It was announced that British actor Henry Cavill has been cast as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman in the Superman re-boot movie due out next year. I’m not filled with dread over the decision, by any means, but it is a little sad to see America’s greatest hero being played by an Englishman. That’s like casting a Scotsman as England’s great hero, James Bond. (No kidding…really? Ok never mind) But I’m unfamiliar with Cavill’s work so I can only go by his look…and he certainly has the eyes and jawline to play the Man of Steel.
But the thing that concerns me is something I read about the REASON they cast Cavill. A studio exec was quoted as saying, “We’re really going to try and make Superman as contemporary as possible.” Which some have interpreted as meaning they are going to ditch the John Williams theme that has been synonymous with the character since the 1978 movie. This, to me, is simply not acceptable. The John Williams has become as much a part of the Superman character as his cape and tights. When you see Superman’s big red “S,” the theme starts playing in your mind.
You were humming it before you pressed play, weren’t you?
Fortunately some composers have had the good sense to turn down the assignment already. Hans Zimmer reportedly turned down the job to write a new Superman theme saying, “I’m not thinking of rewriting Beethoven’s ninth, either.” Which is exactly the point. If you write a new theme to Superman, you will not do better or even as good as Williams’. Which only leaves you to do worse.
Sorry Danny…needed SOMEONE for the joke.
I understand they want to reboot the franchise and distance themselves from the 2006 Superman Returns. I get it. Certainly that can be achieved without throwing out the theme altogether. Take a page from 2009’s Star Trek. They used the Alexander Courage Star Trek theme but not until the end. Same with 2007’s James Bond reboot, Casino Royale. They rebooted the CRAP out of that franchise! Different tone, different humor, different action, even a different hair color for the main character…yet they STILL kept the classic Bond theme. Why? Because it’s become part of the character’s cinematic legacy!
So Zack, Christopher, et all…I know you’re trying to rebuild the Superman franchise from scratch, but don’t throw out the baby Kal-El with the bath water. Make sure whoever you get to do the score for the Man Of Steal incorporates his iconic theme. Or better yet…
THAT’S what I’M talkin’ about