Junkie XL on Creating “Justice League” Score Without Hans Zimmer

Junkie XL, otherwise known as Tom Holkenborg, spoke with Collider.com about taking on the job of composing the “Justice League” movie without the collaboration of Hans Zimmer, who he worked with on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”.

I know you’ve been busy and I know you can’t go into specifics on Justice League, but I’m curious what it was like scoring this massive superhero movie without Hans. I know you definitely have experience working solo on big films, but Justice League is a huge undertaking.

JUNKIE XL: It’s a massive undertaking. And I can’t say anything about Justice League specifically, but I’ll tell you this, and this was exactly the same experience that Hans and I had when we did work together on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: It’s like when you see a movie like that, these iconic superhero movies, some of them have a 60 to 80 year legacy, multiple composers had a go at their themes, multiple filmmakers did their version of these characters – it’s very scary. You watch a movie and it’s like, “Holy shit, now I have to come up with something.” You’ve got sweaty hands and you’re nervous, and you talk about it over and over again – and I have exactly that relationship with Zack Snyder – and then Zack said, “There’s only one thing you can do, and that is embrace this character as if it’s your own, keep it close to your musical soul, and just do whatever you feel is the right thing to do for this character.” That’s the only thing we can do. That’s what all these great directors did back in the day, and that’s what all these great composers did back in the day. It makes no sense for me to do extensive quoting of Hans’ score of the really amazing Batmans. It makes no sense for me to quote Superman from John Williams. Because all fantastic composers, they all did the same thing, they did something that was close to their heart, and I have to do exactly the same thing on this movie.

How far along are you on the score for that? Have you recorded anything yet?

JUNKIE XL: I’m not at liberty to say anything (laughs). Not even that. If you call me back first week of November then I can talk all you want about it (laughs).

Source: Collider.com

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sundevil82
Member

Ugh. This is terrible news. He is such a hack and the scores from all his films sound almost exactly the same. I was really hoping they would get another quality composer on par with Hans as I loved all of The Hans Zimmers aspects of both MOS and BvS and absolutely detested all of junkie XLs contributions (batmans score anyone? Duuun! Dun Dun Dun DUUUN!). Prepare for a very unmemorable, uninspired, loud, obnoxious and generic sounding score. If you thought every thing up until now has been unhummable then he is surely not the answer.

bhof
Member

I found this full interview pretty fascinating. I’ve really enjoyed Superman’s themes from MoS and BvS. Hopefully JL builds nicely on those.

Rod
Member

Holy S! I had no idea he did work on Man of Steel, I thought that was all Hanz. While I loved the score for MoS, BvS was meh but considering he did collaboration on MoS, I’m excited to hear what he has in store for Justice League.

manofsteel
Member

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I prefer the Zimmer Superman theme over John Williams. Flight, Earth, This Is Clark Kent, the MOS Suite, Look to the Stars, Day of the Dead, This Is My World….these are fantastic tracks. I’m ready for something epic when our main man is resurrected.

sundevil82
Member
I actually like both. While the Williams theme is iconic and classic and will always hold a special place in my heart, there was always going to be a need for a different theme at some point and I think for the most part, hans did a great job. I love the MOS soundtrack and I still listen to it regularly when I run or work out. Yes, it’s not perfect, for example it could go way easier on the drumming, but you’re right, Some of those tracks are downright beautiful. ‘Goodbye my son’ is just one example of that… Read more »
Steve Wright
Editor

For this Superman and the world we live in now, the Williams theme wouldn’t feel right. At least not in it’s purest form. It would need to be adapted. I really enjoy the new Superman themes and music.

manofsteel
Member

Junkie XL will keep the Hans Superman theme. There’s no doubt about that for me.

Steve Wright
Editor
If he is smart he keeps the Zimmerman theme and enhances it with small touches of Williams. Especially when he makes his return. I would love to hear a quick bar of the old theme when he shows up and then go back to what they’ve been doing. It would be an amazing way to show that the Superman we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived(I truly believe this is their way of rebooting the character to make up for past mistakes. Even though I have no problem with this Superman, I completely understand those that do have a problem).… Read more »
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