The Nerd Side Of Life

Something Dedicated and Different Coming in Hans Zimmer “Dune” Score

One of the things we are most looking forward to about the upcoming Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures release of Denis Villeneuve‘s “Dune” is the score. When word came down that Hans Zimmer was handling the score, we were absolutely ecstatic.

Zimmer and his compatriots Jóhann Jóhannsson and Benjamin Wallfisch worked with Villeneuve on “Blade Runner: 2049,” so we already know they can work together on a world-building level.

Composer and musician Hans Zimmer, photo courtesy of the artists’ website and PR team.

In a recent interview with Variety, Zimmer revealed that the work on the score for “Dune” is still in the very early stages. Which is interesting, considering the reshoots planned for August of 2020, and WB maintaining the film’s December 18th 2020 release date.

Variety: Where are you on that one?

Hans Zimmer: Right now I’m in the middle of making these sounds. I just have these ideas, and it’s like this every day. I’m doing all these experiments, and I have no idea if any of them will ever really end up in the movie. But we are so dedicated, trying to do something different, to do solid and honorable work, and do justice to the book.

Variety: It’s such a great canvas for a composer — so many directions you might go.

Hans Zimmer: And I am. And some of them will probably be complete and utter disasters. But I’m having a go. Absolutely full on. I’m being obnoxious and telling people I need more time. The usual.

Variety: You’ve been scoring films for something like 35 years now. Do you ever tire of it? Does it ever get old, writing music for movies?

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Zimmer: Yeah, it does. And then something like “Dune” comes along with somebody like [director] Denis Villeneuve. And you have to remember that Joe Walker, the editor on the film, he and I did our first television series for the BBC in 1988 [“First Born”].

I’m driving everybody crazy on “Dune” because I’m so full of ideas. And it’s Denis, you know? He lets me be part of this world. It’s totally and utterly inspiring, and it’s great people I get to work with – scrap the word “work,” it’s great people I get to play with.

Variety: Since “Dune” is a large-scale, universe-spanning saga, won’t you need an orchestra? And if you do need one, how will you manage that between now and the end of the year?

Zimmer: Don’t know yet. So far I’m doing okay. There are possibilities opening up. Recording is going on in London and Vienna. And look, I’ve always used odd lineups, and I’ve sort of, for better or for worse, invented a way of working where you can have different small sections come in at different times. So to me, that’s not so different. Working remotely is horrible, but I’ve done it. And if we have to do it like this, we’ll do it like this.

All I want to do is make sure that, number one, we all know the material, and number two, we keep the musicians busy, and number three, the thing that we started on “Lion King,” by having truly a diverse orchestra, that we keep this going. Because selfishly, it was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard out of an orchestra.


We will of course let you know what we hear about the upcoming “Dune” film.

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