scorecardThe Story Of How Hans Zimmer Wrote The 'Interstellar' Theme Will Give You Chills
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The Story Of How Hans Zimmer Wrote The 'Interstellar' Theme Will Give You Chills

The Story Of How Hans Zimmer Wrote The 'Interstellar' Theme Will Give You Chills
EntertainmentEntertainment2 min read

matthew mcconaughey interstellar


There are countless anecdotes about the auteuristic quirks of director Christopher Nolan, whose "Interstellar" comes out this week. For some new ones, check out an in-depth profile by The Guardian's Tom Shone, which includes an amazing story about how Nolan got frequent partner Hans Zimmer to write the theme for his space epic.

"Chris said to me, in his casual way. 'So, Hans, if I wrote one page of something, didn't tell you what it was about, just give you one page, would you give me one day of work?'" Zimmer told Shone. "'Whatever you came up with on that one day would be fine.'"

Zimmer agreed and then one day received a one-page typewritten letter. Per Shone:

On the paper was a short story, no more than a precis, about a father who leaves his child to do an important job. It contained two lines of dialogue - "I'll come back" "When?" - and quoted something Zimmer had said a year before, during a long conversation with Nolan and his wife at the Wolesley restaurant in London. ... "There was no movie to be made, there was no movie to discuss, we were talking about our children," said Zimmer, who has a 15-year-old son. "I said, 'once your children are born, you can never look at yourself through your eyes any more, you always look at yourself through their eyes."

Zimmer spent a day composing the theme and then showed it to Nolan, and Nolan loved it. It was only then that Nolan revealed what kind of movie he had in mind. As Zimmer told Shone:

"I asked him, 'Well, yes, but what is the movie?' And he started describing this huge, epic tale of space and science and humanity, on this epic scale. I'm going, 'Chris, hang on, I've just written this highly personal thing, you know?' He goes, 'Yes, but I now know where the heart of the movie is'. Everything about this movie was personal.'"

Read more from this excellent profile of Nolan, featuring comments from Zimmer, Michael Caine, Zack Snyder, Quentin Tarantino and more, at The Guardian »

Also check out the "Interstellar" preview, which features some of Zimmer's music along with little more than the spare plot details Nolan originally gave Zimmer:

Nolan said of the soundtrack," I believe that Hans score for Interstellar has the tightest bond between music and image that we've yet achieved."

Nolan and Zimmer have previously collaborated on "The Dark Knight Rises," "Inception," "The Dark Knight," and "Batman Begins."