Many fans were surprised when composer Hans Zimmer announced last year that he has retired from the superhero movie genre, after composing the score for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with Junkie XL. The composer brought in Junkie XL to compose the Batman theme, since he didn't want to betray the work he did with director Christopher Nolan in his blockbuster Dark Knight trilogy, which starred Christian Bale as Batman. In a new interview, Hans Zimmer revealed just how much he misses Christian Bale as Batman, and how he's definitely not a fan of Ben Affleck's rendition of Batman.
Inverse caught up with the composer, who was promoting his new online MasterClass, where he teaches aspiring musicians how to compose film scores. When the talk eventually shifted towards Hans Zimmer's superhero retirement, the musician revealed that he just couldn't work in the genre anymore, after the 12 years he spent working with Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight trilogy. Here's what he had to say below, where he clarifies that he is not really retiring from superhero movies, after taking some advice from Ron Howard.
"I keep thinking about new styles of music and new ways of using technology, new ways of figuring out how to make everything that we do an experience for other people. And I just couldn't do it anymore with the superhero movies, it's as simple as that. If you take the three Chris Nolan Batmans, that's three movies to you, but to you and Chris, it was 12 years of our lives. So sometimes you just have to say, 'I don't know where I'm heading, but I'm going to jump off this cliff.' As soon as I said it, there were a lot of phone calls coming my way going, 'Are you crazy?' But I've never written music for money, money isn't inspiring. And I didn't want to get into it where it became a job. Ron Howard actually said something very smart to me. He said, 'Don't say you will never do a superhero movie again. Wait for somebody to turn up with an amazing script for a superhero movie.' And I suppose that's what I'm saying: Can I please have the amazing script? It just did my brain in to have written Christian Bale as Batman, and suddenly it's Ben Affleck (in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). And it felt like I was betraying everything Christian had done. So there's a certain amount of loyalty attached to those movies, as well."
When the interviewer mentions that the actor changes the way a composer performs the music, even if it's the same character, Hans Zimmer expanded on why he is not a fan of Ben Affleck's performance. He also added that, before bringing Junkie XL on board, he spent several months trying to come up with a new Batman theme for Ben Affleck. Here's what he had to say about why he prefers Christian Bale to Ben Affleck.
"I spent months trying to come up with something for Ben. The Batman that I know and the one I learned is the one that Christian did, and Ben plays it differently. And I can't quite shake that off. For me, the Christian Bale character was always completely unresolved. It was always about that moment at the beginning of the first movie, where he sees his parents getting killed. It was basically arrested development. The Ben character is more middle-aged; he seems to be grumpy as hell, but I didn't feel the pain that I felt in Christian's performance. And it was that pain that made me interested."
Ben Affleck returns as Batman in the highly-anticipated Justice League, which hits theaters November 17, and features a score by Junkie XL. The actor is also getting ready for his stand alone reboot The Batman, although we reported earlier this week that production likely won't begin until next year on that movie. It's possible that Junkie XL will be tapped once again to provide the score for The Batman, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.