While many renowned figures usually prioritize commercial success and revenue before securing a project in the entertainment world, Hans Zimmer, known for his incredible composing work, proved exceptional.

Hans Zimmer chose Dune over Tenet
Hans Zimmer chose Dune over Tenet

The acclaimed composer had an incredible chance to work with Christopher Nolan for Tenet, but surprisingly, Hans Zimmer preferred Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. The Oscar-winning composer explained that prioritizing Villeneuve over Nolan was due to his recollections from childhood. His connection to the original book and love for the director resulted in him scoring Denis Villeneuve’s Dune.

Why Hans Zimmer Turned Down Christopher Nolan’s Tenet For Denis Villeneuve’s Dune

Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve are indisputable Hollywood’s two most glorified filmmakers. On top of that, Hans Zimmer, best known for creating outstanding musical scores for films, was allowed to prefer one of the director’s films. Amusingly, it wasn’t a challenging decision for Zimmer, as his childhood memories of reading Dune and love for Denis Villeneuve made him want to score for Dune.

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Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve
Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve (image via YouTube)

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Many might think that Zimmer was put in a tough situation, but, as explained by the acclaimed composer himself, he couldn’t prioritize Tenet over Dune and decided to push the boundaries of experimentation. During his appearance on The Playlist podcast, Hans Zimmer said:

“Dune’ is one of my favorite books from my teenage years and I love Denis Villeneuve, obviously.”

Zimmer mentioned that working with the Dune team felt like family. The composer had a fresh perspective for Villeneuve’s film because he had never seen David Lynch‘s version of Dune. Zimmer’s approach was solely based on his fondness and appreciation for Frank Herbert’s novel, and he added:

“It almost feels like family. nd I never saw the original ‘Dune’ movie, and so, I’m coming at this in a fresh way, just from the book.”

Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer have no bad blood and are considered among the most successful director-composer duos, but the German composer and music producer “have to” work for Dune. Hans Zimmer has scored a total of six of Christopher Nolan’s films, starting from the 2005 Batman Begins, and the latest was Dunkirk, the action-war film with a star-studded cast.

Hans Zimmer Revealed Christopher Nolan’s Reaction To Turning Down Tenet For Dune

Christopher Nolan's reaction was not great when Hans Zimmer turned down Tenet
Christopher Nolan’s reaction was not great when Hans Zimmer turned down Tenet

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Even though Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer share a respectful bond and have collaborated on more than five projects, the Oppenheimer filmmaker’s reaction was “not great.”  Since the director-composer duo is quite rewarding and experienced, Nolan must have been a bit startled. According to CinemaBlend, Zimmer said:

“Not great. … There’s another part to it as well, which people keep missing out on. I went out on tour, and I suddenly got really interested in this thing that I never thought I’d do.”

Since Nolan is one of the finest directors, he was kind enough to acknowledge Hans Zimmer’s unexpected shift. The composer added:

“And here I was, sixty-odd years old going, ‘Whoa. This is fun. I like this!’ So Chris realized that, and he realized that that’s where my focus was at that moment.”

Despite being in his 60s, Hans Zimmer was amused with his involvement in live performances, and this shift allowed him to explore further in his career.

Watch Dune on Netflix.

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