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When Hans Zimmer was brought on to compose the score for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he faced an unusual predicament. After creating iconic music for Batman in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, he would have to create a completely new sound for the DC Cinematic Universe’s version of the Caped Crusader. Even for someone as experienced as Zimmer, this would be a difficult challenge. Fortunately, the composer has found another way of giving the legendary character a unique score without being directly involved.
When asked by Spinoff Online how he would be handling Batman’s score for Batman v Superman, Zimmer revealed that he’s brought on Junkie XL, composer of films like the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road and 300: Rise of an Empire, to compose Batman’s music. He came up with this idea after "agonizing" over revisiting Batman and not wanting to "betray" what he, director Christopher Nolan and partner James Newton Howard created for the Dark Knight trilogy. Zimmer will still be scoring co-star Superman, continuing what he started in Man of Steel. He told XL, "You take care of Batman. I’ll do the other guy," and director Zack Snyder was on board for this musical team-up. Also, Zimmer and XL previously worked The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel, so their working rapport will be beneficial to the 2016 blockbuster.
Zimmer has dealt with enough Batman music challenges for a lifetime. When he was hired onto Batman Begins, he not only had to create a great soundtrack (as is the case for every movie), but also needed to make sure that it was tonally different from the Danny Elfman and Elliot Goldenthal scores from the previous Batman film series. Fans may have conflicting opinions on the Christopher Nolan films, but there’s no denying that Zimmer’s score stands out on its own, being one of the primary tone-setters of the trilogy. It’s understandable that Zimmer felt hesitant revisiting the Caped Crusader after he poured so much into the previous films. With XL on board now, Zimmer can focus his attention on the Superman side of things, and since he’s still in charge, he’ll make sure that XL’s score with work well with the rest of the soundtrack.
It will be awhile until we hear the music that will accompany the Batfleck, though Warner Bros. may give fans a sneak peek when the trailer is released (whenever that happens). The important thing is that Junkie XL knows that a Batman theme needs to be dark and heroic. Zimmer’s score for the Dark Knight trilogy emphasized power, so let’s make sure the Caped Crusader gets something more befitting this fantastical universe. Maybe he should look to the Danny Elfman score for inspiration.