Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in 'The Batman'

So What Is the Deal With ‘Something in the Way’ in ‘The Batman’?

Matt Reeves’ take on Bruce Wayne has finally hit theaters, and with it comes a dive into the world of Batman and a deeper look into the corrupt nature of Gotham. And one of the fascinating parts of The Batman trailer and subsequently the movie itself is the use of an iconic Nirvana song.

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**Spoilers for The Batman.**

The Nirvana song “Something in the Way” plays a pivotal role in the film, but it is also an undertone for fans to think about in regards to how Bruce reacts to things. While the song was written as a reflection of Kurt Cobain’s upbringing, highlighting the time when he lived under a bridge after being kicked out, it is also a song that can be interpreted differently by anyone listening to it.

The song is about something being in the way of whatever your goal may be. For Cobain, it was different than what is in the way for Bruce, but the song works in the world Reeves built either way because Bruce, himself, is getting in the way of the symbol he wants Batman to be.

Bruce’s own hindrance

While “Something in the Way” was a core part of the trailer, it is also a big part of the movie itself. When Bruce goes to look at the Mayor’s home after he’s murdered by the Riddler, the music starts when Bruce sees the Mayor’s young son, who found his dead father—letting us know that the song is representative of what is in Bruce’s way.

And it’s his inability to unpack his own trauma and pain and his willingness to, instead, hide behind his alter ego. “Something In The Way” in terms of Cobain and Nirvana as a band doesn’t really play a part in the movie as a whole but the meaning behind the lyrics is more what’s important to Bruce’s story.

Bruce Wayne and Kurt Cobain

In the past, Reeves did say that his version of Bruce Wayne was inspired by Kurt Cobain. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Reeves talked a lot about the use of the song. “When I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’,” Reeves said, and went on to talk about Bruce’s connection to Cobain. “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 fictionalised version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor.”

All of this helped him pick Robert Pattinson, given the Cobain vibe that he had in the Safdie Brothers movie Good Time. “In that movie you could really feel his vulnerability and desperation, but you could also feel his power,” Reeves explained. “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.”

So, in the movie, the use of the song is giving us a look into Bruce’s inability to get out of his own way, and it’s a fascinating insight into the character.

(image: Warner Bros.)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.