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Has a replacement theme ever surpassed the original?
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• Posted by: Steven P.
• Date: Monday, November 29, 2021, at 2:52 p.m.
• IP Address:
• Now Playing: Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Simonsen

I caught a trailer for the Superpets movie when at the theaters over the holiday, and there's a brief clip of the classic Superman theme from John Williams to represent the character.

I got thinking about how this theme hasn't really been used prominently in media for over a decade. Zimmer's themes have represented the character for several years, yet hasn't been able to really surpass the one from Williams in the public's mind as "the" theme for the character, despite being more recent.

There have been new themes for several series/characters over the years, and yet it seems like the original is often the one that seems to be most widely known to the public, regardless of personal preference.

Are there any replacement themes you think that became more popular than the original theme for a series or character?

I can only think of two:

Williams replacing the Imperial Theme from a New Hope with The Imperial March in Empire Strikes Back. This is a different example, because it's a case of the composer purposely replacing a theme in his work. I feel like only die hard fans even remember the original theme from A New Hope (which is why it was cool when Giacchino gave it a brief appearance in Rogue One).

The other is Ottman's X-men theme in X2. I'm not sure this is super popular compared to other superhero themes (it's actually in my top 5), but because it appeared in more films, it's probably the theme most identified with the film series.

Any other examples of where you think the new theme became more popular than an old one?

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