The Batman and the Influence Behind the Latest Big Screen Adaptation (Bruce Cowain?) - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Batman and the Influence Behind the Latest Big Screen Adaptation (Bruce Cowain?)

Chris Morley investigates the surprising influence on the latest big-screen take of The Batman.
As Matt Reeves gets ready to show us a new, younger Bruce Wayne, as embodied by Robert Pattinson, might his choice of music used within the trailer to The Batman have offered an, initially perhaps surprising but actually fairly believable glimpse into the driving force behind Master Wayne’s personality?

Something In The Way is the sobering finale to Nirvana’s Nevermind and it formed part of the director’s listening as he worked on the first act of the film itself. Gus Van Sant’s Last Days is also an inspiration, its narrative drawing from what’s known of the last few days of Kurt Cobain’s life in telling the story of Blake, a rock musician who sneaks out of rehab only to return home & eventually take his own life, seemingly unable to cope with the fame which has been thrust upon him.
“I didn’t know how to deal with success. If there was a Rock Star 101, I would have liked to take it. It might have helped me.”
A position of the sort which Bruce himself, during only his second year as a caped crusader, may empathise with - now quite literally a world away from his usual presentation.

A look at the family histories of both men reveals a degree of childhood trauma; Wayne affected by the murder of his parents where Kurt was just as troubled by his own mother & father’s eventual divorce. As Reeves elaborated...
“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.”
And his leading man ticked that particular box. Having seen his performance in Good Time, Reeves was immediately drawn to 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.”
Something which the new man in the Batsuit passed comment on, as Pattinson comented...
“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!”
In keeping with the overall tone of proceedings, his family home probably won’t look as polished as in previous outings either.
“[Bruce Wayne] doesn’t care about any of the trappings of being a [millionaire] Wayne at this point.”
It's tempting to imagine Kurt in turn empathising with Bruce having in a sense himself “been out every single night for two years, getting beaten up and shot and stabbed and burnt, and it shows,” even if the late frontman’s own burnings & beatings were critical and indeed mental. This was hardly helped by a spiralling drug habit, ending with his own hand on the trigger, exacerbated by the pressures of fame after Nevermind became a hit record and its author found himself something of a reluctant spokesman for those who’d gone out in their droves to buy it.
“I’m a spokesman for myself. It just so happens that there’s a bunch of people that are concerned with what I have to say. I find that frightening at times because I’m just as confused as most people. I don’t have the answers for anything.”
For the latest man in charge of rebooting the Bat-myth, though, it’s a drug of a different kind that drives the young Batman, still learning to balance his two identities.

Again thanks to the influence of Something In The Way, such a constant in the director’s thinking that it became “part of the voice of [Batman’s] character”, Reeves was driven to approach a question up until now most popularly pondered by Tim Burton & Christopher Nolan from a radically different angle.
“How do you do Bruce Wayne in a way that hasn’t been seen before?’
Of course, we know how Batman begins, to shamelessly pinch from Nolan, but Reeves approach differs completely from his and Burton’s takes on Gotham City’s protector…..

What if having seen Thomas & Martha Wayne killed, their son later “becomes so reclusive, we don’t know what he’s doing? Is this guy some kind of wayward, reckless, drug addict?’ The perhaps inevitable conclusion arriving that “the truth is that he is a kind of drug addict. His drug is his addiction to this drive for revenge.”

And in the process of feeding it he could hark back to the very early days of the original Batman comic, which saw him start out as more of an investigator-type character in the late Thirties run of Detective Comics, the team of Bill Finger & Bob Kane bringing him to life in time for issue 27 in May of 1939.
Kane would recall in his autobiography that,
“One day I called Bill and said, 'I have a new character called the Bat-Man and I've made some crude, elementary sketches I'd like you to look at.' He came over and I showed him the drawings.

At the time, I only had a small domino mask, like the one Robin later wore, on Batman's face. Bill said, 'Why not make him look more like a bat and put a hood on him, and take the eyeballs out and just put slits for eyes to make him look more mysterious?”
A mystique which both director & star of The Batman are keen to preserve.
"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films."
So says the man behind the camera. The one in front of it went on to tell the New York Times that...
"He’s a complicated character… His morality is a little bit off. He's not the golden boy, unlike almost every other comic-book character. There is a simplicity to his worldview, but where it sits is strange, which allows you to have more scope with the character."
Clearly then, there is something in Cobain…..

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