Culture on My Mind – Hans Zimmer Has No Time to Die

Culture on My Mind
January 10, 2020


This week, the thing that I can’t let go of is Hans Zimmer joining No Time to Die, the twenty-fifth James Bond film.

No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s fifth (and final?) outing as secret agent 007 is due to theaters on April 10th. Surprisingly, according to Variety, the production team has replaced composer Dan Romer (Beasts of No Nation) with Hans Zimmer. The ever-popular Hollywood chestnut of “creative differences” was cited as the reason for the divorce.

According to the Variety piece, Zimmer has a full plate at the moment, including Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun: Maverick, and Dune. That means that he might need help, to get No Time to Die done before mid-February to meet production deadlines, possibly from collaborators like Benjamin Wallfisch or Lorne Balfe.

I don’t see Hans Zimmer as the typical Bond composer. While I enjoy his work, it usually strikes me as synthy (Broken Arrow, The Rock), percussion-heavy (the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator, Crimson Tide, The Dark Knight Trilogy), or downright experimental (Inception, Interstellar). In fact, The Lion King (both versions), Hidden Figures, and A League of Their Own stand out among his more “traditional” scores, and none of those is really on pace with something like a James Bond film.

No, I’m not forgetting his work in the DC Comics Snyderverse films.

When I think of Bond, my mind goes to David Arnold (who got very synth-heavy at times) and the late John Barry (who scored eleven Bond films). Thomas Newman did well with his two outings, but his scores weren’t my favorites.

Understandably, the shoes of a Bond composer are hard to fill after 58 years of action. If I were driving the Aston Martin, I would have sided with Michael Giacchino, John Powell, Alan Silvestri, Christopher Lennertz, or Rachel Portman.

Portman stands out, especially since the industry needs more female film composers.

Hey, you know, even if Lorne Balfe gets the job from Zimmer, his work on Mission: Impossible – Fallout was solid enough for me. In the end, Hans Zimmer wouldn’t have been my first choice, but April 2020 will be a good opportunity to see if he does right by the 007 legacy.

At least it’s not Goldeneye all over again, right?


Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.




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