The score for The Batman was in the works well before the movie had even begun production, which made the music an integral part of the film, as opposed to an afterthought, which is sadly the case for too many movies. Composer Michael Giacchino’s starting point and inspiration was the closest to a rockstar you could find in the 18th and 19th centuries: Beethoven.
As part of Deadline‘s The Process series, Giacchino and The Batman director Matt Reeves discussed the creation of the film score, which has been praised as one of the best parts about it. The composer describes his vision as “a modern Beethoven score,” while recognizing how ambitious that might sound.
“I thought, ‘What if Beethoven scored a Batman movie? What would that sound like? Like a modern Beethoven score for Batman?’ And I didn’t ever think I could reach the heights of what Beethoven could do, of course. But it was more of a concept, more of an idea, of an approach.”
Although Beethoven wasn’t exactly the darkest composer of his time, he did make the most epic, intense, music, which perfectly matches the dramatics of a superhero film. The Batman, of course, sounded a lot different, but was just as epic.
According to Variety, the score is structured around two contrasting subjects: Batman, and Bruce. Batman is obsessive, which is translated by a repeating four-note motif, while Bruce is more melancholic.
For Giacchino, the driving force behind his work are the characters, whose mental spaces he tries to externalize through his compositions. Since parts of his score were already finalized by the time The Batman began filming, the music became a source of inspiration for the actors, and especially Robert Pattinson as he tried to understand his character better.
The Batman was a commercial and critical success, and although we’re sure a domestic sound system can’t compare to a theater, viewers can visit Giacchino and Reeves’ musical Gotham by streaming the film on HBO Max.