborg’s compositions will remain in the film. Following the announcement, he issued a statement on Twitter, which reads,
— Tom Holkenborg (@Junkie_XL) June 15, 2017
Elfman was first known to music fans as the lead singer of the new wave band Oingo Boingo, popular for hits including “Dead Man’s Party” and “Weird Science.” He retired from that band in 1995, but has remained a major name in scoring TV and film, especially for his collaborations with director Tim Burton — including 1989’s Batman (which won him a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition), 1990’s Edward Scissorhands and 1992’s Batman Returns. He’s also had major success in TV themes, most famously for The Simpsons.
Justice League is the fifth film in the DC Films canon, following Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and the currently-in-release Wonder Woman, which has been a critical and commercial success. Much of the dialogue around Justice League has concerned its tone, which is said to be lighter than Batman v Superman — something further suggested by the trailers released so far.
“BvS is definitely a dark movie, and I think you had to go pretty dark in order to get these two guys you actually like to fight each other,” DCEU producer Chuck Roven told CBR last month. “If you didn’t, maybe you wouldn’t even believe that they would ever fight each other. I think that when you see Justice League, you’ll see that out of that darkness comes a lot of fun, in a movie that does still have some drama to it.”
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Ezra Miller as The Flash, Justice League is scheduled for release on Nov. 17.