By Zachary Swickey
After winning an Oscar and Golden Globe for their first foray into film scoring — David Fincher’s “The Social Network” — it’s safe to say that Trent Reznor and his digital partner, Atticus Ross, have found a new calling. It’s a no-brainer that Fincher called upon their services once again to score his upcoming film adaptation of the Swedish crime/mystery series, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” While the first film of the trilogy is not due until December 21, a bootleg of the trailer has leaked and contains quite the surprising audio accompaniment.
Pounding over the stark images of Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander is a synth-heavy cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” with none other than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ frontwoman Karen O giving her best “ah-ha” wail to kick off the song. The guitar mastery of Jimmy Page and drum pillaging of John Bonham have been replaced with an eerie, marching electronic beat that has us longing for new Nine Inch Nails material. The dirty, distorted vocals are perfectly matched with the bleak scenes of the trailer, and will undoubtedly make your skin scrawl. The short clip (1:39 min) is already boasting 1.4 million hits on YouTube, and it’s hard to say what fans are more excited about — the music or the film?
Reznor has already taken to his Twitter account and posted that he is “blown away” by the positive response he’s received from fans. Of course, the purpose of a trailer is to make you want to see a film, but the musical element can increase said desire by adding a certain emotional depth. Here are some trailers that hold well on their own, but become exponentially more awesome by being paired with songs that fit quite aptly.
M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” in the “Pineapple Express” trailer:
The line “sticks and stones and weed and bombs” may be the sole reason that “Paper Planes” is even used in the trailer for the smoke-tastic “Pineapple Express,” but it’s a good thing they chose it. The song has a laid-back vibe but features violent lyrics and sampling of gunshots, which matches the “Is it an action or comedy?” vibe of the film itself.
Coheed & Cambria’s “Welcome Home” in the “9” trailer:
Not to be confused with the musical “Nine,” 2009’s “9” is a Tim Burton-produced animated film that takes place in a steam-punk dystopia. I can imagine execs were unsure how to market the film, as it is geared towards an older audience than your typical animated fare. Leave it to Coheed & Cambria’s “Welcome Home” to give the film a more badass, “I must see this now!” urgency that would likely be absent if paired up with a Randy Newman song.
The Smashing Pumpkins’ “The End is the Beginning is the End” in the “Watchmen trailer:
Occasionally, songs are even more successful when taken out of their original context. Such is the case for the Smashing Pumpkins “The End Is the Beginning Is the End,” which was recorded specifically for 1997’s “Batman & Robin,” but more appropriately used in the trailer for 2009’s “Watchmen.” The strings on the tune give it a slow, epic vibe that perfectly captures the spirit of the iconic graphic novel. See: Dr. Manhattan making someone spontaneously combust in sync with the drum beat.
Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” in the “Where the Wild Things Are” trailer:
Wow, talk about a song and film that just go together. Spike Jonze commissioned the Arcade Fire to re-record their melancholic tune “Wake Up” for his 2009 film adaptation of the popular children’s book. I haven’t bothered to look at the actual numbers, but I’m willing to bet that 75 percent of viewers got goose bumps the first time they saw this trailer.
What song-and-trailer combo is your favorite? Share it in the comments!