Henry Cavill’s Return as Superman in Black AdamThe John Williams classic was used in the post-credits scene Superman theme rather than modern Hans Zimmer Man of Steel to score. There has long been speculation about Cavill’s return as Superman, especially as the new head of Warner Bros. Discovery assured the public that DC’s flagship characters Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman would be a focus of the franchise going forward. Cavill’s return in Black Adam eventually brings him back into the fold of the DCEU, though it’s currently unknown where the character will go next. There are a few clues as to what Cavill’s return as Superman may hold, but the most obvious is the use of John Williams’ Superman theme in contrast to Hans Zimmers in Black Adam‘s post credits scene.
There are two reasons DC would have decided to use Williams’ Superman score for Cavill’s return rather than Zimmer’s. It’s either because Williams’ theme is simply more recognizable to the general movie audience, or it could also signal where DC plans to take Cavill’s Superman further, symbolizing a new era less tied to the DCEUs. previous version of the character. The DCEU’s struggle to bring its iconic characters together into coherent stories is well documented, and it could very well be that the new leadership of Warner Bros. want to distance themselves from that era. Williams’ famous merry Superman Theme tune might be just what the DCEU needs for a soft reboot of Superman, a nod to things to come. Cavill himself has teased a more optimistic and inspiring turn as Superman is closer to the comic book character, a portrayal of the best of humanity. Williams’ score is more in line with those kinds of stories, and as such may be why his music was chosen for Black Adam‘s post-credits scene about Zimmer’s.
What Does Cavill’s Superman With John Williams’ Score Really Mean?
Henry Cavill’s first stint as Superman in Man of Steel was also the very first movie in the DCEU, launching what is now known as the Snyderverse. Man of Steel was the beginning of a new era for DC movies, as well as a whole new take on the Superman mythos, and so Hans Zimmer was brought in to create a music score that could embody this new version of Superman. Zimmer’s score is quietly hopeful and represents Superman’s Man of Steel development with an intense crescendo. While Snyder’s version of Superman certainly made for an interesting character study, it sometimes failed to understand that Superman is above all a beacon of hope and inspires people to be the best version of themselves.
Zimmer’s view of Superman is completely different from that of John Williams Superman score from the 1978 film, which is immediately cheerful and unashamedly positive, representative of an inspiring icon. If DC wants to steer Henry Cavill’s Superman in a different direction, closer to the source material, there’s no better way to signal that change than by using Williams’ original theme. Both Zimmer and Williams composed music that perfectly summed up the kind of Superman movies they wrote for, but one version will work best for the story being told now.
Does John Williams Score Also Work With Henry Cavill’s Superman?
It’s important to remember that no movie is complete without the soundtrack. As Lorne Balfe, Black Adam‘s composer and DC’s executives decided Williams’ theme was the right choice, you just have to listen to the music itself to understand why that might be. It all depends on the interpretation of the character presented on the screen. If DC wants to go in a boldly optimistic direction for Superman, then the music has to represent that too, and at this point, Williams’ theme is their best option.
Whether Williams’ music will be used for all future DCEU Superman projects remains to be seen, but the intentions are clear. Because it’s only a short scene in Black Adam, the music just had to convey a certain feeling, not underline the entire history and future of Superman. Cavill’s Return as Superman in Black Adam is certainly a cause for celebration, whatever music is playing.
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