With Hans Zimmer taking a break from the superhero genre, his partner Junkie XL is hard at work on the Justice League score all on his own. Collider caught up with Junkie XL and asked about what it’s like working without Zimmer.
Junkie XL couldn’t go into specifics but talked a bit about his approach, and even revealed some advice he got from Justice League director Zack Snyder.
Well I know you’ve been busy and I know you can’t go into specifics on Justice League, but I’m curious what it was like scoring this massive superhero movie without Hans. I know you definitely have experience working solo on big films, but Justice League is a huge undertaking.
JUNKIE XL: It’s a massive undertaking. And I can’t say anything about Justice League specifically, but I’ll tell you this, and this was exactly the same experience that Hans and I had when we did work together on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: It’s like when you see a movie like that, these iconic superhero movies, some of them have a 60 to 80 year legacy, multiple composers had a go at their themes, multiple filmmakers did their version of these characters—it’s very scary. You watch a movie and it’s like, “Holy shit, now I have to come up with something.” You’ve got sweaty hands and you’re nervous, and you talk about it over and over again—and I have exactly that relationship with Zack Snyder—and then Zack said, ”There’s only one thing you can do, and that is embrace this character as if it’s your own, keep it close to your musical soul, and just do whatever you feel is the right thing to do for this character.” That’s the only thing we can do. That’s what all these great directors did back in the day, and that’s what all these great composers did back in the day. It makes no sense for me to do extensive quoting of Hans’ score of the really amazing Batmans. It makes no sense for me to quote Superman from John Williams. Because all fantastic composers, they all did the same thing, they did something that was close to their heart, and I have to do exactly the same thing on this movie.
If you want to learn more from Junkie XL and about the music making process, check out his YouTube series “Studio Time with Junkie XL”. It’s fascinating!