Zimmer’s Blade Runner…

br2049Ouch. Consider this possibly the first real negative news about the upcoming Blade Runner sequel: Hans Zimmer is working on the soundtrack. Not necessarily a case of ‘Johannsson out, Zimmer in’ (which really would be a case of the film jumping the shark in my view), but all the same, bit worrying. Sure, Zimmer has done some good scores, but these days much of it sounds like sound design rather than score (in order to get some emotion for Dunkirk they had to dig out Elgar for crying out loud).

To quote a new interview with director Denis Villeneuve: “Johann Johannsson of Iceland composes the main theme as planned. However, given the scale of the task, Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer joined the team to help Johann. It’s hard to get to Vangelis’ angle. We have Johann’s breathtaking atmospheric sounds, but I needed other things, and Hans helped us” (Studio Cine Live).

I would much rather have seen/heard Johannsson left alone, doing his own thing and using his own voice to give the film, well, its own voice, like the film Arrival had. Too many modern film scores sound like Zimmer even when he didn’t do the soundtrack; his ‘sound’ is too pervasive and it can be argued has actually hurt film scoring in general. My one hope about Johannsson doing the score was that it would hopefully sound new, fresh, exciting, just as Vangelis’ score did back in 1982.  Besides which, I don’t think this film should even really have that Vangelis ‘sound’. This film isn’t Blade Runner 1982, its Blade Runner 2017 (well, I know it’s actually ‘2049’ but you know what I mean).


3 thoughts on “Zimmer’s Blade Runner…

  1. Matthew McKinnon

    That doesn’t sound good. I have a feeling this is a case of ‘JJ’s score wasn’t enough like Vangelis, so we’re getting one of Zimmer’s clones in to beef it up with some synthesiser pads’. Oof.

    1. Exactly what worries me. At best it might sound generic, at worst… I hate to think.

      Oh well, I guess it was all too good to last, when you think about it. Eventually, even after the best of intentions, when lots of money is at stake Hollywood always reverts to form. It is a real pity though- I was looking forward to a classy soundtrack album similar to the ARRIVAL album, with music wholly by Johann Johannsson that may not have been hummable, but neither would it sound quite as bland as I fear Zimmers noise will do, Horrible news really.

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