Brian Tyler — the film composer behind such Marvel superhero extravaganzas as “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World” and the upcoming “Avengers: Age of Ultron” — has created new theme music for ESPN’s NFL studio shows.
Of the four original compositions, three were crafted specifically for ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “NFL Live” and “NFL Insiders,” as well as a theme for “NFL Gridiron.”
The music will debut on the season-opening edition of ESPN’s three-hour “Sunday NFL Countdown” pregame show Sept. 7, and coincides with the unveiling of ESPN’s new 9,000-square foot NFL studio, the largest of its kind on the company’s Bristol, Conn. campus.
The new sound and look could be viewed as a dramatic facelift for the 35-year-old company, with Tyler’s work representing the first new original score for ESPN’s NFL shows since 1997.
“We wanted a theme that was distinctive and that emphasized the heroic nature of football,” said Claude Mitchell, coordinating director, ESPN Music, in a statement. “These are constant themes in Brian’s work, particularly the music he has scored for ‘Iron Man 3’ and other Marvel films. Brian is someone we’ve been using as a reference for a while, so it was particularly exciting to have the opportunity to work with him on this project.”
Tyler, Emmy-nominated for his work on the TV series “Sleepy Hollow,” calls himself “a life-long football fan,” and equates his music, which was not available for preview, with historic calls to battle.
“The first music ensembles of the ancients would rally the troops into battle,” he said in a statement, “so what better way to continue this tradition than composing music for the battle on the gridiron. I really wanted to bring to life the real life drama and athletic power that the NFL represents.”
The news comes on the heels of CBS co-opting Jay-Z’s Grammy-winning song “Run This Town,” featuring Rihanna, as the opening theme of its “Thursday Night Football” broadcast, featuring new graphics and narration by actor Don Cheadle.