Danny Elfman's classic Batman theme to return in Justice League

Contributed by
Nov 2, 2017

If there's one thing the forthcoming Justice League has going for it besides its all-star cast of DC superheroes, it's the past. Just ask Danny Elfman.

The man who gave us the iconic theme in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman says that with all due respect to his successor, Hans Zimmer, who composed the music for Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, there's only one theme Bat fans will be hearing when the blockbuster storms into theaters on November 17: his own.

"We are not going to listen to a new theme for Batman," the composer told Italian publication Reporte Indigo with a laugh. "You will hear Batman's theme for Batman."

Of course, Elfman's brass-heavy notes for the Michael Keaton-starrer helped establish the Caped Crusader as a force to be reckoned with on the big screen and also featured prominently in Burton's acclaimed 1992 follow up, Batman Returns.

But that's not the only whiff of nostalgia the former Oingo Boingo frontman is cooking up for the inaugural Justice League outing. As he told Billboard last month, he and Junkie XL (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman) also plan to use a snippet of John Williams' classic theme from Richard Donner's 1978 Superman the Movie as well as pay homage to Zimmer's own Wonder Woman score from BvS.

Of course, his desire to use his own work for Batman as opposed to Zimmer's might not go over well with generations of moviegoers reared on the latter's drums-heavy interpretation of the character. But Elfman jokingly defended his choice by saying his theme has been "there from the beginning."

"Hans has done something wonderful, driven with rhythm and so on, but there has only been one theme and it is and it is the Batman theme," he added.

The Justice League shout-outs don't just extent to the music though.

For anyone who grew up watching Christopher Reeve's take on Jor-El, keep an eye out for Mark McClure. The actor, who played photographer Jimmy Olsen alongside Reeve's Clark Kent in all four of his Superman movies, pops up in a cameo in a promo Warner Bros. has unleashed online featuring Victor Stone (Ray Stone), aka Cyborg. In the clip for AT&T Entertainment's All In With the Justice League series, Stone ends up saving McClure, who plays a police officer, from a fiery truck flying his way.

Lastly, as more than a few Netizens have pointed out, Ezra Miller's wardrobe for The Flash appears to be a loving callback to Clark Kent's plaid jacket in Superman.

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