Join our new SFX Theme Knights campaign to make sure The Avengers movie gets a theme as good as John Williams’s Superman
I remember when SFX first reviewed X-Men , we bemoaned that lack of a decent, hummable superhero theme tune. Instead it had a pretty identikit action film harsh, noisy throb of a theme. Totally unmemorable. I challenge anyone who doesn’t own the soundtrack to actually recall how it goes.
Things seemed more hopeful when Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came along. After all, the music was being written by Danny Elfman who’d been known to knock out a few decent tunes in his time. Surely now Spidey would have a sparkling new theme to wipe “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can” from our memories in the same way Elfman had consigned “dinner-dinner-dinner-dinner-dinner Batman” to history with the Burton Dark Knight films?
No such luck. More largely tuneless parping and twanging that sounded more like the orchestra tuning up.
And so it went on. A genre that once boasted theme tunes that burned themselves into the zeitgeist now seemed happy with anything that sounded like someone trying to fight their way out of dustbin with a chicken drumstick.
Enough! SFX demands a return to decent superhero movie theme tunes like Elfman’s Batman and Williams’s Superman .
These are themes that live outside and beyond the movies they were written for. You hear them referenced everywhere: in ads, in documentaries, in news programmes. When there’s a TV show about someone achieving an amazing feat, chances are you’ll hear Williams’s Superman fanfare. The Batman theme doesn’t just mean Batman, it signifies the dark side of human nature that drives people to extremes. And when we hear those themes being used out of context, it helps reinforce the legends of the superheroes they were written for; it keeps them alive in the public consciousness. The X-Men are only ever alive in the public consciousness when there’s a new X-Men film being PR-ed to death.
And there’s a gap in the market for an instantly recognisable, hummable Avengers theme. Because The Avengers is about a team of superheroes. Think about it: if the film’s a hit then The Avengers could become a by-word outstanding team effort, above and beyond. And its theme could then accompany a news story about a football team pulling off the treble; or a documentary about a group of disabled kids making it to the top of Everest; or a show about a fireman working together during a disaster; or a video blog about the SFX team getting through a day without mentioning Doctor Who . You get the idea.
So come on. Sign up to SFX ’s Theme Knights Crusade by leaving a comment below, and help make Joss Whedon realise how vital it is for The Avengers to have a memorable theme tune and banish bland superhero themes to the past once more!