Director Zack Snyder says he tapped German-born film composer Hans Zimmer to score "Man of Steel" because he didn't want to borrow from previous Superman movies.
"Before we began working on the music, I got questions about the music. Once we announced that we were going to make the movie, you get on the phone and you think you're going to talk about: 'Oh, you're making a Superman movie, that's great. What's your take? Blah blah blah,'" Snyder told reporters at a recent press conference in Los Angeles.
Instead, the filmmaker said, the people he encountered all wanted to know: "Are you going to use the music from the other films? The John Williams score?"
"And I was like: 'Oh, God, I don't know. We haven't shot a frame of film. I don't know that.
"But we knew that music was out there and it's a strong piece of music, but because our philosophy, of course, was we wanted to act like no [Superman] films had ever been made. We wanted to act like we found these comic books under our bed and said, 'This would be a cool movie.' ... Because we had taken that point of view, there was no cherry picking of stuff. You couldn't go: 'Hey, it would be cool if we borrow these couple of little things. That's fine, right?' So we knew everything was going to be from zero," Snyder said.
"I was a reluctant bride," Zimmer confessed at the press conference.
"Because unlike ['Steel' co-star Russell Crowe,] I had seen the other Superman movies and I just think the John Williams music is incredible. But a couple of things happened. [Producer Chris Nolan] said to me, 'You can do the Superman movie.' And I kept saying: 'No, I can't do the Superman movie because when you went into Warner Bros. with an idea for a Superman movie, you actually had an idea. I have nothing,'" Zimmer recalled.
"And then Zack and I started talking and, completely and entirely, the only reason the score exists is because Zack took me by the hand and said, 'This is what I want to do.' And I'm going, 'I can feel that.' The other thing is he's a great artist. He doodles. He draws and that's a great language for me."
Turning to screenwriter David S. Goyer, Zimmer added: "Forgive me for this, but when we started I said to Zack, 'I don't want to read the script, tell me the story.' Because then I knew what was in his head. Here's the thing. I know what it's like to be a foreigner. I know what it's like to be an outsider. I have no superpowers. The other thing, which I think both Zack and I felt was important, was this idea of hope. That we would celebrate something. That we would celebrate an America that has not been celebrated in so long and just be genuine and write from the heart."
Zimmer is a multiple Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Golden Globe awards winner whose film credits include the blockbusters "Inception, "The Dark Knight," "The Dark Knight Rises," "Black Hawk Down" and "Gladiator."
"Man of Steel: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" was released this week. Starring Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne, the PG 13-rated film opened Friday.