We're a pretty long way from "Men Are Still Good," Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL's horror opera Batman suite from Dawn of Justice, and perhaps with good reason. The DC movie-verse's "deconstructions" of Batman and Superman haven't really worked thus far (they aren't deconstructions at all, merely dour vessels in the shape of familiar pop icons) and the intent with Justice League appears to be taking them back to basics.
When it comes to superheroes, it doesn't get much more fundamental than the man behind the music for both Batman and Spider-Man, Danny Elfman. Well, except maybe John Williams' theme for Superman: The Movie. The best case scenario therein? Both Elfman's Batman theme and Williams' iconic Superman score working their way into Justice League. Pretty neat, right?
The Superman half of the news has been floating around for a while now (Elfman described it to Billboard as a twist on the melody arriving during "a dark moment"), but in his recent interview with Reporte Indigo, he had this to say about bringing back his iconic Batman sound:
"We are not going to listen to a new song for Batman (laughs) they are going to listen to the Batman song for Batman", Elfman proudly comments as he is questioned if he will use what Hans Zimmer had already composed in the past and the musician adds: "No! You will hear the Batman theme. Batman has only one musical theme. " And that theme is the piece he composed for "Batman", the 1989 film.
Elfman also says he's going to weave Hans Zimmer's Wonder Woman guitar riff (electric cello, sorry) into his overall theme, which was to be expected, but what's especially interesting about all this is how these familiar scores will play in to the narrative for the new versions of these characters as DC Films attempts to re-build the image of their male big-hitters in the public eye.
Snippets of the Justice League score have already made their way online (you can hear bits and pieces of both Batman and Superman: The Movie worked into larger arrangements if you know where to look), but will they end up in the movie in something resembling their full forms? That remains to be seen. The only thing we can be certain of is long-time fans of Batman and Superman will hear something they recognize, and Elfman being one of American cinema's greatest modern composers means it likely won't be without good reason.
Justice League arrives November 17th. Here's that Batman theme you've been itching to listen to again: