Danny Elfman Reveals ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Musical Easter Eggs and Amazing Reason He Agreed to Work on ‘Avengers 2’
master of music Danny Elfman has now scored several major superhero movies, including Batman (1989), Spider Man (2002), Spiderman 2 (2004), Justice League (2017) and Marvel’s new mega hit, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
But Elfman, the 68-year-old former Oingo Boingo and new Oscar-nominated composer, had no better reason to join one than in 2015. Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Her son really wanted to go to the premiere.
“It’s a true story,” Elfman began during a recent virtual interview with Yahoo Entertainment discussing his work in the strange doctor continued (see above). “I was heading for Berlin [International] Film Festival a few years ago and trying to get tickets for my son Oliver to get him in Ultron. …Marvel movie tickets are hard to come by, and I get a call from my agent saying, “So you want tickets to Ultron?’ I go, ‘Yeah, I sure do. What should I do to get them? He says: ‘You have to start working on it tomorrow, making scores for it. So unpack your suitcases.
“I’m like, ‘Oh fuck.’ And I did. I unpacked and started the next morning, and that’s how determined I was to go to this premiere.
Elfman was hired to compose additional music for Ultron in February 2015, just two months before its premiere in April. He eventually shared songwriting credits with Brian Tyler. And of course, Elfman attended the premiere with his now 17-year-old son Oliver (his only child with wife Bridget Fonda), where father and son had a memorable encounter with late comic book legend Stan Lee. . “It was like, ‘The gods are in my corner right now,'” Elfman recalled.
The composer didn’t need the lure of premiere tickets to join Multiverse of Madnesswhich reunited him with a longtime friend and collaborator Sam Raimi – and featuring darker themes than most Marvel films, which allowed Elfman to tap into more haunting orchestral soundscapes. Eflman also loved the challenge of writing music for a more complex Marvel villain than usual: Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, an Avenger gone rogue after the traumatic events of Avengers: Infinity War and Wanda Vision.
“I got a villain unlike any villain I’ve ever had,” he says. “Normally when you write a theme for a villain, you think of Thanos, you think of Darth Vader, you know, you think of people who want to control the universe or destroy the planet. You don’t think of a mother who desperately wants to find her lost imaginary children that she magically created…. It’s absolutely unique. That my antagonist is someone who also breaks my heart.
Elfman also liked to incorporate The original by Michael Giacchino strange doctor theme from the 2016 film, and teases that he left “musical Easter eggs” in the film.
And then there’s the sequel’s instantly iconic sequence where Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) literally weaponizes the musical notes in a battle against a multiverse variant of himself.
“It was really tricky because Sam told me when he was going to shoot that scene. And I was like, ‘Sam, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ (It was up to Marvel chief Kevin Feige to clarify Elfman’s set-up, explaining that they wanted him to imagine a battle between Beethoven and Bach.)
It’s an almost perfect collision of visual and sonic magic, which a Twitter user called “Sam Raimi’s apology to Danny Elfman for Spiderman 3.”
Raimi and Elfman became friends in 1993 evil Dead after army of darkness and worked on four films together over the next decade; however, they are famous fell after Spiderman 2. Elfman, in turn, wasn’t drafted for the 2007 Spidey installment, though they did reunite for the 2013 one. Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz the Great and Mighty.
“I mean, we’ve had our moments and things like that, but it doesn’t matter because we’ve been through them,” Elfman says now. “In a decades-long relationship, you’re going to have times when you slip up, but what matters is that you love each other and come together again. It’s like a relationship with family.
“Listen, I met my wife on the set of her movie, we were both evil Dead Fans. And we have a 17-year-old son and we’ve been telling him all his life, “You’re the child of diabolical death.’”
He’s a child whose father will go a long way to have him avengers premiere tickets.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness play now.
-Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by John Santo
Watch Sam Raimi and the cast talk about the film: