‘No Time to Die’: Hans Zimmer Takes Over as Composer on Bond Movie (EXCLUSIVE)
Art and Experience: Hans Zimmer is James Bond’s new composer, multiple sources tell Variety.
Director Cary Joji Fukunaga confirmed Zimmer’s boarding of the project in a Facebook post Thursday, adding, “Exciting times!”
The composer of “Gladiator,” “Inception” and “The Da Vinci Code” is already believed to be working on “No Time to Die,” the 25th film in the 007 franchise starring Daniel Craig. He replaces Dan Romer, the American composer who had previously been announced as scoring the film.
“Creative differences” are said to have been the reason for Romer’s dismissal by Eon Productions, the Broccoli family enterprise that has made all of the Bond films dating back to “Dr. No,” the first 007 adventure in 1962.
A spokesperson for MGM, Bond’s studio, had no comment on the matter. A spokesperson for Eon did not immediately return Variety‘s request for comment.
Rumors have been swirling for weeks about the status of music for the film, now in post-production in London. Director Cary Fukunaga brought Romer into the project last summer, having previously worked with him on “Beasts of No Nation” and the miniseries “Maniac.”
Speculation has been that Zimmer – who also has “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Dune” on his plate for 2020 – may need to enlist help to finish on time, as the film is slated for an April 10 release and recording will likely need to be completed by mid-February.
Reports, so far without confirmation, have suggested that the short time frame may necessitate the addition of such past Zimmer collaborators such as Benjamin Wallfisch (who worked with him on “Blade Runner 2049” and “Hidden Figures”) or Lorne Balfe (who last year rescued “Ad Astra” in post-production and in 2018 scored another high-grossing spy thriller, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”).
Zimmer could not be reached for comment. Balfe, who is in London, and Wallfisch, still in the U.S., declined comment for this story.
David Arnold, who scored five Bond films including the first two in the current Daniel Craig era (“Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace”), has confirmed that he was not contacted about a replacement score for Ian Fleming’s superspy. As he told Variety last year: “I’ll be as excited to watch the new film as anyone else. I still love him, and I love all of the team over there.”
The past few Bond epics have demanded long and intense scores to propel the action and heighten the suspense. Thomas Newman, who earned an Oscar nomination for “Skyfall” in 2012 and then scored “Spectre” in 2015, both for director Sam Mendes, wrote and recorded more than two hours of music for each.
Zimmer is an 11-time Oscar nominee who won in 1994 for “The Lion King.” No stranger to action films, he has also done three Batman movies, four “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, two “Sherlock Holmes” adventures and “Mission: Impossible 2.”
Romer has since scored “Wendy,” due in February from Fox Searchlight, for his “Beasts of the Southern Wild” director Benh Zeitlin. He is believed to have left the project in November.
“No Time to Die” marks the first time in the 58-year history of Bond films that a composer has been replaced during post-production. MGM and Eon representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
There is also no word as to who will write or perform the title song. Title songs for both “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” by Adele and Sam Smith respectively, won Oscars.