Henry Jackman says he just “got really lucky” in landing the job scoring Captain America: The Winter Soldier, though the composer had already done high-profile work on films like X-Men: First Class.
“Some directors are hesitant to talk about music and don’t have the musical vocabulary to express their ideas in the way they intend,” Jackman says. “That’s what made this process such a pleasure. [Co-directors] Joe and Anthony [Russo] knew enough about music and about the style they were looking for that they could give notes that were productive and exact. We were speaking the same language, as it were, and thus we were able to create a relationship of trust where I was able to move forward on some pretty unorthodox ideas.”
Composer Alan Silvestri scored the previous Captain America film, which Jackman calls “more of a period film,” and that some might be “shocked” at The Winter Soldier score.
“People think of Captain America as a figure of tradition,” Jackman says, “and therefore imagine the score associated with him to be very classic, symphonic Americana. This one was different, because now Captain America has been fast-forwarded to present time, and thus this film required a modern score, not only with symphonic pieces, but also including production elements you will hear throughout the score.
“I was making records in my pre-film scoring days,” he adds, “which is where I really expanded my depth in this area. I drew upon that when combining classical symphonic music with modern elements of electronic and production for The Winter Soldier. For the title character particularly, his action sequences are serious. They’re very brutal. So I wanted to make them more electronic and harsh to get an underlying feel of something mechanized and unrelenting.”