‘Captain Marvel’ Composer Pinar Toprack Tells Us How She Created A Score To Help A Superhero Find Her Power

Film/TV Editor
03.14.19

Marvel Studios

Warning: Substantial Captain Marvel spoilers are ahead.

Captain Marvel composer Pinar Toprack stands as the first female composer of a Marvel Studios feature film, and although this status is overdue, so is her enduring moment in the spotlight. When she got the gig, her former boss, famed composer Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Black Hawk Down, Dunkirk), singled her out on Twitter as “far from an overnight success.” He wasn’t kidding. Toprack has successfully held the title of composer for over 15 years in show business, and she arrived at this project with a wealth of expertise.

As a comic book movie, Captain Marvel has shifted the nature of the Skrulls and informed us about Nick Fury’s motives, but it’s also brought us the most powerful MCU superhero — Carol Danvers, who realized that emotions are not the enemy (unlike what her Kree brainwashing instructed). Yes, the film may not fully satisfy all viewers, but it’s undoubtedly Zeitgeistian in nature.

On that note, Toprack was gracious enough to speak with us about her Captain Marvel score, especially how she fused the sounds of two worlds to bring us a variety of hero that we’ve never seen until now.

The box-office has spoken, and the film’s on the way to busting records. What are your thoughts after seeing those first weekend numbers roll in?

It’s a bit surreal, I feel like I’m living in a parallel universe. But it’s very satisfying, very empowering. It’s a wonderful feeling.

You were a Captain Marvel fan long before you came on board.

Yes!

How did you wrap your mind around bringing her legacy to life?

It was a big responsibility and a huge honor. And on a personal level, to actually work on something that I really enjoy has been just a remarkable, amazing bonus, to be honest. To be part of this universe and this legacy. I’m just really grateful.

Your main theme is soaring and playful, not to mention powerful. How did you approach the intersection of your orchestra and the electronic tones?

That was really important to me from the start. I wanted to make sure that — because she’s a hybrid after all — to really come up with a theme that’s not only powerful, but how to bring the heart of her side. You know, the emotion and what really fuels her. To be able to kind of capture both was really important to me. The first thing I did was actually to come up with the theme itself, and then the instrumentation just kind of evolved after that. But I wanted the fusion of orchestra and the electronic elements to feel as natural as possible. So, when you’re hearing them, it almost sounds like it’s part of that world, too. I wanted to really blend the sound of both of these worlds together.

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