Hans Zimmer has “a strange history” with “Widows.” Early in his career he worked for composer Stanley Myers, including on the 1983 BBC miniseries that would inspire the 2018 film. “I remember thinking at the time this was a revolutionary bit of storytelling,” he recalls. It concerned “the sort of casual brutality women have to endure on a daily basis.” He felt the series could “change the way we treat women,” so when Steve McQueen approached him about scoring this reimagining, he leapt at the opportunity because “things had not gotten better.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
This 20th Century Fox release centers on a group of women forced to pull off a heist when their criminal husbands die in a botched robbery. It stars Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Jackie Weaver and Carrie Coon, among many others.
Having worked on “12 Years a Slave” (2013), Zimmer was familiar with the “holy trinity” of McQueen, cinematographer Steve Bobbitt, and editor Joe Walker, who “create a visual melody” in their films. “The last thing they need is for somebody like me to step all over it with redundant tunes and stuff.” As a result, “there’s very little music in the film,” which is unusual for the genre.
This year Zimmer also composed the score for “Believer,” which won the Hollywood Film Award for Best Documentary. It follows Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds as he explores the Mormon Church’s treatment of its LGBTQ members. The two also collaborated on the original song “Skipping Stones” for the film. “It’s an incredibly important story to tell,” Zimmer says. Although he was on tour at the time, Zimmer still lent his talents to the film because “it’s not something you can say no to.”
Zimmer won an Oscar for composing “The Lion King” (1994) and has also been nominated for “Rain Man” (1988), “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996), “As Good as It Gets” (1997), “The Prince of Egypt” (1998), “The Thin Red Line” (1998), “Gladiator” (2000), “Sherlock Holmes” (2009), “Inception” (2010), “Interstellar” (2014) and “Dunkirk” (2017). He’s also a four-time Grammy winner and a two-time Emmy nominee.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.