Is there anything more relatable or endearing than a handsome, rich boy with a heart of gold? Whether you’re a fan of the legendary actor or not, it’s hard not to feel kinship towards the character of Robert Pattinson’s Batman when listening to his song “Walk This Way.” The former Twilight star’s dark sense of humor and knack for conveying emotion through sound make this an all-around winner.
Besides, it was only a matter of time before Pattinson recorded a song inspired by a movie. The actor has been making waves in the film industry for years, and it seems like his song choices are becoming more creative as time goes on. For example, his song for the upcoming Warner Bros. film, The Long Walk, is called “Realize” and features a spooky choir. You can also take a listen to the empowering jazz anthem he recorded for the movie Beautiful Creatures.
Why Is Robert Pattinson’s Batman So Affluent?
There’s no denying that Batman is one of the world’s most recognizable superheroes. The caped crusader’s enduring popularity is largely due to the dark and quirky approach he takes towards crime-fighting. The character’s traditional costume can be traced back to the early 20th century, with the modern look being sported by actor/director Christian Bale in 2005’s The Dark Knight. Since his debut, Batman has appeared in popular culture, with stand-alone films and TV shows continuing to this day.
While other superheroes like Superman and Spiderman are associated with huge, worldwide brands, it’s hard to find a business owned by Batman. The closest thing is probably the Robin costume, with the most recent version being designed by Christian Bale himself. This makes it all the more surprising that Pattinson’s Batman theme is so heavily influenced by the wealthy elite. Let’s take a trip back in time to find out more.
A Brief History Of The Batman Theme
The world of music composition is a constantly evolving one and the Batman theme is no stranger to this phenomenon. Before the 21st century, the tune most often associated with the Dark Knight was “Someday, Someplace,” released in 1994. Co-written by Hans Zimmer and performed by Freddie Mercury, this love ballad was intended to represent the character’s dark but optimistic worldview. For those not in the know, the somber “Someday, Someplace” perfectly summarizes Batman’s ethos: “Someday I’ll be famous and wealthy, And sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.”
In terms of movie soundtracks, “Someday, Someplace” is arguably the culmination of the Batman theme. The song was commissioned for the Joel Schumacher film, Batman Forever (1995), and its inclusion in the soundtrack is what ultimately put the song in the popular lexicon. If you grew up in the ‘90s, you probably know the lyrics (“Someday, someplace, we’ll be dancing cheek to cheek, Like there’s no tomorrow.”) to this day, and it would be hard to overstate the influence this song had on future collaborations between composer and lyricist. “Someday, Someplace” is one of the most recognizable sounds in popular culture today.
The Making Of “Walk This Way”
Although “Someday, Someplace” was used in several previous films, it was not until 2014’s The Amazing Spiderman that Batman made a musical comeback. Andrew Garfield’s first outing as the web-slinger was a box-office hit and introduced a whole new generation to the Dark Knight. The movie’s composer, Michael Giacchino, drew influence from both traditional and modern music to create an original score that fit within the Spiderman universe. One of the most memorable aspects of the score is the use of “Walk This Way,” the Aerosmith song that served as the backdrop to the actor’s final brawl with the villainous Dr. Octopus.
The song was so indelibly associated with the Spiderman film that it became a sort of unofficial theme, used by composers and lyricists again and again for subsequent projects. A year after the Broadway musical, Sony released its own solo Batman movie, then titled Batman and Robin Hood, which had Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead compose the film’s music. Greenwood used his experience with J.J. Abrams’ Hush as reference for the Batman theme; like Spiderman, Batman finds himself in a fantasy world that is simultaneously recognizable and yet wildly original.
Robert Pattinson Chooses A ‘Dressed-Down’ Approach
Like any other A-lister, Pattinson has a music director who guides his every creative decision. However, since he is arguably the most famous person to ever wear the Batman suit, that director has the unique authority of shaping everyone’s musical vision. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Pattinson revealed that he had no interest in following the success of his last two music-related endeavors: the 2012 album Cruel But Fair and the 2014 Broadway musical, A Walk Thru Westminster. Instead, he wanted to explore a more “traditional approach” to songwriting. As a result, he recorded most of The Lost Artists with a jazz quintet that features drummer Antony Cooke and pianist Jason Daukes.
While recording sessions for the album were underway, Daukes sent over some of his original compositions to see if Pattinson would be interested in recording them. The actor had already worked with Daukes on several movies, so when the pianist offered to write a few songs specifically for the star, he was eager to try them out.
As it turns out, Pattinson did not want to do anything too “formal” or “traditional” when it came to his musical choices. He reportedly turned down Daukes’ original compositions and wanted to go in a completely different direction. The result is an album that is inspired by some of the great American composers of the 20th century. Like the film adaptations he has collaborated on, Pattinson wanted his album to be as authentic to the era as possible.
On a related note, the album artwork for The Lost Artists is a visual representation of this “dressed-down” approach. The cover art features a photo of Pattinson in the classic Batman pose, with the actor looking directly at the camera with a mischievous grin. While it is not uncommon for pop music albums to feature photos of the artist on the cover, it is very unusual to see an album’s cover feature a famous person looking directly at the camera with a mischievous grin. Perhaps the only other comparable album is the John Lennon album, Eight tracks of fearless experimentations with music, film, and the English language.
An Album Full of Quirky Rhymes
While we’re on the subject of covers, let’s discuss Pattinson’s album of covers, Kisses & Screams. Just like its title suggests, the album features the star’s interpretations of popular songs. The only real quirk about these songs is that most of them were performed and released in the ‘70s or ‘80s.
Pattinson brings a certain wit and charm to his takes on these music legends. For example, he turns the Beach Boys’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” into a hilarious ode to his hat-wearing alter ego, the Great Detective. The singer does a wonderful job of conveying the band’s whimsical spirit by sprinkling his lyrics with some of his trademark humor and ironic asides. It is hard not to be drawn into the bizarre and wonderful world of Robert Pattinson the detective.
Kisses & Screams is also home to the album’s standout track, the Joni Mitchell-penned “The Circle Game.” The song’s spooky, chiming guitar and haunting piano provide a perfect backdrop for a ballad about a love triangle. When Pattinson’s character gets involved in a love triangle with two women, the song’s narrator wonders if he has “played a game with [his] eyes/[…]if [he’s] lost [his] soul.” While these lines may sound like a curse, in the context of the song it is a poetic question, a rueful reflection on a character’s unwitting participation in a love triangle, similar to the one that Mitchell himself wrote about in “Big Yellow Taxi.”
A Soundtrack For A Generation Of Moviegoers
Since Batman has transcended music and film generations, it is not entirely surprising that his theme has been covered by many music artists. Nirvana did a version of “Someday, Someplace” for their 1997 album, With the Lights Out. The song’s subject matter may be darker than that of the Hans Zimmer classic, but there’s an unmistakable similarity in sound.