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Why Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel Didn’t Use John Williams’ Superman Theme

Man of Steel’s storyboard artist explains why Zack Snyder’s movie didn’t use John Williams’ Superman theme, with Hans Zimmer stepping in instead.


Man of Steel‘s storyboard artist shares that Zack Snyder wanted to use the classic John Williams Superman theme song for the movie. Williams’ Superman theme was iconic in the ’70s and ’80s, becoming synonymous with Christopher Reeve’s hero. However, Hans Zimmer took over composing duties for 2013’s Man of Steel, and Williams’ theme wasn’t used in the film.


Zimmer, a self-trained musician and composer, had his first big break when he created the film score for Rain Man, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score. He also composed music for The Lion King and many other movies, including Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, making him no stranger to superhero films. Ultimately, Zimmer’s Man of Steel score became memorable in its own right alongside Henry Cavill’s performance as Superman.

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Recently, a Twitter user claimed that Snyder’s fans never wanted Williams’ Superman theme in Man of Steel. The claim was responded to by storyboard artist Jay Oliva, who has collaborated with Snyder on several projects. He explained it was the studio’s decision, which wound up being a good one. Check out Oliva’s tweet below:

Considering how different Man of Steel was from the earlier Superman films, Williams’ music would not have been appropriate for Cavill’s Superman. Williams’ theme is so heavily associated with Reeve, it stands to reason including it would have done a disservice to Cavill and his attempt to bring a new take on the character. Based on Oliva’s comment, it sounds like this was the studio’s thinking as well, believing that Cavill’s hero deserved a theme of his own.

It’s also worth remembering that Man of Steel was the very first movie in the DC Extended Universe. Warner Bros. had a lot riding on the project and needed it to establish a new, exciting franchise that would have only suffered from comparisons to past DC projects. Still, it’s understandable that both Snyder and Oliva’s first instinct was to incorporate Williams’ theme into Man of Steel. While it would have provided a lovely callback to Reeves’ beloved performance, it was ultimately the right call to allow Cavill’s Superman to stand on his own.

Source: Jay Oliva

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