When DC Extended Universe diehards have their opportunity to watch Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 later this month, they may get a tingle of familiarity when listening to the score of one particularly climactic moment. The reason for this is because the new blockbuster makes use of an old piece of music – specifically a track created by Hans Zimmer and Thomas Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL for Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. It serves as a neat little callback that will put a smile on the faces of fans, but what’s funny to know about it is that its inclusion wasn’t initially intended to be permanent.
In modern post-production, it is traditional for movies to make use of what is called temp track, which is pre-existing music that is utilized to provide atmosphere during the editing process while the actual score is still coming together. It was because of this practice that a section of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s soundtrack initially came to be used in Wonder Woman 1984, but it was because of on-going conversations between Patty Jenkins and Hans Zimmer that it eventually became permanent.
The use of the specific music came up earlier this month during a virtual press event for Wonder Woman 1984, the director asked about the track during a roundtable interview paired with star Gal Gadot. She explained that like any temp track, the original plan was for it to be temporary (hence the name), but there were two specific reasons why it was ultimately kept:
What happened was, it's funny when you're working with the same composer, we temped that in, and it was cut, and the pacing of it was cut so perfectly to it. And so then Hans and his guys, they kept writing different things and just got to a point where Hans was like, 'Why are we doing this? It's from the DC Universe. This is a song that existed in their movies. Why would it not come back?'
While it wasn’t intentionally done, this practice is now pretty commonplace in cinema – especially in superhero blockbusters. It’s not always the case that exact tracks are used from movie to movie, but films frequently reuse themes that were created for previous titles in a franchise, even in cases when there are different composers doing the work. In the case of Wonder Woman 1984, the production happened to be working with the same person who co-created the music for the feature that first introduced the titular character into the canon.
Wonder Woman 1984 is a movie that most definitely stands on its own within the DC Extended Universe continuity, but it was in the use of the music that Patty Jenkins had no problem blurring the lines a little bit. She continued,
Even though it's Zack [Snyder]'s movie and my movie, the truth is like, if it's in the same universe, it was like why are we not just using the song? So all of a sudden, we were like, 'Oh yeah, we have enough new score to do. Like, let's just use that song.' And so that was it. It's such a beautiful track. It's the same composer. It's something that was written for this world. So it just stuck.
In only a few days audiences everywhere will be able to experience it for themselves. Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, and Pedro Pascal, Wonder Woman 1984 is going to be playing in theaters where available and streaming on HBO Max starting on Christmas Day. We have a ton of coverage of the film set to head your way in the coming weeks, so be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend!