When will the mighty superhero bubble burst in Hollywood? For Hans Zimmer, it already has. The Oscar-winning composer who helped spawn the current boom with his early work on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has announced that he has “retired” from the superhero genre, according to a recent interview with the BBC.
Zimmer — whose work adds not only The Dark Night trilogy, but also both of Zack Snyder’s superman films, Man of Steel and the recently-released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — says he feels burnt out by the film genre, which has been at the center of much of his work for more than a decade.
“I have officially retired from the superhero business,” he said in the an interview with BBC Hardtalk. “[Batman v Superman] was very hard for me to do, to try to find new language. I did Batman Begins with Chris 12 years ago, so The Dark Knight trilogy might be three movies to you; to me it was 11 years of my life.”
For Zimmer — who has an incredible string of hits attached to his name including The Lion King, Gladiator, and the more-recent blockbuster Interstellar (to name a few) — there are always greener pastures.
But as film studios continue to recycle the same old tropes in their films with men and women in tights, often to middling critical responses, perhaps Zimmer’s exit is an indication of something more broad in the cultural zeitgeist.
Could the era of superhero flicks, finally, have reached its peak? With dozens of Marvel Comics films alone set for release in the next decade, along with multiple series from major networks and streamers like Netflix, it certainly doesn’t look like the end is anywhere near.
However, though superhero flicks may still make money hand-over-fist, after two decades in the spotlight, it may be that studios will begin to have more trouble wooing the highly-sought after talents of artists like Zimmer.
Then again, maybe quality doesn’t matter after all. Warner Bros.’ $250 million behemoth Batman v Superman has already grossed $500 million since its premiere last week, in spite of a 29 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, and general derision among a vast majority of critics. That indicates there is still plenty left in the tank when it comes to the appetites of American viewers — and perhaps even more importantly, international moviegoers — for superhero flicks, good or bad.
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