In this cool video interview, Deadpool’s soudtrack composer Tom Holkenborg explains he had a very specific vision for the film’s score: use the glorious sounds of the synth to give Ryan Reynolds’ wise-ass character an ‘80s revival canvas on which to paint his mayhem.
“I thought it was great to use sounds and musical ideas that in the 80s were perceived as very serious, and now, in hindsight, when you play them back, they’re very funny,” he says.
Holkenborg wanted to give Deadpool a signature ‘80s vibe. But while the heavy synth sounds from the Escape from New York era were serious and foreboding at the time, they can sound kinda silly and dated now. That was Holkenborg’s challenge: He wanted to strike a retro tone that was “fun—but not funny.”
So he started off with a clone of an ARP 2600 synth with to find the right riff to carry throughout the soundtrack, “to propel motion, to propel action.” Then he turned to the same Oberheim synthesizer used for Van Halen’s “Jump”to create a gritty riff for more emotional scenes. And of course it wouldn’t be the ‘80s without the sound of the Synclavier, which is best known as the iconic, eerie sound at the beginning of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
The soundtrack isn’t all retro synthesizer sounds. To score scenes with the X-Men, Holkenborg backs them with a full orchestra.