‘Dark Knight Rises’ Score In Trump Video Leads To Copyright Claim

The Batman costume from "The Dark Knight Rises"
Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Throughout the Trump era, there have been numerous instances of musicians and bands that have asked Donald Trump and other politicians to cease playing their music at rallies and events. Now, a movie studio has done the same. Per a Vulture list published during the 2016 campaign, artists who have filed such complaints with Trump include Aerosmith, Rihanna, Neil Young, R.E.M., Twisted Sister, and many others.

On Tuesday, the president posted a two-minute video to Twitter along with his slogan “Make America Great Again.” Per Buzzfeed, the video included a snippet of Hans Zimmer’s score for the 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. As a result, the site reported, the studio that released that film, Warner Brothers Pictures, has filed a copyright infringement claim and sought to have the video taken down.

The 2020 campaign video, which appears to have been sourced from a pro-Trump Reddit forum, features the president meeting with foreign leaders, images of which are juxtaposed with videos of former President Barack Obama and Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Nearly as soon as the video was posted, Twitter users who were enthusiasts of superhero movies and movie music began noticing that it used music from that Batman film. Some users even tweeted at Zimmer to let him know that his musical composition was being used, presumably without permission. Trump’s video had been viewed nearly 2 million times as of Tuesday night.

The episode is another battle in the Trump administration’s long conflict with the media company now known as Warner Media and formerly called Time Warner. The company owns CNN, which is the president’s longtime enemy. In fact, the administration sought unsuccessfully to block the company’s acquisition by AT&T last year.

The Dark Knight Rises was the third and final film of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films that starred Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader, with a dark and somewhat nihilistic take on the DC Comics material. In the film, Bale’s Batman did battle with supervillain Bane (Tom Hardy.) The studio’s superhero energies, soon afterward, shifted to the DC Extended Universe, with Ben Affleck stepping into the Batman costume and Zack Snyder taking over as the franchise’s signature director. With Affleck recently leaving the role, there’s been no announcement of who will play Batman next.

Zimmer’s pulsating scores for the Batman films, as well as for Nolan’s 2010 Inception, were hugely influential on film music for the many years that followed.