The Batman composer Michael Giacchino reveals he had never heard the key Nirvana song, “Something in the Way,” before scoring the DC movie.
Despite it being a major part of the DC movie, The Batman composer Michael Giacchino reveals he had never listened to the film’s key Nirvana song prior to joining. After initially being developed for the DC Extended Universe, the film would shift towards launching its own shared universe, being set in Bruce Wayne’s second year of fighting crime in Gotham, namely as he hunted down the serial killer known as The Riddler. His investigation saw Batman meeting Oswald Cobblepot, better known as The Penguin, and Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman.
Led by Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz and Paul Dano, The Batman scored widespread critical acclaim and was a box office smash, grossing over $770 million against its reported $200 million production budget. Matt Reeves’ approach to the character not only saw him properly exploring his status as the World’s Greatest Detective, but also a thoroughly dark and noir-driven atmosphere harking back to David Fincher’s beloved Se7en. One of the key aspects for creating this atmosphere was that of Nirvana’s 1991 song “Something in the Way,” but as important as it was for The Batman, one creative behind the film’s music wasn’t aware of the track before coming on board.
In a recent interview with SlashFilm, Michael Giacchino reflected on his time putting together the score for The Batman. The DC movie’s composer revealed he had never heard its key Nirvana song, “Something in the Way,” prior to working on the film, and that he had begun writing the music before Pattinson had even been cast for it. See what Giacchino said below:
This is really embarrassing, but I did not know that song. I did not know that song at all. I feel like an old man saying that I did not know. Of course, now I know it. At the time when I was writing, I had no idea. I didn’t know. It was eternal luck that those two were able to, in some way with a little tweaking, live together for the trailers the way they did them. It worked out really nicely. It wasn’t something that was planned ahead of time, it was just sort of, I wrote that theme after talking with [director Matt Reeves] for so long about the script and talking about the characters and all of that. The theme was written, I don’t know, two years before the movie was even finished. Matt had that theme before they officially cast Robert Pattinson. I mean, that was crazy to have it that early. It’s rare that happens. It all worked out. It was just serendipity. The main Batman theme that is just that dun dun dun, in certain ways they kind of just live together so nicely.
Why Nirvana’s Song Was Perfect For The Batman
Given its history of having been penned by the band’s lead Kurt Cobain during a particularly dark time in his life, Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” proved paramount for audiences’ understanding of where Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne found himself during The Batman. Though having Andy Serkis’ Alfred assisting him, Bruce largely deemed himself to be alone in the world, relying on himself as he fought crime around Gotham and keeping himself in a very dark state of mind as he took his vengeance for his parents’ murders on the underbelly of the town. Given Giacchino and Reeves were even able to make minor tweaks to his score to fit its inclusion, Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” proves to have been the perfect choice to include in The Batman.
Following it featuring in both the trailers for it and the DC movie itself, the Nirvana track skyrocketed up streaming charts, with Spotify having reported a 1200 percent increase of the song, and the band itself, following The Batman‘s release. With Pattinson’s titular hero now in a different mental space heading into the in-development The Batman 2, it will be interesting to see what track Reeves elects to use as his main inspiration for the overall tone of the sequel. In the meantime, audiences can revisit Nirvana’s beloved song and its befitting of the film’s tone with The Batman streaming on HBO Max.