Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or a place that doesn’t have network coverage), you know that AR Rahman is going to compose a song for Avengers: Endgame. The film from the Marvel stable is set to be the conclusion of its ambitious third phase, where the surviving members of the Avengers will take on the mighty Thanos.
The stakes are high, and it is only understandable that Marvel would want (who else but) arguably India’s best musician. But this isn’t the first time that a Hollywood film (not just Marvel) is collaborating with a musician from the subcontinent to help get the word out on their films.
1. Naa Jaane Kyun (Spider-Man 2)
Columbia pictures reached out to Pakistani duo, Strings, before the release of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Using the song Na Jaane Kyun from their 2004 album Dhaani, the Tobey Maguire-starrer built up some evocative imagery around the superhero’s conflict in the film. Split between his aspirations to lead the life as a young college kid and his responsibilities because of his spidey superpowers, was something that echoed beautifully in Faisal Kapadia’s vocals.
2. Hello Andheron (The Avengers)
Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (2012) was Marvel’s first real step in merging superhero universes. And for their Indian promotion, the studio collaborated with veteran rock band, Agnee and came up with a song deceptively titled – Hello Andheron. Collaborating with Agnee is Aditi Sharma, calling out to the heroes to unite against a bigger enemy. Fitting beautifully with the film’s theme, the song manages to give an Indian flavour to this brewed-in-Atlanta superhero event, while also having an international appeal to it.
3. Main Hoon (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 approached the Sanam Puri collective to repeat its success with Strings, and something even Marvel’s The Avengers witnessed. Having a decent following on YouTube for their covers, Sanam Puri collective’s Main Hoon was an underwhelming addition to the list of songs, much like the film (after which Spider-Man got yet another reboot).
4. Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2)
Keeping with the retro-ness of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Marvel chose to remix Bappi Lahiri’s Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba. And what an ingenious touch it was for the film’s promotions, to watch Star Lord showoff his vintage movie to Gamora, thanks to this iconic 80s hit from Bollywood.
As the world (read: Rahman’s fans) waits for what he brings to Marvel’s cinematic event of the year, it is also worth remembering that Hollywood films have borrowed his music form much earlier. Whether it is Spike Lee’s legendary opening sequence in Inside Man that was cut perfectly to Chhaiya Chhaiya‘s beats, or Andrew Niccol’s Lord of War that used the Bombay theme, it’s exciting to see Rahman contributing to a project as high-profile as Avengers: Endgame.
It may or may not affect his standing in Hollywood (it doesn’t necessarily need to), but we’ll get a new Rahman song. Who can complain about that?