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Many superheroes have become inextricable from their themes, but few themes have become quite as beloved as ones associated with Batman. Each incarnation of The Caped Crusader has received a new musical accompaniment from a wide variety of composers, and now Danny Elfman will soon return to lend his ear to Justice League. He's taking the baton from Hans Zimmer -- whose work with Batman dates all the way back to Batman Begins -- and while he seems to appreciate Zimmer's work with the character, he also recently noted that Zimmer never really gave Batman a definitive theme. Elfman said:
Hans has done something wonderful, driven with rhythm and so on, but there has only been one theme and it is the Batman theme... Yes, I used the theme that Hans composed for Wonder Woman, the one that he wrote originally and used a bit - maybe - from John Williams to Superman, just maybe, we'll have to see it.
The core of Danny Elfman's comment to Reporte Indigo seems to be the fact that Hans Zimmer's take on the music for Batman was always a bit more atmospheric than Elfman's. Because of that, Zimmer's scores for The Dark Knight trilogy and his contribution to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice never really gave The Caped Crusader a distinctive song with a definite beginning, middle, and end.
With that in mind, it seems that Danny Elfman is really working to embrace the iconic themes that have been established for each hero. Hans Zimmer's DCEU theme for Wonder Woman will be heard in Justice League, but so will John Williams' Superman score (albeit a darker version). In fact, it sounds like we're not going to get a brand new theme for The Dark Knight, as Elfman is going back to Tim Burton's Batman in the creation of Bruce Wayne's cues. Elfman explained:
We are not going to listen to a new song for Batman, they are going to listen to the Batman song for Batman. You will hear the Batman theme. Batman has only one musical theme.
That said, if you want to see how a Danny Elfman Batman score and a Hans Zimmer Batman score stack up side-by-side, you can always swap out the movies to see how they work in different films. Check out such an example below.
Of course, even if we take Hans Zimmer out of the equation, I have a feeling that composers like Neal Hefti, Shirley Walker, and Elliot Goldenthal (who did the themes for the Schumacher era of Batman films) might have something to say about Danny Elfman's comments. There have been many Batman themes over the years, but Elfman's is often held up by many fans as the most iconic of the bunch. Now it's just a matter of waiting to see what he can do in the DCEU.