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The Batman Director Reveals Tragic Real-Life Inspiration for Robert Pattinson's Hero

Batman, Robert Pattinson
By Savannah Sanders

In 2022, DC is set to return to theaters with a trifecta of comic book films beginning with The Batman. Directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson, The Batman is expected to offer a new take on the character during the second year of his run as Gotham's Dark Knight; and already the film's marketing has generated considerable buzz from both fans and critics.

Part of what makes this Batman film different is that this Bruce Wayne is younger and investigating a series of murders courtesy of Paul Dano's The Riddler, but that's not all. Both actors will be joined on-screen by Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, and Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon.

Now that 2021 is drawing to a close, fans are learning more about this highly-anticipated film and the inspirations contributing to Matt Reeves' reinvention of Gotham's vigilante, including that of a '90s music icon.

Matt Reeves Claims '90s Icon Inspired The Batman

In talking with Empire, Matt Reeves claimed that his take on Batman's Bruce Wayne was inspired by Nirvana's frontman Kurt Cobain. According to the director, "when I write, I listen to music" which lead to this "fictionalised version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor:"

“When I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’. That’s when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne 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.”

Warner Bros.

This isn't the first time Kurt Cobain or that particular Nirvana song has come up in conversations concerning The Batman. In fact, the film's first trailer - which dropped in August of 2020 - also contained a version of Nirvana's "Something in The Way."

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain

Not only has the grunge band influenced the film's marketing and the writing but also it's casting. Reeves talked about seeing Pattinson in the Safdie Brothers' 2017 film Good Time and how the actor has "that Kurt Cobain thing:"

“In that movie you could really feel his vulnerability and desperation, but you could also feel his power. I thought that was a great mix. He’s also got that Kurt Cobain thing, where he looks like a rock star, but you also feel like he could be a recluse.”

Another new image from the film can be seen below:

The Batman Robert Pattinson
Warner Bros.


Two Dark Knights from the 1990s?

While a tragic Bruce Wayne is something audiences have seen before, having the character be younger, reclusive, and Kurt Cobain-esque is truly a fresh iteration and also a necessary one. 

In addition to all of the prior actors who have played the Dark Knight on the big screen, like Michael Keaton and Christian Bale, DC fans just saw Ben Affleck's return as the Caped Crusader in Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max. Plus, Pattinson's Batman won't be the only iteration to appear in theaters in the coming year.

The long-awaited, time-traveling DCEU film The Flash, starring Ezra Miller and several past Batmen, is expected to release on November 4, 2022. 

Whether or not there's such a thing as Batman-fatigue, thanks to Reeves' unique inspirations and fresh vision, neither the fans nor the studio will have to find out. Instead, comic book movie fans will be treated to a reinvention of the character from his personality to his suit in March followed by a dose of Batman nostalgia in November's The Flash

The Batman is set to debut in theaters on March 4, 2022.