Why The Batman Ended Up Using That Nirvana Song In Its First Trailer

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

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The DC Extended Universe has had an unprecedented life in theaters, and there are some highly anticipated projects coming to theaters over the next few years. One of these movies is Matt Reeves' The Batman, which is currently in the midst of filming. Robert Pattinson's debut as Bruce Wayne might have been delayed, but excitement for the movie has been buoyed thanks to the already iconic teaser that was released at DC Fandome. Said trailer was set to a song by Nirvana, and The Batman composer Michael Giacchino recently told us exactly why this choice was made.

The Batman's first footage showed Matt Reeves' pulled back vision for Gotham City, including brief appearances of the stellar cast. The music helped to hammer the film's tone hone, with Nirvana's "Something in the Way" playing from the iconic Nevermind album. The movie's composer Michael Giacchino recently appeared on our very own ReelBlend podcast, where he revealed the thought process behind including this track. As he put it,

I think we just got lucky when it came around time to do the trailer. We got really lucky that [my main theme] just, it lied in perfectly against that song, you know? That was one of those things where they sent it to me, and they were like, ‘Should we fill it in more?’ And I'm just like, ‘I don't know. It sounds pretty great the way it is and the way that it's just sort of layered in.’ And we gave them a few things to add into it, but not much at all. I feel like they did a really good job with that trailer. It was a great way of saying, ‘Here's your next Batman.’

Sometimes things just fall into place. And for this already iconic trailer, the new musical theme that Michael Giacchino wrote for The Batman happened to fit perfectly with Nivana's "Something in the Way." And just as Matt Reeves and company planned, the brief teaser perfectly set up this new iteration of The Dark Knight.

Michael Giacchino's comments while appearing on ReelBlend shows the human nature of moviemaking. Because while the audience sees a finished product, it's ultimately made by individual artists trying their best. And sometimes serendipity can lead to movie magic, or in this case trailer magic.

After The Batman arrives in theaters, Matt Reeves will bring a prequel series to HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

As the composer mentioned, the first footage of The Batman showed what a different version of the story we'd be getting once Matt Reeves' movie hit theaters. The costumes are pulled back and realistic, and Robert Pattinson's title character was pretty brutal. As a reminder, you can check it out below.

Later in Michael Giacchino's appearance on ReelBlend, the composer went on to explain his process in writing The Batman's main musical theme. Giacchino has had a long and celebrated career in TV and film, earning an Oscar, Emmy, and Grammys in the process. He spoke about his work on The Batman, saying:

I just had an idea one day and I was like, ‘Oh, this, you know, in knowing the character that Matt is bringing to the screen, I just thought this, to me, feels like... if I were Batman, if I were Matt Reeves as Batman, what would be going through my head as I stood up on top of some building and just looked at the city?’ And I thought, ‘Yeah, this is what would get me going through my head.’ And so I wrote that, sent it to Matt and he really loved it. Then we had a chance to record a bunch of it when I was in London at one point, we did that, for no other reason than to maybe use it for trailers. I know Matt most importantly just wanted it to be able to edit with it. I wrote like 40 minutes or so of music, none of which to anything pictorially. It was just sort of like, ‘Well, here's what I'm thinking, you know?’ And so who knows how much will last, and how much we'll look at later and go ‘It doesn't fit as well as we thought.’ But that particular, very simple main theme, you know, that'll be there.

From what we've heard so far, Michael Giacchino's theme for The Batman certainly helps to set the movie's moody tone. Gotham City is a dark place, and there aren't colorful costumes or super villains. Instead characters like The Penguin and Catwoman look and feel like real people. And as for Robert Pattinson, he's got a unique look in regards to his costume and Batmobile.

Considering how popular Batman is, the Dark Knight has been adapted into film a variety of times. As such, Matt Reeves and company are tasked with having perspective that audiences haven't seen thus far. And from the look (and sound) of The Batman so far, they've done just that.

The Batman is currently set to arrive in theaters on March 4th, 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.