Now that Joss Whedon has taken on the responsibility of completing production on Justice League in time for its release this fall following Zack Snyder‘s departure from the movie due to a death in his family, he has brought on the always amazing Danny Elfman to compose the score for the much-anticipated DC Films blockbuster.
The hiring of Elfman comes just as Whedon is about to commence with the filming of additional scenes in London. Obviously this isn’t Elfman’s first time creating original music for a big-budget superhero movie; his score for Tim Burton’s first Batman in 1989 captured the film’s madness, melancholy, adventure, and Gothic atmosphere perfectly and continues to influence composers to this day. He also created the themes for the first TV series of The Flash, which aired for one season from 1990-1991, and Batman: The Animated Series.
Prior to taking his extended leave of absence from Justice League, director Snyder had been working with Tom Holkenborg, a.k.a. Junkie XL, who had worked on the soundtrack for his previous film – last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – with Hans Zimmer. Holkenborg has since left League for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot.
Elfman may be no stranger to DC Comics’ live-action comic adaptations for film and television, but he’s also worked on various projects based on Marvel Comics titles including the first two Spider-Man features directed by Sam Raimi, Ang Lee’s much misunderstood Hulk, and most recently, the Whedon-directed Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which Elfman contributed several music cues to a score primarily composed by Brian Tyler.
Other comic-based films featuring music by Elfman include Dick Tracy, Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and the Men in Black trilogy. He has also composed scores for numerous acclaimed dramas, comedies, adventures, and animated movies, and has been nominated for four Academy Awards – two in 1997 alone.
The combination of Danny Elfman and a comic book-based cinematic endeavor usually results in stellar music that refuses to leave your brain for days (if you’re lucky). Not since the 1992 one-two punch of Batman Returns and the Fox animated series has the celebrated rock musician and film composer scored the silver screen adventures of the Dark Knight. I’m assuming Elfman will incorporate Holkenborg’s work, including previously established themes for Batman and Wonder Woman, into his own while creating exciting new music for Justice League‘s sizable ensemble of heroes, villains, and supporting characters.
Regardless of how you may feel about the first four entries in DC’s cinematic universe, you have to admit the soundtracks are dark, brooding, majestic, and just flat-out wonderful to listen to at any time. I’m pretty anxious now to see what Elfman comes up with since he has five months remaining to get his Justice League score into fine fighting shape.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Henry Cavill, J.K. Simmons, Ciarán Hinds, and many others, and opens in 2D, IMAX 3D, Real 3D, and possibly Viewmaster slides on November 17, 2017.