Hans Zimmer On MAN OF STEEL And Following In Composer John Williams' Footsteps

Hans Zimmer says there's some interesting parallels between two of his projects, History Channel's The Bible and Warner Bros.' Man of Steel. A comparison between Superman and Jesus Christ is old-hat in comic book circles but what about film adaptations?

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By Mark Julian - 4/5/2013



Hans Zimmer Man of Steel

CNN caught up with famed composer Hans Zimmer to discuss his work on History Channel's The Bible miniseries and also discussed the upcoming Superman film, Man of Steel. When asked if there were any similiarities between the two lead figures, Zimmer responded, "Yes. Yes is the answer. Once you see Superman, you'll see how close you are with your question." Zimmer went on in more detail to say, "Both stories are passions about a struggle to do the right thing. For Superman, it was a really simple question for me. What does it take to become a good man? To be good? And what does that mean in our more and more complex society? Do any of these values still resonate with us?"

And when questioned about how to followup John Williams' brilliant score in the first Superman film, Zimmer admitted it was no easy task. "Seriously. He's the greatest film composer out there, without a doubt, and it happens to be one of his iconic pieces of music, so I spent three months just procrastinating and not even getting a start on the thing, because I was so intimidated: 'Oh my God, I'm following in John Williams' footsteps. I kept thinking of the story as, What if you are extraordinary, and your entire ambition is to join humanity? To become human? What does it mean to become human? What does it mean to be an outsider who really wants to join the human race?

Interesting soundbites from Mr. Zimmer. Sound of below with your own thoughts about Superman and how he relates to Christ and if there's a significant gap between being a 'savior' and a superhero.

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Man of Steel - Superman Official Trailer 2


Running Time: In post-production
Release Date: 14 June 2013 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner,Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Christopher Meloni, Richard Schiff, Harry Lennix
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: Christopher Nolan (story), David S. Goyer screenplay)

Man of Steel follows the Last Son of Krypton on his epic journey to become mankind's shinning beacon of hope for a brighter future. With the beliefs and values instilled by his adoptive parents Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent, a young Clark (Henry Cavill) sets out to find his place in the world. But when the nefarious General Zodd (Michael Shannon) arrives on Earth, Clark will have to choose between being a normal human or Kal-el,son of Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and humanity's greatest protector and champion. Filmed in IMAX and shot in Vancouver, Chicago and Plano, Illinois, Man of Steel will be released on June 14, 2013 by Warner Bros. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) with a screenplay by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) the Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) produced feature film will surely be the summer blockbuster of 2013.


Source: CNN
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R888 - 4/5/2013, 8:13 AM
In Hans Zimmer I trust
Dynamo - 4/5/2013, 8:13 AM
Spot. [frick]ing. On.
Dynamo - 4/5/2013, 8:15 AM
@Levi

No thanks on either. The idea is to create evolution not just to stick to same-old same-old. I love the Williams theme, but honestly in only works in context of those films. Hearing it in SR was pretty lack luster.
Krypto999 - 4/5/2013, 8:22 AM
Just watched the bible. The musical score to it was incredible. If Man Of Steel is anything like that then we are in for a treat
PaulRom - 4/5/2013, 8:26 AM
I've always been a big fan of Zimmer. He never disappoints. Really enjoyed The Bible series (though I'd prefer if it was more accurate to the source material). The track below alone makes it worth watching. Can't wait to see what Zimmer does with Superman.

jessepostal - 4/5/2013, 8:46 AM
I'll bet it's a two or four chord progression with a minor thrown in.
RadicalDuck - 4/5/2013, 8:59 AM
Zimmer is definitely one of the best composers out there, so I'm sure he'll deliver something great for Superman. Was nice of him to say that about Williams...he definitely is a legend in scoring music.
gambgel - 4/5/2013, 9:04 AM
@PaulRom

Hearing that track, awesome! cant wait for Man of Steel
scomo - 4/5/2013, 9:04 AM
I immediately went and dug up the The Bible score, haven't listened yet.

The more important quote in this article to me is this: "But this Superman is something lighter, he said, "celebrating everything that was good and fine about America," such as small towns "where people don't lock their doors, neighbors get together, and families are families." Sort of a very feel good, true to the silver-age Superman it sounds like...
EarOne - 4/5/2013, 9:05 AM
you can't beat john williams' superman theme. the only SMART thing to do is...do a totally different take on the whole superman universe and come up with something totally new and fresh and great enough to make us forget (at least for a while) bout williams' original score & theme. good luck hans...you need it.
AC1 - 4/5/2013, 9:06 AM
I'm really looking forward to this film. And I'm eager to hear Zimmer's score for the film, the guy's amazing.

@LEVI aren't you the guy who always complains about TASM apparently copying bits of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man? Why would you want this Superman movie to copy one of the most iconic elements of the previous version?

It'd be incredibly disrespectful to reuse Williams' theme IMO. This is a distinctly separate version of the story, so recycling the theme is disrespectful not only to this reboot, by implying that it can't stand on it's own feet, but also to the original movies by stealing their theme, and to Zimmer by suggesting that he's not good enough to score Superman despite nobody having heard his work - for all we know, it could be better than Williams' theme.
AC1 - 4/5/2013, 9:08 AM
And by my previous comment I'm not trying to say Williams isn't good, I mean he's a film-scoring legend for a reason. But it's time for a change.
thewonderer - 4/5/2013, 9:24 AM
Legends are legends because of a new generation.

I feel that Zimmer is one of the greats and will become a legend once he makes many more scores.

Williams is nothing short of brilliant but he inspired many and it's their time to prove they can reach high as he did.

Zimmer will amaze us with superman as Williams did, mark my words.
Floke - 4/5/2013, 9:30 AM
Everytime I try to play the JW Superman theme in my head, I always end up hearing the theme to Policeacadamy instead and it ends with me screaming Prooooctor!..

It would be kinda neat if just before the end credits, Supes takes of to the tunes of the JW theme, if only for a couple of sec before HZ theme comes as the credits starts to roll. Would be an epic cinema experience with people chearing and stuff. If the movie is as good as it seems, that is..
6of13 - 4/5/2013, 9:31 AM
The William's score, as iconic as it is, belongs with the Donner films.
Differentiating MOS from anything and everything Superman that has come before means that the William's score can not be used.

Zimmer's score could be epic.
6of13 - 4/5/2013, 9:34 AM
lol @Floke
Actually I just watched Police Academy and could not help thinking that had a Green Lantern movie been made like 20 years ago, then Steven Guttenburg would have been a good choice to play Hal.
SnapperCarr - 4/5/2013, 9:41 AM
"What does it mean to become human? What does it mean to be an outsider who really wants to join the human race?"

That's Martian Manhunter's game. Superman can't be an outsider because he was raised human with human beliefs, not like MM who is looking in.
CaptainProg - 4/5/2013, 9:44 AM
Some people still don't get the concept of reboot lol. To ask to reuse the old supes theme in MOS is like saying "please use the 60`s Batman tv show musical theme in the opening of Batman Begins." The Donner era is gone my friends!
NeoBaggins - 4/5/2013, 9:45 AM
@Splenda Had you not posted that, I would have NEVER thought about or had a conversation about "Skinny Boys" for the rest of my life. They sound like three Meek Mill clones rapping simultaneously.
Superior - 4/5/2013, 10:01 AM
In my opinion, I think Zimmer wear a larger shoe size than Williams.
StrangerX - 4/5/2013, 10:13 AM
I really liked what zimmer did with the tdk trilogy. No doubt this will be epic.
ButthurtKurvos - 4/5/2013, 10:23 AM
Nothing will ever top the Williams theme. But I am concerned about Zimmer. I wasn't too impressed with his Batman scores. It was bland and uninspired and I'm worried that he might ruin Superman with a very mediocre score. I wish they would have kept John Ottman to do the score if not Williams.
superhero9 - 4/5/2013, 10:26 AM
I think about all the James Bond movies. I don't care who is playing Bond , every movie has its own music and even a Title Song for each movie . But, in every movie their is always at least a few scence where we hear that iconic classic bond music. That to me is always something special in every bond flick. Why can't we have that with Superman?
Dynamo - 4/5/2013, 10:32 AM
@superhero9

Because Superman hasn't had as long a movie legacy as Bond.
GUNSMITH - 4/5/2013, 10:33 AM
GUNSMITH - 4/5/2013, 10:35 AM

GUNSMITH - 4/5/2013, 10:38 AM
IT HAS A SOMETHING TO IT..BUT IT REMINDS ME OF THE DARKNIGHT WITH THAT WOEFUL EMO TYPE FEEL, WITH THE STRINGS AND WHAT AND THE CLIMB TO THE MUSIC.....BUT I STILL AM AKIN TO THE WILLIAMS SCORE.
thewonderer - 4/5/2013, 10:38 AM
I love when people compare Elfmans score to Zimmers score on Batman.

Elfmans score has been infused with so much nostalgia from all the TAS episodes and the old movie.

There can be no true judge of the better theme as Elfmans music has been attributed to Batman for mere nostalgia and time.

Perfect example, Elfmans Spider-Man theme. Beautiful music fitting of the character but not at all attributed to Spider-Man compared to other themes. That was made in 2002. Its all about time.


JohnnyKrypton - 4/5/2013, 11:25 AM
His scores are generally pretty forgettable for me but it sounds like Zimmer has a better handle on the character than Snyder, lol


thewonderer - 4/5/2013, 11:28 AM
@SteveRogersSon

How many times do we have to teach you this lesson old man! Its Batman. Bale is the name of the actor who plays Batman in the film. How do you keep messing this up? Batman is so iconic, and yet you keep saying it wrong wtf.

Williams it is rightfully earned, as for Elfman for the most part yes but I don't think his theme fits Batman for me. Its a fantastic theme, and I've come to love it, but eh I prefer Zimmer. My first introduction to Batman was with his score.

Shitty ass logic. You're like those "90s kids". Things in the past shouldn't be regarded as insurmountable heights. Things in the past should inspire future things to surpass what they did.

Reeves I can respect as he at least played up how Superman was for the people.

Keaton is the worst Batman ever. Incinerating thugs alive, throwing people off roofs, barely showing emotion as his parents death, about 2 feet tall, 1 dimensional Bruce Wayne, nope complete shit.
Ramiel - 4/5/2013, 11:33 AM
Superman is more like Moses than Jesus. And I didn't know that Zimmer was the composer for the inaccurate and mishandled Bible mini-series.

While I dislike Superman very much, nothing beats his theme song. To me, it's the best theme song of all time.
DCjohnny - 4/5/2013, 11:39 AM

i wonder when the next trailer will be out....
TheHitchhikingGhost - 4/5/2013, 11:51 AM
@GUNSMITH-- That's Zimmer's score for The Thin Red Line, right?
thewonderer - 4/5/2013, 11:56 AM
I wasn't referring to Nolan's batman trilogy as insurmountable. I was referring to legends in the past like John Williams as being thought of as insurmountable. Way to assume shit and then insult me for your assumptions.

Presence is a matter of opinion however if you ask most people in the world now who embodies Batman, it's bale. I love how I didn't mention Nolan's batman or bale in my comment and you just assume I'm implying bale as the best Batman. Whether or not bale is the best batman to you, I'm saying Keaton sucks shit.

Yes how dare batman be one step behind a villain like the joker. Seriously let's have all our heroes completely own with no conflict. These are villains like Ras al ghul, joker, bane and your saying Batman should always have the upper hand toward them?
yingyangpalms - 4/5/2013, 12:38 PM
Zimmer has become the go to composer of superhero mythology.

He scored The Bible which is about Super-Hebrews with super-powers and were really very instrumental in the creation of Superman. The Biblical Super-Hebrews were created by Hebrews to make Hebrews out to be "God's People" thus elevating their status among races to TOP RACE and the mythology was used to sway the politics of that era and condemn the enemies of the Hebrews.
So it was a Hebrew propaganda piece much like our comics during WW2.

Its unfortunate that the mythology turned into many centuries of chaos and conflicts but still there were some characters with great powers, though the characters were all 1 dimensional also like our old superheroes.

It would be nice though to see a Marvel or DC Superheroes VS. Biblical Super-Hebrews comic. Maybe Marvel and DC VS. The Greek Gods and The Super-Hebrews!

But who knows, maybe one day after the fall of the modern age, man will discover old artifacts such as comics and statues of super heroes and learn how to play our movies they find buried in our ruins and perhaps superheroes will become their religion.

Someone should make a movie about that.
Thegeekygurl - 4/5/2013, 1:03 PM
@SotoJuiceMan When you watch Avengers, Iron Man, Thor and Cap and Raimi's Spider-Man you see films that brought the comic characters to life.

When you watch the Dreary Nolan films and Webb's Spider-Man you see a filmmaker reimagining the main characters to the extent they are not covering the original character at all.
Nolan's Batman/Bruce Wayne had the names but he was not a representation of what the character is supposed to be. It's not "Batman" its Nolan's Batman.

Just like Webb's Spider-Man is his version of the character not the character everyone loves that was brought to life perfectly by Raimi.

Filmmakers and film writers cant be expected to create exact adaptions of comics and their stories but when they mess with the lead character to the extent we've seen with Nolan and Webb then we are not seeing the character.

Nolan and Webb use the names of Batman and Spider-Man to do their own thing and their versions are vastly inferior the the read deal.

One reason Avengers and Raimi's Spider-Man films are better and more entertaining than Nolan and Webb's stuff is Raimi and Marvel films keep the central characters intact and bring them to life. Stan Lee's Spider-Man cannot be improved upon and Raimi got that. Webb thought he'd tinker with Spider-Man and it didnt work.

DC's Batman is a a resourceful, intelligent, master of martial arts and a great detective. Everything Nolan's guy in a Bat-Suit was not.

People can argue over the quality of Nolan's Bat-Films but no one can make a case that the guy in a Bat-Suit in Nolan's films had the mind, heart and character of Batman.
nach1wan - 4/5/2013, 1:12 PM
will MOS use the john william's theme?
CavEl - 4/5/2013, 1:29 PM
Williams' theme is severely overrated, just a bunch of old farts trying to force a cheesy 1970 parade music down everyone's throats.

In Superman Returns, the John Ottman original pieces were much better than the rehashed Williams' themes.
CavEl - 4/5/2013, 1:35 PM
Can't wait to hear the new theme, if you want John Williams' Superman theme to play...

Block your ears when Zimmer's music starts playing and playing John Williams' crap in your head.

Superman the Animated Series > John Williams' theme anyway.
Timerider84 - 4/5/2013, 1:52 PM
I hope we at the very least, get a small nod to John Williams Superman Main Theme, that will always be Superman's theme forever to me. I hope Hans Zimmer can change my opinion and it surpasses all my expectations.
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