The Marvel Cinematic Universe has employed the services of some of the best composers working in Hollywood today, including Michael Giacchino (Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming), Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man) and Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy). Despite some strong scores across the 20 films released under the MCU banner so far, however, it’s generally agreed among fans that Alan Silvestri’s tremendous theme for The Avengers is the best of the bunch.
And it seems Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo are on the same page as well. While speaking on the commentary track for the team-up extravaganza’s home video release, the filmmakers took a moment to appreciate Silvestri’s work.
“We should mention Alan Silvestri’s theme here. It’s very Pavlovian for many of us in terms of the emotional reaction we get from it,” said Anthony.
Joe Russo then went on to make a pretty big statement about the theme, before talking about why it only appears on a couple of occasions. Because of its musical power, Russo explained that the theme was limited to both Cap and Thor’s entrance in Infinity War in order to keep it from being overexposed.
“I think it’s without question the most emotional piece of music that exists. It’s used very sparingly in this movie for two very big moments. One here and one with Thor. It’s hinted at in other places but doesn’t get into it’s full blown presentation.”
Joe continued by revealing that Silvestri came up with the idea to use the proper theme when Cap arrived out of the shadows in that Edinburgh scene. The decision to return to the piece in Thor’s big moment in Wakanda was the directors’, though, as they wanted to spread the use of theme throughout the movie.
“I think Alan recommended this. We were sitting in a room with him and he pulled out an iPhone and started playing it from the original Avengers soundtrack just over the cut and everybody in the room went crazy. So we said, ‘all right, that’s a great idea.’
Then we knew we needed a big piece of the score for Thor so, we thought, early on, when we’re conceiving the film it was very important to us, as directors, to identify two or three key moments where that theme could come in. As I said I think it’s the best thing that we have for music in the Marvel Universe just for recognizably and connection to the audience.”
Avengers: Infinity War certainly made better use of the central theme than Age of Ultron, which – as the film was scored by Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman, not Silvestri – withheld it until the end credits. Including the piece so prominently in this third outing helped bring things full circle and callback to 2012’s blockbuster. It also just makes you want to punch the air whenever it plays.
Thankfully, Silvestri’s returning for Avengers 4 as well, so we can definitely look forward to some more epic uses of the theme in the big finale to the MCU as we know it.