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'The Dark Knight' Composer Told Christopher Nolan the Music Was Too Loud

By Brandon Davis - February 1, 2019

The Dark Knight remains one of the most iconic and near perfect comic book movies in history but composer Hans Zimmer would change one thing: the volume of his score.

Zimmer's score for the Christopher Nolan-directed Dark Knight movie offered a pulse pounding thrill for the DC Comics offering. However, he believed his music was so loud in the final cut of the film that it was taking away from the incredible performances of Christian Bale and Heath Leadger.

“I told Chris the music was too loud—you couldn’t hear the lines," Zimmer told VanityFair. "[Nolan] said, ‘I wrote them. I can do what I want.’ He was right; people do remember the lines. He could have done 200 different cop-out endings, but he put that ending on."

Zimmer now stands firmly behind Nolan's choice to keep the music's volume levels where the were. "It’s hard to pull off a satisfying ending, if you’re that ambiguous," Zimmer said. "One second longer, or one sentence or note different, and it would have been a different movie."

Of course, the movie's history goes back to casting Ledger as The Joker in the first place. While Ledger's role has gone down as one of the best in film, the initial reaction from fans wasn't very supportive. "When Heath Ledger was cast, there was an outcry from an audience, forgetting that it’s not for us to ask what they want to see—it’s for us to make something they can’t even imagine," Zimmer said. "It’s a Batman movie, but not what you imagine a Batman movie to be. And it surprised everyone. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?”

Zimmer and Nolan teamed up for a movie which would redefine the comic book movie genre. More than $1 billion at the worldwide box office aside, fans and critics agree that The Dark Knight is a thrilling piece of art work based on DC Comics' Batman character. As a result, Marvel Studios and DC Films saw that there can be a tremendous amount of success with comic book characters and entire universes would quickly spawn. It's hard to believe that Marvel's Iron Man came out in the same year and that both The Dark Knight and Iron Man are more than 10 years old, already.

Other DC Comics characters are currently shining on the big screen now and in upcoming films. Aquaman is in theaters now. Upcoming DC films include Shazam! on April 5th, Joker on October 10th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, and The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021.

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'The Dark Knight' Composer Told Christopher Nolan the Music Was Too Loud


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