Hans Zimmer has established himself as one of the most instantly recognisable names in the film industry. The accomplished composer has worked on exceptional projects, ranging from the 1994 animated masterpiece The Lion King to Christopher Nolan’s films like Interstellar and Dunkirk. Zimmer’s latest venture is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi masterpiece Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
“Dune is one of my favourite books from my teenage years,” Zimmer said. “I love Denis, obviously, and Joe Walker, his editor. We did 12 Years A Slave together and Widows. We started working together in 1988 for the BBC together. It’s nice working with family.”
In order to work on Dune, Zimmer had to turn down Christopher Nolan’s Tenet but he stands by his decision because he loves Herbert’s book. “I have to do [Dune],” Zimmer claimed. Starring the likes of Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac and Rebecca Ferguson among several others, Dune already promises to be an exciting new addition to the book’s legacy.
While talking about the project, Zimmer explained that he has tried to move away from David Lynch’s adaptation and focused on the book itself: “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 honourable work, and do justice to the book.”
Adding, “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.”
The Hollywood Reporter recently revealed that Zimmer has created a second musical score in addition to the original one. The new score is an accompaniment to a making-of book called The Art and Soul of Dune which will have details regarding the production process as well as exclusive interviews with the film’s stars.
“Denis and I agreed that the female characters in the film drive the story,” Zimmer stated. “So the score is based on mainly female voices. We developed our own language. The musicianship is extraordinary, and this is not your normal orchestral score.”
“We agreed that the music would need to have a spirituality to it… a sanctified quality. Something that would elevate the soul and have the effect that only sacred music can,” Villeneuve elaborated. “Hans spent months and months creating new instruments, defining, creating, and seeking new sounds, pushing the envelope.”
Dune is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival next month before its theatrical release. It will also be available on streaming platforms like HBO Max for a brief period of time.
Check out the trailer for Dune below.