New BBC documentary celebrates the life and work of “Hollywood Rebel” Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer
(Image credit: BBC)

The BBC is to release a 60-minute documentary celebrating the life and work of prolific cinematic composer Hans Zimmer. The film, which will air on BBC 2 on 16 October, will look back across Zimmer’s 40-year career.

Promising unprecedented access, Hans Zimmer - Hollywood Rebel is billed as an in-depth and personal profile of the man who’s become the dominant force in the world of movie soundtracks. His film credits include The Lion King, Rain Man, Pirates of The Caribbean, Gladiator, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, 12 Year A Slave, The Thin Red Line, The Da Vinci Code and Dune.

Zimmer also created the music for several BBC Studios Natural History documentaries, including Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II and Frozen Planet II. He’s known for his ability to blend electronic and orchestral sounds into his arrangements.

Hollywood Rebel will feature contributions from not only many of the big-name directors that Zimmer has collaborated with (including Ron Howard, Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan) but also three of the composers who he’s mentored: John Powell, Henry Jackman and Harry Gregson-Williams.

Of the new documentary, Zimmer said: “I’m honoured to be sharing this insight into my career and life with the BBC audience. My hope is that this documentary inspires and emboldens you to unapologetically pursue your passions and find a deeper understanding for my scores and above all, music.”

Francis Hanly, Hollywood Rebel’s director, added: “The sheer number of standout movies Hans Zimmer has scored over the past 40 years is incredible. It was a dream job to sit and film him at the keyboard in his studio as he gave us an intimate and exclusive demonstration of the techniques and sounds he's created and the ideas that lie behind some of his most famous scores.”

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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