Composer Hans Zimmer Talks ‘Interstellar’ Origin, Punk Influence on ‘Dark Knight’

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

The Oscar-winning composer tells the intimate stories behind the blockbusters he scores

Christopher Nolan’s epic Interstellar began with a mysterious letter the director sent composer Hans Zimmer, the latter told a gathering of students Oct. 15 at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television.

Without telling Zimmer that he was planning a futuristic, science fiction film — and without even telling him what the movie was about — Nolan sent Zimmer a letter typed on thick paper and written with a typewriter, outlying what he saw as the theme of his film, and asking Zimmer to spend one day writing some musical ideas. Zimmer was hooked, even though he didn’t know what Nolan planned to do.

In one night, he wrote a four-minute piece with piano and organ. “I really just wrote about what it meant to be a father,” said Zimmer. “And [Nolan] came down and sat on my couch and I played it for him. He goes, ‘Well, I better make the movie now.’ And I’m going, what is the movie? And he starts describing this huge journey, this vast canvas of space and philosophy and science and all these things. And I’m going, ‘hang on. I’ve written you this tiny little thing here.’ And he goes, ‘Yes, but I now know what the heart of the story is.’ So he was writing with this piece of music sort of keeping him company all the way through the writing process, all the way through the shoot.”