Bond 25 questions: The composer edition

Hans Zimmer title card from Inception (2010),

Thanks to Variety (but still not announced), the word is out that Hans Zimmer is working on the score for No Time to Die. Naturally, the blog has a few questions.

Is it Zimmer or Hans Zimmer & Co.?

Hans Zimmer runs a company called Remote Control Productions. It has more than 60 affiliated composers. On a number of films (Dunkirk, Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises and Inception), Zimmer gets sole “music by” credit while of the Remote Control Productions composers get an “additional music” credit.

Those other composers have included Lorne Balfe and Junkie XL. The number of additional music composers varies from project to project.

On other occasions, including Blade Runner 2049 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zimmer has shared the main “music by” credit with another one of the Remote Control Productions composers. Benjamin Wallifisch shared the credit with Zimmer on Blade Runner 2049 while Junkie XL shared the Batman v Superman music credit.

How long has Zimmer been working on No Time to Die?

The MI6 James Bond website, in a story early today, said it “understands that orchestral sessions are currently being recorded” for the new Bond film. Mr. Obvious observation: That sounds like the score has been written, or at least partly written.

What happened to Dan Romer?

The Variety story said “creative differences” without providing more details. News that Romer was initially hired to score No Time to Die surfaced last year. He was listed in the crew in an August press release issued primarily because of the title reveal.

Presumably, Romer’s work didn’t please Eon Productions in some way. Meanwhile, Eon has been working with Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions for its upcoming non-Bond spy film The Rhythm Section. Zimmer is listed as executive music producer.

Why don’t they bring David Arnold back?

Arnold composed scores for five Bond films and is a fan favorite. But starting with Skyfall, Eon Productions has — at least initially — hired a composer chosen by the director.

Sam Mendes wanted Thomas Newman and got him. Romer had worked on some previous projects of No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga.

In the end, any composer is a hired hand when it comes to the family-run Bond films. Marvin Hamlisch got two Oscar nominations for The Spy Who Loved Me but was never asked back into Bondage.

Hans Zimmer to score NTTD, Variety says

Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is the new composer for No Time to Die, Variety reported late Monday night.

The entertainment news outlet cited “multiple sources” without identifying them. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Bond franchise’s home studio, declined to comment to Variety.

Zimmer has scored various major films, including a number of movies directed by Christopher Nolan. He has been nominated for 11 Oscars with one win.

Zimmer also is listed as executive music producer for Eon Productions’ non-Bond spy film The Rhythm Section, to be released late this month.

He replaces Dan Romer, who Eon said in August would score No Time to Die. Romer previously had worked on some projects with director Cary Fukunaga.

Variety cited reports “so far without confirmation” that “have suggested” Zimmer may have to work with another composer to complete the movie. Variety didn’t identify what those reports were.

Zimmer runs Remote Control Productions, a music company with a large roster of affiliated composers. One of them, Steve Mazzaro, scored The Rhythm Section for Eon. Another, Benjamin Wallisfisch, shared the scoring credit with Zimmer for Blade Runner 2049.