Following the departure of Zack Snyder from the production of Justice League, it didn’t take long for the production team to jettison a key member of Snyder’s team since the beginning of the DCEU, composer Tom Holkenborg AKA Junkie XL.
Junkie XL collaborated heavily with Hans Zimmer on the score for Man of Steel, and was promoted to co-composer in Batman v Superman: Dawn of of Justice. When Zimmer decided not to return for Justice League, Junkie XL stayed as the main composer for the film.
Then Joss Whedon took over and as another big sign of things changing with the movie, he and the producers decided to bring Danny Elfman on board as the new composer, despite the fact the Junkie XL had been working on the film since it started production.
Now, replacing composers and rejecting their music is not uncommon in movie making, but music is a huge part of what sets the tone of a movie, and that along with the reshoots over the summer are confirmation that the direction of the movie has changed from Snyder’s original vision.
Nevetheless, Danny Elfman is a very experienced composer with several comic book adaptations under his belt including Batman, Batman Returns, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Hulk, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Wanted and the Men in Black series, and he also provided the theme for the 90s The Flash TV show. He was also called by Joss Whedon to compose additional music for Avengers: Age of Ultron and bring it more on pair with the musical style of the first film by using Alan Silvestri’s themes.
The score album for Justice League will be released by WaterTower Music, and today they have revealed one of the tracks titled “Heroe’s Theme“. The track is not as bombastic as Elfman’s previous superhero themes and its slow beat building feels like a compromise between his own style and the musical tone set by Hans Zimmer and his aids. Then there’s the welcome addition of some chorus and strings and a lot less reliance on drums.
You can listen to it below.
I can honestly say after listening to it a few times, it’s really growing on me, but it’s too early to say how well it will work with the movie, and how Elfman will include the themes already set for Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, or even if he’s going to include them at all. One thing I always wished the DCEU had was musical continuity, and I hope the people working on the film right now understands its importance.
The score will be released digitally on November 10, with a physical 2 CD version following on December 8. Here’s the complete tracklist. You can pre-order it on iTunes and Amazon right now. And even if we won’t get to hear Junkie XL’s score, at least his collaboration with Gary Clark Jr. on the song “Come Together” has been included.