Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Interview

RELATED REVIEWS
The Nightmare Before Christmas-3D (2007)
Empire Star Rating
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Danny Elfman On The Making Of Batman
The legendary composer on how the iconic movie score came about

submit to reddit

Danny Elfman On The Making Of Batman


Scoring Batman was my great test of fire. It was rough. In fact, there was a point where I actually had to drop out of the film and come back, while they were working things out. It was only my tenth film and all I'd done to that point was comedies, so I had less experience than anybody should have in that situation and neither the producer, Jon Peters, nor the studio wanted me. The only comment anyone would make at the beginning was that they didn't want me, they wanted John Williams.

I really had to fight to win everybody over, but I still approached it very aggressively. On my third presentation to Peters, Tim Burton got very excited and kept saying, 'Play the march! Play the march!', so I played the piece of music that ended up becoming the Batman theme. Suddenly, Peters leapt out of his chair and started conducting. After months of trying, I finally had him! He went from being totally adversarial to very supportive and from then on he was a great ally for me.

I never expected to have any of my music released as a second soundtrack - I don't think that had ever happened before - but Peters fought hard to get the orchestral score released. Prince's soundtrack was never a hindrance for me. I just knew that there were these three scenes that had songs in them, and whenever that happens I just skip those scenes and get on to what I have to do.

The tone we were aiming for was much darker than superhero films had been up to that point. It's hard to explain to kids now, because the whole genre has gone incredibly dark, but at that time superhero films meant Superman. Batman was just so much more weird than that on so many levels and trying to find a language that would work for that was tricky. But right from the get-go Tim said that we were never, in any way, going to refer to the Adam West television show. Not even a wink or a nod.

  • More: Danny Elfman Career Interview
  • The Greatest Movie Soundtracks - Empire's Music Celebration

    Interview by Phil de Semlyen


    CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
    My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
    The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

    Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
    A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

    Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
    Prepare to science the shit out of it...

    Deadpool: A Complete History
    Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

    Evil Media: Haunted TVs, Tapes And Tunes
    Ten sinister reasons to go off-grid

    Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
    Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

    The N.W.A-Team
    Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

    Subscribe to Empire magazine
    Empire print magazine

    Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

    Subscribe now!

    Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
    Empire digital magazine

    Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

    Subscribe now!

    Subscribe now and save up to 63%
    Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
    Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
    Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
    The Empire Digital Edition
    With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
    Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
    © Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
    Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)