Ever since John Williams composed the score for Richard Donner's Superman, his theme music for the Man of Steel has been set in people's minds as the definitive Superman theme. In an interview with World's Finest, composer Robert Kral (who also composed music for Angel on the WB), discusses the challenge of creating new music for the superhero icon in Superman: Doomsday.
His first challenge, of course, was to get out from under the shadow of the classic John Williams theme. "First, we wanted to create a suitable and original Superman theme," Kral says. "Bruce (Timm) didn't want a John Williams movie rip-off. We were looking to create something slightly darker, and we wanted to somehow capture an element of the human struggle in the theme. The story outlines a massive challenge for Superman and obviously includes a battle that would lead to his death so we wanted it to be very serious and less upbeat / happy sounding than John Williams' theme."
Beyond a theme for the Man of Steel, Kral and director Bruce Timm created music for each scene in the movie, working hard to capture the proper tone for each scene. Kral also created themes for Lois Lane and Clark Kent. "It was an absolute thrill to work on Superman: Doomsday, creating themes for Lois and Clark and Superman, scoring Doomsday and these fantastic action sequences. It was a pure joy!"
When asked how he felt about the process as a whole, Kral answered "I am very pleased with my score for Superman: Doomsday. The process went very smoothly. For the first 15 minutes of the movie, I handed in the score to Bruce as my first assignment. He had absolutely NO changes to make to the score. This says to me that Bruce and I were very much on the same page as to what the music should do and how it should do it. Some highlights for me are Superman's sacrifice and then dying in Lois's arms, and the final battle. I also love the ending scenes. The themes really came together how I wanted them to and towards the end of the story, the last times you hear the themes being used, it feels the music is really part of the story and feel of the movie, which is one of my main goals in scoring."
CLICK HERE to read the entire interview.