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Pharrell Williams, Zimmer create ‘Spidey’ opera
Los Angeles • Director Marc Webb and famed composer Hans Zimmer assembled a supergroup of influential recording artists, including the "Happy" chart topper Pharrell Williams, for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
The hope was that everyone working together would spark creativity, but Zimmer had no idea how far that creativity would go until Williams took a walk around the block.
"We wrote an opera. So, who would've thunk it?" Zimmer said. "It just came out of a conversation with Marc that came out of all these ideas and suddenly, you know, there was this great moment where (Pharrell) was so excited because of all these ideas. I could see all of these ideas sort of flying in his head and he said, 'Stop. I just have to walk around the block, literally.' We sat there and he walked around the block and came back with two pages of lyrics. Amazing. It was amazing but it was that sort of environment."
Other members of Spidey's supergroup included Johnny Marr, founding member of The Smiths, and Michael Einziger, founder and guitarist for Incubus. The soundtrack also includes a collaboration between Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar.
Williams said things came together despite the presence of these high-end musicians from all parts of the music world.
"Yeah, it was very harmonious," he said in an interview last week. "The atmosphere, it wasn't a clash of the egos. It was more like everything just fit into place in a really wonderful way and of course Hans being at the helm of what we would call leadership. He allowed for everyone to have a voice and for everyone to have their creative space and for that space to count."
That creativity spilled over into the film, which opens May 2, as Webber became so inspired by the work he made a change in the movie.
"I suppose I don't think it's a secret anymore but suddenly the Sinister Six were sort of introduced into the movie because we had a theme for them and it became irresistible to go and shoot these scenes," Zimmer said.
While Zimmer and Williams come from different worlds — evidenced at the interview by their opposite fashion styles with Zimmer in a dark brown metallic suit and Williams in one of his famous black oversized hats, a letterman jacket, jeans and several gold chains — the two see eye-to-eye when it comes to creating music. Williams said he learned there is no ceiling.
"You are supposed to be creative, but you are supposed to do something that is going to be harmoniously and kinesthetically rewarding to the film," Williams said. "It's almost like when you add the visual and the audio together is where you get the third brand new element that is introduced and that is the feeling. But when those two are separate, you are hard-pressed to get to the feeling. So I feel like in this particular situation we had enough room to sort of create music and have it be expansive from the inside."