Saturday, April 30, 2016

Musical Ties Between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman

It was great to have Hans Zimmer back as composer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice following his magnificent score for Man of Steel, and now he was joined by the great Junkie XL, hot off of Mad Max: Fury Road.

There are several clear connections between the two scores, such as Clark's main theme (C-G, C-F, E) and the battle drums from the Black Zero Event, used during Bruce's scene in that same battle. But it's also been cool to uncover some of the more subtle links between the two scores. I wanted to share two of them here.

First, Man of Steel had the exhilarating piece "Flight" to encapsulate Superman learning to fly for the first time. The main themes from this piece showed up during the "Day of the Dead" sequence in Batman v Superman, but now it's tinged with sadness and melancholy as Superman is trying to deal with the sometimes troubling, sometimes deadly repercussions of his good intentions.

Second, Man of Steel had a great theme that was used for the final Superman/Zod battle, leading up to the ultimate decision of Superman killing Zod. If you follow the melody of this piece, it actually is used again in Batman v Superman. In BvS, it's also during the final battle scene, this time with Doomsday, and again it is Superman's ultimate decision that the entire movie has been leading up to, but this time the melody is set in a very dramatic, heart-wrenching style.

Amazing stuff, capturing the character development for Superman between the two movies.


  1. Sam have you seen this article: Pop Sociology: An Explanation of Batman v Superman’s “Rotten” 29%, Pedro Saez Williams

    I was wondering what you might think about it.

    1. Thanks for the reference. It's a great read, and I agree with the overall analysis that the conflict around BvS reception is largely due to people holding on to absolute perceptions, just like characters in BvS. I would add that film critics are probably dealing with issues of powerlessness, also much like characters in BvS.

      I'll have to reflect on the ideas in that piece a bit more.

    2. It also makes me wonder if BvS was exactly the same in content but wasn't directed by Zack Snyder, if the reviews would be the exact same. I love what Snyder did and I enjoy his films, but he seems to be hated beyond reason. BTW I love what you do here and really appreciate it.