Danny Elfman is sick of seeing perfectly good franchise music get chucked in the trash whenever a reboot comes prowling around. Granted, that might also be because the Oingo Boingo frontman has composed a memorable score or several in his career, but he put this philosophy into practice for Justice League and is calling out what he thinks is a “bullsh*t” instinct among rebooters.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Elfman expressed his disagreement with the notion that new movies should distance themselves from recognizable themes. (This seems like a good moment to imagine Elfman’s Tim Burton Batman score popping up in The Dark Knight.) Elfman, who took the music reins from Junkie XL when he exited Justice League, thinks it’s a waste for superhero movies to ignore the score that came before.
“The whole concept that every time a superhero franchise is rebooted with a new director, then you have to start the music from scratch is a bullsh*t idea. It’s only for the ego of the director or the composer,” Elfman told THR. “They need to learn the incredible lesson that Star Wars and James Bond have known for ages, which is that keeping these musical connections alive is incredibly satisfying for the people who see those films.”
Elfman told DC that they shouldn’t shun what’s been created before and instead embrace what they represent to the audience. He used the multitude of Spider-Man themes (Elfman scored the first two Sam Raimi Spider-Man pictures) as an example of how reboots dilute the musical impact.
“There’s like four different Spider-Man themes at this point, and as a result, he doesn’t have a recognizable sound,” he explained. “I told the guys at DC, you have a great musical heritage that you should be proud of and you should keep it alive. And they agreed with me, which is refreshing.”
Justice League‘s score has nods to previous DC offerings, including a rather recent touch in the form of Zimmer’s Batman v Superman Wonder Woman theme. Revamped a bit, of course.
“I use the Wonder Woman’s theme twice. The first time you see her, it’s a really heroic moment, but having heavy electric guitars or that effects-heavy sound would’ve made it feel campy or funny,” said Elfman. “It’s a great melody and I was able to find a way to make it feel grand, which is what that moment needed.Now, when she’s running the second time and bouncing bullets off her bracelets, I thought, ‘This can be the fun moment, and I added in guitars, although it got drowned in the mix.’”
Justice League and its bullets off bracelets soundtrack are now in theaters.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)