If you think of James Bond music, most of you will immediately think of John Barry’s iconic theme song first introduced in 1962’s Dr. No. Or maybe it’s one of the classic title songs like Shirley Bassey’s utter belter, Goldfinger, or maybe even something more modern like Adele’s Oscar-winning Skyfall. The point is, it’s usually either that 007 musical motif or whatever track plays during the title sequence that sticks with you on a Bond movie, and not the actual score that plays throughout the film. That may just change with the upcoming No Time to Die though thanks to one simple name: Hans Zimmer.
Variety reports that the legendary composer, arguably the world’s most famous movie music man, is joining the production for Daniel Craig’s upcoming James Bond swan song. Zimmer is, of course, the Oscar and Grammy-winning composer of utterly iconic music scores of over 150 films, including The Lion King, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, The Last Samurai, The Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator, Rain Man, The Rock, Driving Miss Daisy, and much, much more. He’s without a doubt my favourite living composer, so I’m overjoyed at the prospect of what he can come up with for what is potentially shaping up to be one hell of an end to Craig’s tenure as the world’s most famous spy. The problem is just that Zimmer doesn’t have a lot of time to work his magic.
For those of you keeping track at home, No Time to Die is set to release in April, which makes Zimmer’s appointment super late. That’s because he’s actually replacing Dan Romer who has suddenly left the production due to that old Tinsel Town chestnut: “Creative differences”. Romer had been brought onboard by No Time to Die’s director, Cary Fukunaga, after the two had worked together rather brilliantly on Beasts of No Nation and Maniac. It’s unclear why Romer and Fukunaga ended their working relationship on this film. Both MGM and Eon (Bond’s production studios) declined to comment on the situation to Variety.
With just a couple of months to get things going, further, unconfirmed rumours suggest that Zimmer – who is also doing the music scores for Wonder Woman 1985, Top Gun: Maverick, and Dune – may actually need to tag in some help. The names of Benjamin Wallfisch (who worked with Zimmer on Blade Runner 2049 and Hidden Figures) and Lorne Balfe (Ad Astra, Mission: Impossible – Fallout) have been suggested but nothing is confirmed as both men declined to comment. Composers Thomas Newman – who was actually nominated for an Oscar for his score on Skyfall – and David Arnold – who has scored five Bond films including Craig’s Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace – were seemingly not approached.
This is the first time in the Bond franchise’s history that a composer is replaced while the film is already in post-production, but in hindsight this just seems par for the course for this film. No Time to Die had languished in production hell for years following the lacklustre response to 2015’s Spectre. Craig hemmed and hawed for ages on whether he would reprise the role of Bond one last time, but even once he committed things didn’t go smooth as writers and directors came and went. Even once everything was seemingly finally locked down, there were issues due to onset injuries to Craig that threatened to shut down production. It’s almost felt miraculous that Fukunaga and Craig have managed to get the film to this point. But the film is now almost here, and it just sound damn amazing.
No Time to Die is scheduled for release on 10 April 2020.
Last Updated: January 8, 2020