Go Behind The Scenes Of Marvel's Hit-Monkey With Composer Daniel Rojas [Exclusive]

Just how expansive has Marvel's reach become in the years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe first arrived on the scene? Well, the franchise has since crossed over into different mediums altogether, giving fans any number of productions to keep them busy throughout the years. Think of Marvel's experiment with Netflix streaming, leading to such hits as "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones" (though their vaguely disconnected status from the rest of the MCU remains clearer than ever). "Agent Carter" and "Agents of SHIELD" both proved that Marvel shows could find a home on broadcast TV. The introduction of Disney+ in recent years has provided a whole new arena for these shows to inhabit and flourish. And, of course, there are even more boundary-pushing productions in the realm of animation: look no further than the hilarious, irreverent, and endlessly witty joys of "M.O.D.O.K." and "Hit-Monkey."

Despite their very different animation styles, the latter two shows share much of the same tone and general approach ... and, perhaps most intriguingly, the same composer, as well. Daniel Rojas, whose most popular credit to his name may be his work on the brilliant and heartwarming "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts," brought all his extensive musical background and experience to "Hit-Monkey," the Hulu series about an intelligent monkey (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) who is cosmically linked with the ghost of a dead and unimaginably difficult hitman named Bryce (Jason Sudeikis). The first season detailed their bloody and violent quest for vengeance against the political and super-powered foes who ruined both of their lives, balancing several different tricky tones and requiring a deft, nuanced touch to handle the musical scoring.

In an exclusive with /Film, Rojas shared an extensive behind-the-scenes look at the process of bringing "Hit-Monkey" to life through the power of his compositions — from familiarizing himself with the character, to creating brand-new musical themes from a "blank slate" of endless potential, to working alongside series creators and showrunners Josh Gordon and Will Speck. Check it out below!

Hit-Monkey Behind the Scenes

Now more than ever, viewers are able to get easy access to behind-the-scenes looks at how their favorite movies and shows are made, but sometimes crucial elements such as composing manages to slip under the radar. With this video on "Hit-Monkey," no stone is left unturned as we get an inside look at composer Daniel Rojas' California studio, his work alongside colleagues such as additional music/orchestrator Christopher Carmichael, and even actual scoring sessions with the orchestra in Budapest (though conducted remotely, due to the pandemic). In addition to figuring out character-specific themes, the various locations included within the Japan-set series necessitated a thoughtful and purposeful approach to the music from Rojas' perspective — scenes taking place within Tokyo take on more of a synth and electric feel, while ones set in nature in the countryside are given more of an emphasis on strings and orchestra.

For those interested in even more detailed insights into the composing process, /Film previously interviewed Daniel Rojas for a lengthy conversation that touched on his work on "M.O.D.O.K.," "Hit-Monkey," and "Kipo." "Hit-Monkey" is currently streaming for subscribers on Hulu and recently held its international premiere on Disney+.