Given his extensive resume it’s perhaps surprising that veteran composer Hans Zimmer has never won an Emmy. The man behind countless film scores has won an Oscar (“The Lion King,” 1994) as well as four Grammys (twice for “The Lion King” in 1995, for “Crimson Tide” in 1996, and for “The Dark Knight” in 2009). This year he could cross Emmy off of his EGOT list with an award for the main title theme music for the National Geographic anthology series “Genius.”
Zimmer composed the main title theme along with Lorne Balfe, who composed the score for the rest of the 10-part series. Both are past Emmy nominees looking for their first wins: Zimmer contended for Best Movie/Mini Music Composition back in 2010 for HBO’s “The Pacific,” while Balfe earned a bid in the same category in 2013 for his score for SundanceTV’s “Restless.”
“[‘Genius’ executive producer Ron Howard] started talking to me about what he wanted to do, and as he was talking I heard the fully formed theme, its orchestration, everything,” Zimmer recently told our sister site Variety. “I wanted to celebrate not only the culture [Albert Einstein] came from but the culture that was destroyed by the Third Reich.”
Zimmer also has another shot at Emmy this year: he composed the music for the nature documentary series “Planet Earth II.” It’s the sequel to “Planet Earth” from 2006, which also happened to win an Emmy for its music composition, so Zimmer could end his Emmy drought with two trophies in one night.
And on top of that Zimmer will see his profile rise this summer as he is the composer of Christopher Nolan‘s upcoming war film “Dunkirk,” which could finally win him a bookend to his “Lion King” Oscar. Zimmer has worked with Nolan before, earning nominations for composing the filmmaker’s sci-fi blockbusters “Inception” (2010) and “Interstellar” (2014).
So if Zimmer wins an Emmy this September that will put him just a Tony away from completing EGOT, and he might have an advantage if he ever chooses to make the move to Broadway: musicians tend to have the easiest path to completing the awards grand slam since there are prizes for music at every event. Consider past EGOT recipients Richard Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch and Robert Lopez, who won all four on the strength of their music. And Zimmer may not even need to compose a Broadway show. He could produce a Tony winning show, which is how Whoopi Goldberg and Scott Rudin got to EGOT.
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