Hans Zimmer Wins His Second Career Original Score Oscar For Dune

Hans Zimmer won his second career Oscar tonight, Original Score for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. This was Zimmer’s 12th nomination for Original Score, and second win since The Lion King in 1995. He was previously nominated for Rain Man (1989), The Preacher’s Wife (1997), As Good as It Gets (1998), The Prince of Egypt (1999), The Thin Red Line (1999), Gladiator (2001), Sherlock Holmes (2010), Inception (2011), Interstellar (2015), and Dunkirk (2018).

Presented by Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin, the Original Score Oscar was one of eight categories announced during the pre-show, which was taped in the hour before the telecast, and will run at points during the show.

Zimmer is on tour and was not present to accept the award.

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The sci-fi epic from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, the son of a noble family who is thrust into a war within the deserts of the inhospitable planet Arrakis, after finding himself entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset in the galaxy. The ensemble cast also includes Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.

The film is nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay.

In a recent interview with Deadline, Zimmer said in scoring the film, he and his “SWAT team of musicians” were met with a faraway future world that gave them the license to “go and imagine and build instruments and invent instruments” from scratch, tinkering with musical notes that “don’t actually exist” as part of the conventional vocabulary, and “rhythms which were humanly impossible to play.”

In terms of inventing new sounds for the film, Zimmer said much it involved “machine-generated rhythms” carefully crafted in concert with such skilled synthesists as Kevin Schroeder and Howard Scarr. Another component of the process, for Zimmer, was to take an orchestral instrument like Tina Guo’s cello and morph its sound into something like a “Tibetan war horn,” befitting the film’s singular universe.

Dune beat out fellow nominees Don’t Look Up (Nicholas Britell), Encanto (Germaine Franco), Parallel Mothers (Alberto Iglesias), and The Power of the Dog (Jonny Greenwood).

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