Justice League will mark Danny Elfman’s return to the world of DC Comics heroes for the first time since he composed the score for Tim Burton’s Batman Returns in the early 90s. In an interview with Billboard, Danny Elfman discussed his work on the highly anticipated film and teased the inclusion of classic superhero motifs such as John Williams’ iconic Superman theme.
Danny Elfman revealed that a piece of John Williams’ score for Superman: The Movie will be in featured a sequence where the Man of Steel’s allegiance will be uncertain:
“It was great. It was like I never left because I’m using the same thematic material that I used back then. It never actually went away [Laughs.] It just was great fun. There are a few little fan moments. I instated a moment of the Wonder Woman theme that Hans Zimmer did for Batman Vs. Superman, but I also had two minutes where I had the pleasure of saying, “Let’s do John Williams’ Superman.” and that for me was heaven, because now I have a melody to twist, and I’m using it in an actually very dark way, in a dark moment. It’s the kind of thing that some fans will notice. Some won’t. It’s a moment where we’re really not sure whose side he’s on. The people at DC are starting to understand we’ve got these iconic bits from our past and that’s part of us, that’s part of our heritage — we shouldn’t run away from that. Contemporary thinking is, every time they reboot something, you have to start completely from scratch — which, of course, audiences will tell us again and again, is bullshit. Because the single-most surviving and loved theme in the world is Star Wars, which they had the good sense to not dump for the reboots. And every time it comes back, the audience goes crazy.
The acclaimed composer also discussed his new motifs for characters such The Flash and Aquaman, who will be making their live-action cinematic debuts in Justice League:
“I created very simple motifs. There are so many themes, you can’t just do a big theme for everything. So i created a motif for Flash, for Aquaman and Cyborg — but they’re very simple things, and [DC] understood. I said, “These things may never be used again, but I’m giving you all the components, should you wish to have things to build on.” So they either will or they won’t, but that’s how I approach a project like this. You have to take the attitude that this is the beginning of a mythology and it all matters, it all comes to fruition, and with any luck they will. I loved the people I worked with, they were wonderful. The DC guys were great. I kept talking about the DNA of John Williams in this other theme — using the DNA of Batman in these other variations, which were not the Batman theme — but it all derives from that… Musical themes are like genes, you carry the DNA along and it creates these subtle connections which are perceived on an unconscious level. It’s funny because I’m terrible at puzzles, but I love musical puzzles. It’s a different part of my brain.”
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Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen, Julian Lewis Jones and Ciarán Hinds.
Justice League will be released in theaters on November 17, 2017.