Junkie XL has been appointed the newly created position of “music czar” at Heavy Metal Entertainment. Heavy Metal is a multimedia company that began as the famous Heavy Metal magazine in 1977, which was unique for its distribution of explicit and more underground-leaning punk comics. The magazine was adapted into an anthology film in 1981 with a soundtrack full of metal legends, and the company has now expanded into every direction, including video games, a podcast network, and many sci-fi and fantasy comics.
Junkie XL, also known as Thomas Holkenborg, is a Dutch composer who has been working since 1988. He began his career as a DJ and scored a hit with his remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” in 2002, but first rose to prominence as a composer when he started working with Hans Zimmer’s company Remote Control Productions in the 2010s. He is known for his propulsive, drum and electric guitar heavy scores for films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Per Variety, Holkenborg will work with Heavy Metal Entertainment CEO Matthew Medney and president Tommy Coriale as the “music czar,” a position created especially for him. His job will be to guide the sound of Heavy Metal’s upcoming projects, both as a composer and a mentor to other musicians. Although he will be working on Heavy Metal projects across every format, he will largely be working with Heavy Metal Studios, who are currently working on adaptations of the comics Moon Lake, Arena Mode, and The Axe.
Holkenborg said he loves the “punk, outsider vibe” of Heavy Metal, which he’s read since he was a kid. The opportunity is especially thrilling for him because he “spent his early music career as an Industrial noise producer.” He has his work cut out for him, but fans of his other scores don’t need to fret. The composer is still free to work on other projects, including the upcoming 3000 Years of Longing, from Mad Max and Furiosa director George Miller.
If there’s a single figure in modern cinema whose work could be described as “heavy metal,” it’s definitely Junkie XL. His dominance over the soundscape of the decade will continue with his reign as czar, where he’ll likely shape his signature sound into something even more hardcore and driving. It will be interesting to see if his stint at Heavy Metal will change the flavor of the music he provides for other films and franchises, creating an even edgier feel to some of the iconic properties he’s already worked on.