The task of living up to Vangelis' enveloping Blade Runner electronica, one of the more haunting synth sounds of the 1980s, was always going to be difficult, but Arrival's Jóhann Jóhannsson has some pretty high-calibre help. The thirty-five-years-later Denis Villeneuve sequel (set a mere thirty years later) is set to arrive in two months time, and Benjamin Wallfisch of A Cure For Wellness and Hans Zimmer of Every Christopher Nolan Movie In The Last Decade will help nudge it across the finish line.
Villeneuve revealed the collaboration while speaking to French magazine Studio Ciné Live, but since I prefer my fries drenched in a large barrel of Freedom Grease, here's the translation into American via the good folks at The Playlist:
“….Johann Johansson composed the main theme as planned,” Villeneuve said. “But, given the magnitude of the task, Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer joined the team to help Johann. It’s hard to [follow original ‘Blade Runner‘ composer] Vangelis! We had some astonishing atmospheric [pieces] by Johann, but I needed other options, and Hans helped us.”
Wallfisch is part of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions, and the duo recently joined hands along with fellow Hans regular Pharrell (yes, that one) on Hidden Figures. To the untrained ear, Vangelis to Jóhannsson doesn't feel like much of a leap, though a totally different sound comes to mind when one first thinks Zimmer & co., one that sounds a little something like "tick-tick-BWAMAMMM." I'd probably point to all of Zimmer's atmospheric exposition overlay in Inception to quell any fears of a radical shift in style this late in the game though, in addition to the fact that these folks are, y'know, smart.
Blade Runner 2049 graces our screens on October 6th.