Legendary science-fiction films usually contain equally legendary scores. Ones that evoke at the first few notes visages of the story — at least, if they’re done correctly. The upcoming Blade Runner 2049 sequel to the 1982 classic has a lot riding on its success, and one make-or-break aspect of the movie apparently needed some extra oomph. It was announced today that Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer would be stepping in to help finish the score.
The original Blade Runner film was scored by Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, whom you’d probably know better by his professional name, Vangelis. The dreamscape he created to tell the story of Replicants searching for the truth of their manufactured selves having souls is one of the most enduring parts of the film, other than pretty much every second of filmstock.
Blade Runner 2049 has the eyes of the hardcore science-fiction community upon it, and apparently the talent of composers Johann Johannsson and Benjamin Wallfisch just wasn’t enough to finish on the high director Denis Villeneuve was hoping for.
Villeneuve says that Jóhannsson hasn’t left the project as some European outlets have suggested, but that the two composers are coming on to help. Villeneuve went on to say:
“It’s hard to get to Vangelis’ angle. It’s a very specific sound, and it’s very important that the music of 2049 be directly inspired by Vangelis’ work. We have Johann’s breathtaking atmospheric sounds, but I needed other things, and Hans helped us.”
Most recently, both Zimmer and Wallfisch collaborated with Christopher Nolan on his WWII epic Dunkirk, the results being an understated pulse of the film that didn’t jar the viewer out of the experience as much as the typical all-encompassing war film score.
It stands to reason the tone of the film wasn’t being hit, with the score being such an integral cog in the wheel. The right thematic elements hopefully now being augmented with Zimmer’s notable sensibilities.
Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters on October 6th.