The Batman director Matt Reeves has revealed the upcoming movie’s eponymous superhero will be different from his previous iterations. The filmmaker’s most notable disclosure is that his version of Bruce Wayne, who’s played by Robert Pattinson, is inspired by grunge musical icon Kurt Cobain. Reeves shared the news during an interview with Empire for its Huge 2022 Preview issue.
The helmer, who also co-wrote the script with Peter Craig and is serving as a producer, divulged the news after Cobain’s voice was featured in the first trailer for the crime drama, which was unveiled in August 2020. The trailer features Jeffrey Wright, who plays Commissioner Gordon, reading a riddle written by The Riddler, who’s played by Paul Dano. Playing in the background is the track Something’s in The Way from the singer’s band, Nirvana.
Reeves told Empire that he wrote the first act of The Batman while listening to the Grammy Award-winning band’s song. He added: “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 fictionalized version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor.”
Last Days, which stars Michael Pitt, was written, directed and produced by Van Sant. The drama, which was released in 2005, is a near-silent account of a visibly troubled rockstar’s slow descent towards death. It’s widely believed that the movie is a fictionalized account of Cobain’s final days before he died by suicide in 1994.
In his interview with Empire, Reeves also stated that in The Batman, Bruce Wayne isn’t the same socialite that he has been portrayed as in past live-action Batman films. Instead, the superhero has been living a reclusive life by himself, fixing his suit and weapons, much to the concern of his butler, Alfred, who’s portrayed by Andy Serkis.
The Saturn Award-winning filmmaker added that he was inspired to cast Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in The Batman after he watched the actor’s Independent Spirit Award-nominated performance in the 2017 crime thriller, Good Time. The helmer noted: “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.”
Pattinson also chimed in on his character’s mental state, stating: “Bruce has been hiding away. He’s not really a socialite at all. He’s building all these little contraptions and things, just with Alfred. And even Alfred thinks he’s gone insane!”
The change in the character’s emotional state will also be reflected in his Batsuit, which is in worse condition than in previous Batman films. “He’s been out every single night for two years, getting beaten up and shot and stabbed and burnt, and it shows,” the performer explained. “There’s a bullet graze on the cowl, right at the beginning. I don’t think that’s been done before.”
The Batman, which also stars Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham’s district attorney, Gil Colson, and Colin Farrell as Penguin, is scheduled to be released on March 4, 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures. Two spinoffs series are already in development for HBO Max; the first one will focus on the inner workings of the Gotham City police department, while the second one will focus on Penguin.
The Batman depicts the titular character in his early years, struggling to balance rage with righteousness as he investigates a disturbing mystery that has terrorized Gotham. Batman is a disillusioned, desperate vigilante who’s awakened by the realization that the anger consuming him makes him no better than the ruthless serial killer he’s hunting.