Composer Zimmer says ‘Dune’ Oscar win would be for director Villeneuve

FILE PHOTO: 78th Venice International Film Festival
FILE PHOTO: The 78th Venice Film Festival - Screening of the film "Dune" - out of competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Venice, Italy September 3, 2021 - Film score composer Hans Zimmer poses. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

February 24, 2022

By Rollo Ross

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Composer Hans Zimmer is no stranger to the Oscars. He’s been nominated for an Academy Award 11 times and won once – for “The Lion King” in 1994.

    But the Hollywood veteran says his nomination for scoring “Dune,” a mammoth adaption of Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel, feels different after director Denis Villeneuve was snubbed in the best director category.

    “I feel heartbroken for my friend,” Zimmer told Reuters in an interview.

“But I can with clear conscience and with great honesty say… that I am nominated because of his work and because of the work of everybody around me and so if any one of us win anything, it is all in his name, it is all for him.”

For the German composer, “Dune” was always going to be a dream project. He had been a fan of Herbert’s intergalactic tale of politics, religion and giant sandworms since his teenage years, like Villeneuve.

“It was only when Denis very quietly said to me one day, have I ever heard of a book called ‘Dune’ that I sort of went into this teenage enthusiasm like a puppy dog chasing his own tail… It was a large chunk of my teenage years,” Zimmer said.

To produce an otherworldly sound for the score, Zimmer created acoustics on a synthesizer and then asked a metal sculptor to recreate these using different shapes and metals.

    “Dune,” starring Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson and Oscar Isaac, received 10 Oscar nominations last week, mostly in technical categories. Hollywood’s highest honors will be given out on March 27.

“Dune” has been re-released in cinemas and IMAX since Feb. 11. It will return to HBO Max on March 10.

(Reporting by Rollo Ross, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)