Matt Reeves’s Moody Batman Was Written with Its Nirvana Song in Mind

Matt Reeves’s Moody Batman Was Written with Its Nirvana Song in Mind

When the first trailer for The Batman hit what feels like forever ago, it didn’t take long for fans to grow attached to the orchestral version of Nirvana’s “Something in the Way.” In the same way that folks now associate Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” with Thor Ragnarok, Robert Pattinson’s upcoming DC movie has a musical tether that may outshine whatever musical excellence Michael Giacchino will provide for the film itself.

Speaking to Empire Magazine for their cover story on the new Dark Knight movie, director-writer Matt Reeves admitted that the 1991 song’s been key in helping him craft the somewhat new take on Bruce Wayne that’ll show up in a few months. Like anyone in a creative field, Reeves puts on music when he writes, and he had the song on loop while crafting the first act. “Rather than make Bruce the playboy version we’ve seen before, there’s another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse. So I started making this connection to Gus Van Sant’s Last Days, and the idea of this fictionalised version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor.”

Having seen the 2017 heist flick Good Time at the time he was writing the film, it was Pattinson’s performance as the lead crook Connie Nikas that made Reeves seek the actor out for Batman. The director described Pattinson as having “that Kurt Cobain thing, where he looks like a rock star, but you also feel like he could be a recluse.” (Reeves definitely isn’t wrong on that front.)

Stills showing Bruce sans mask have really been playing up how not put together he looks, and Pattinson opened up about how his Bruce just truly isolates himself from the outside world. Having been Batman for only a handful of years, he’s completely devoted to his mission of saving Gotham and doesn’t take the time to pretend he’s Gotham’s golden boy. “Bruce has been hiding away,” Pattinson explained. “He’s been out every single night for two years, getting beaten up and shot and stabbed and burnt, and it shows….even Alfred thinks he’s insane.”

A more reclusive Bruce Wayne is something that hasn’t really been done on screen in recent years; Dark Knight Rises really only mentions it in passing before Bruce decides to get back out there as Gotham’s golden boy, and Ben Affleck’s short tenure with the character seems like he’s found a fairly even balance between his two lives. Small of a difference as it seems, a more withdrawn Bruce draws a clear (and hopefully) more interesting line between him and other incarnations of the character. And failing that, he’ll just be a guy who stews in his home of darkness with no parents.

The Batman will release in theatres on March 4, 2022.

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