My biggest fear was that they were going to screw up the music. John Williams‘ score in the original movie made the film. I mean, the music was the movie. There couldn’t possibly be a movie without the duh, duh-duh-duh, da / da-da-daa. The first time I had any idea that there was a new movie coming was when I saw a one-sheet outside a theater about six months ago. It was just his logo on a black background with the title below in a very, very small font. The sight of it brought me close to tears.
Yes, I am that much of a geek.
When I was a kid I lived for each new issue. I was at the comic book store with seventy-five cents the day they got there. My sister and I religiously watched the cartoons. I had the old radio shows on cassette tapes. I painstakingly perfected the S in the margins of every textbook I owned through elementary school, high school, and college. I knew every arch-nemesis, every power, every girlfriend (human or mermaid).
About three or four months ago there was a preview. I can’t remember what movie we were seeing, but I do remember that the preview was the only thing in my head. They didn’t play the music in the preview.
About a month ago, when the hype started to really build, I became extemely worried that they were going to screw it up. Where was the music? It wasn’t in any previews. It wasn’t in any commercials. The imdb entry didn’t mention anything about the soundtrack. How could they possibly try to do the movie without Williams’ theme? Batman is one thing: Danny Elfman‘s soundtrack was phenomenal, sure. But it wasn’t the movie. (And besides, the Prince stuff was what everyone remembered anyway. Batman doesn’t have a theme song. If he did it would just be something like the sound of water dripping in a cave or something equally as dark.)
We went last night. The 10:10 showing. It was showing on two screens and the lines were Star Wars quality. I can’t remember the last time there were that many people waiting for a movie. There was a smattering of geeks and nerds, of pre-teens and kids too young to know the original film. But for the most part these were people just like me. Thirty-somethings. Thirty-somethings who saw the Challenger explode, who saw Reagan get shot, who got all excited about We Are the World and worried about famine, who belted out Born in the U.S.A., who bought Guns N’ Roses cassettes, who watched E.R. and Friends and Clinton play the sax and O.J. run from the cops and cried when the towers crashed down. These people needed this movie. I needed this movie. I turned 33 on Monday. I needed this movie. I needed to hear the music. I needed to hear it. Right. Now.
If they didn’t use the music, it would be a complete failure. That was all I could think.
They used the music.