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- Soundtrack: Man of Steel Deluxe Edition Soundtrack
- Composer: Hans Zimmer
- Distributor: Water Tower Music (Warner Brothers)
- Original Year of Release: 2013
- Includes: 2 Disc Set with Expanded Score
Man of Steel Deluxe Edition Soundtrack Review
Before and After the Film
By Robert T. Trate
June 24, 2013
The hardest part of reviewing a soundtrack with Superman in the film is getting over years of nostalgia and John Williams’ perfect theme. It’s a theme that is still used to this day to invoke a triumphant spirit. John Williams made us all believe a man could fly with his incredible score, a score so insurmountable that John Ottman’s own Superman Returns score was no more a tribute than an original piece of music.
Now with Man of Steel in theaters and our collective pop culture, Christopher Nolan and Zach Snyder have done what must be done. To sever themselves from the Richard Donner films of the past, they have commissioned Hans Zimmer to write a completely new score for the Man of Steel. No trace of Williams’ score will be present. Hans Zimmer did re-write the Batman theme on Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, thus making him the sensible choice.
I wanted to give Zimmer’s score its fair shake. The Williams score has been embedded in my mind since 1978. How could it not be? It was featured in 5 films and runs for 5 straight minutes in the first film’s opening title sequence alone. I decided to listen to the Man of Steel score first as its own piece of music and then again after I watched the film.
Pre - Man of Steel
The brilliance of the Man of Steel Deluxe Edition is that it includes “Man of Steel - Han’s Original Sketchbook” on a separate disc (track #1), a 28 minute sampling of the score. It has a feeling to it that we are constantly rushing towards something. Without having seen the film, I can either deduce that it is Clark and his destiny to become Superman or Superman facing off against General Zod.
Track #6 (Disc 1) “If You Love These People” has some echos of Zimmer’s Academy Award nominated music from Gladiator. Though as the choir chimes in, it has a slightly more angelic sound.
Track #1 (Disc 1) “Look to the Stars” starts off on a majestic triumph that is slightly reminiscent of William’s “The Planet Krypton”. However, it then breaks into a science fiction feel that has never been done before, seriously, in a Superman movie. It is unique and far different from Track #2 (Disc 1) “Oil Rig” which feels just like The Dark Knight Rises.
Track #14 (Disc 1) “This is Clark Kent” supplies quiet moments of reflection as I can only assume are Clark’s. Yet, pieces of this were in trailer and connected to Diane Lane’s Martha Kent.
Track #3 (Disc 2) “General Zod” is so distinctly the bad guy’s music, I didn’t even need to know the track title to figure it out.
After listening to the complete score, it was Track #17 (Disc 1) “What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?” that we finally had a theme emerge. It has to be the finale to the film. It was simply incredible.
Post - Man of Steel
Perhaps the greatest determent of hearing John Williams’ iconic score was listening to Hans Zimmer’s over and over again. I never struggled with inserting William’s theme during the opening title sequence or even the wide shots of Krypton. “Planet Krypton” is by far one of my favorite pieces of music by him. As many of you undoubtedly know by now, Zimmer delivers.
When I first learned that Zimmer would be scoring the Man of Steel, I thought it was the perfect choice. He has become the new John Williams and has been delivering iconic scores this whole century. On a much smaller scale, it makes sense that Zimmer delivers a Man of Steel score. After his completion of The Dark Knight Trilogy, it only makes sense that he would do the music for the Man of Steel. After all, they are a shared universe.
While listening to the score again, the music quickly sparked memories of the dazzling visuals that transpired. However, the whole score, like its predecessor, Batman Begins, seems like a starting point. Each track is building to that final moment. Zimmer keeps us emotionally invested, yet pushes us all to that final moment. “What are you going to do when you are not saving the world” is more than just the final track of the score. It is our starting point for a whole new saga of Superman stories.