Personal moments are key for ‘Man of Steel’ composer Hans Zimmer

A brief sketch of Hans Zimmer, composer of “Man of Steel” and how he avoided the music of John Williams for a year in order to craft an original Superman score.

Hans Zimmer

Here’s how committed composer Hans Zimmer was to crafting a truly original score for the new Superman movie Man of Steel: He didn’t listen to John Williams, one of his all-time favorites, for a year.

Man of Steel marks the first Superman feature film that has not used at least part of William’s memorable Superman March from the 1978 movieSuperman, one piece of music among many Williams classics that Zimmer actively avoided hearing while figuring out his own fanfare and themes.

Although he admits embarrassment about just now getting around to Williams’ score for last year’sLincoln, it was worth it.

Zimmer’s Man of Steel score for director Zack Snyder is powerful and dynamic, like Mahler with a synthesizer and the occasional pedal steel guitar, yet also modest in key musical sequences — to underscore the iconic superhero being an alien raised in the rural Midwest and becoming America’s greatest champion.

“If we can find that one moment that’s intensely personal for us, that’s the dime we can turn on. That’s what unleashes creativity,” says the German-born Zimmer, 55.

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