Fans came out in force to support Captain Marvel in theaters, and now fans can watch it to their heart's content on digital platforms. To celebrate the big release ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to composer Pinar Toprak, who created those gorgeous themes and soundscapes that you hear all throughout the film. From the triumphant horn filled opening theme to the sweet but sorrowful closing song, Toprak created a score that delivers every emotion, but before we got too deep into the score we had to know what her favorite moments were from the big time film.
"Oh, that's a good question. I love the part where she keeps getting up," Toprak said. "I've loved that ever since I read the script. That part really resonated with me. And the part where she actually breaks free and saves the earth, that was one of my audition themes, so it kind of has a special place in my heart. But yeah, there are so many parts in this film, and I love all the Fury scenes. We were musically able to have a lot of fun and create the mood, really 90's action stuff, so that was a really great thing to do as well."
Carol breaking free occurs towards the end of the film, but as Toprak mentioned, it turned out to be one of the themes she auditioned with. "Yeah, it was, the film wasn't shot yet it was actually still in production," Toprak said. "So, I hadn't actually seen the real footage, but they had what is called a Previs which I consider it as storyboard on steroids, and I was able to see timings and everything, but that's what I was given to audition. So it's always going to be a little special for me since that was the first thing I wrote."
Captain Marvel isn't just based on Earth, and the cosmic elements and space travel really opened up the soundscape for Toprak, though the foundation is still the same regardless of where a scene is located.
"Yeah, I mean, in terms of the sonic scape, there's so much more you can do," Toprak said. "But the notes are the notes, you're still going to have 12 notes. Whether it's being played by a synth or an orchestra. So the musical content still needs to be hopefully good, but in terms of being able to make it sound different, you have way more possibilities. Which is really exciting. To me, that's a huge part. Anytime I can get to work in an environment that can handle a hybrid orchestral and electronic sound, I'm in heaven because there are no rules. I can make the orchestra sound weird and I can do all kinds of things, and not only get away with it, but also use them to really elevate the story in a way that you wouldn't be able to do with just the orchestra."
The 90s setting also allowed for directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to utilize big hits from the decade in inspired ways, including that hilarious No Doubt moment in one of Carol's final fight scenes. That said, Toprak had to create a score that would work around those songs without actually knowing what they were.
"Yeah. As far as actual songs, those a lot of times don't get finalized until much later in the process. So I wasn't sure which songs that were going to get used," Toprak said. "I was aware where there would be songs, and I had an idea of what kind of songs those would be, being the 90's songs. The era itself influenced certain parts. Like the Fury action scenes, like the train chase and there a few scenes like that where it was important to really capture the full-on 90s cult action sound that you had, you know, Lethal Weapon type guitars and things, which was really fun to play with. So we embraced 90s when we could, in the most, I think effective and useful way."
Toprak's score features some inspiring and bolder sequences, but it also features a great deal of hope in each and every track. Even the concluding song This Isn't Goodbye starts out in a bittersweet way but eventually segues into a hopeful crescendo, and hope was definitely a focus throughout the entire film.
"Absolutely. I mean, the hope and the heart, that was really the thing that I was trying to capture the most," Toprak said. "Because we know that the Marvel films, you know its epic action and the superhero stuff, we kind of know what to expect in terms of the score sound. There's a certain thickness to it, but it's those tender moments, where we have the opportunity to really touch people's hearts. So it was really important for me to figure out what those moments are and those key places to really make that heart and soul connection."
There are plenty of other characters in the Marvel universe that would benefit from a Toprak score, but for now, she's just enjoying Captain Marvel.
"Maybe ask me again in six months," Toprak joked. "I'm still kind of living the high of Captain Marvel. I'm very grateful that I got this."