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The Historical & Cinematic Influences on The Batman (SPOILERS)

We dive into what real life and historical figures/events inspired The Batman. What renowned film noir and crime thrillers helped inform the Matt Reeves take on Gotham? We then go further in the Matt Reeves-Christopher Nolan comparisons and why the “Nolan 2.0” criticisms are bullshit. Plus, we cover the comic book influences that we missed last time.


0:00 Introduction

2:07 The Comics & The Batman Posters

The comparison of The Batman poster and the cover to Legends of the Dark Knight No. 11 came from Batman Curated here:

5:40 Before The Batman Prequel Novel

9:02 The Batman Cast Trivia

The article about Reeves watching Paul Dano from Love and Mercy comes from here:

The Twitter user Johny Sobczak pointed out the tweet about the connection between the film and Good Time here:

The tweet about Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal's characters comes from here:

The connection of Bronson Webb from The Dark Knight to The Batman comes from here:

19:23 The Comic Book Influences on The Batman We Missed!

The ScreenCrush video that Ben was referring to is this:

The pictures of Boss Maroni, mistaken to be Colin Farrell's Penguin, came from here:

The connection of the Batsuit and Talon in Court of Owls comes from here:

The comparison of Selina's apartment in Year One with the apartment in The Batman comes from this tweet by Batman Curated:

The comparison of Hopper's Nighthawks with Year One and the shot from The Batman comes from here:

The other references were partially pointed out by these other sources:

46:38 The HISTORICAL & Real Life Influences on The Costumes

48:16 The New York City Influence on The Batman's Gotham

Jeffrey Wright citing Mayor Eric Adams and Commissioner Keechant Sewell

50:32 The Riddler and The Zodiac Killer (plus Mindhunter)

The article comparing Riddler to the Zodiac Killer came from here:

56:09 The Death of Brian Wells & The Death of Gil Colson

57:26 Bruce Wayne and Kurt Cobain, plus Gus Van Sant's Last Days and Howard Hughes

The comparison of Bruce Wayne to Kurt Cobain comes from these interviews, which also revealed more quotes that we used in the episode:

The observation about Last Days and images of the amplifiers come from this tweet:

With a screenshot taken from this video:

1:03:48 All the President's Men/Watergate and The Gotham Corruption Story

The quotes about All the President's Men come from here:

1:05:51 Al Capone and the Penguin

1:06:32 Break

Check out our link for Barkbox here.

1:08:27 The CINEMATIC Influences- The Influences on Burton, Snyder, and Nolan

1:11:24 Wong Kar Wai Films and Gotham City Lighting

1:13:24 Alfred Hitchcock and Voyeurism

1:16:37 David Lynch's Lost Highway and the Red Light

Matt Reeves citing Lost Hallway come from here:

1:18:12 Goodfellas and the Original "I'm Vengeance" Scene

Matt Reeves citing Goodfellas comes from here:

1:19:28 The Silence of the Lambs and the POV Shot in the Crime Scene

The tweet about comparing the crime scene to The Silence of the Lambs

1:20:13 Taxi Driver and the Twisted Head of the Protagonist

Robert Pattinson citing Taxi Driver as the inspiration for the grappling guns comes from here:

1:24:07 The French Connection and the Car Chase

Matt Reeves directly cited Chinatown, The French Connection, and Taxi Driver here too:

1:25:49 Stephen King's Christine and The Batmobile

Matt Reeves citing Christine comes from here:

1:28:44 Michael Myers and The Riddler

The Nerdist article connecting the Riddler to Michael Myers comes from here:

1:30:19 John Carpenter's They Live

1:31:25 Klute and the BatCat Relationship

Reeves citing both Klute and Chinatown also comes from here:

1:34:15 Chinatown and the Catwoman-Falcone Dynamic

1:36:16 The Godfather Part I and II Influences

The inspirations of The Godfather, Tony Soprano, and The Long Good Friday come from here:

1:44:57 Seven- John Doe and The Riddler

1:47:24 Did Reeves Take Too Much From Nolan?

1:54:05 The Batman 1966 Influences of The Batman & Favorite Tidbits

The Batman 1966 theme of "BAT MAAAN" that Ben refers to (that Jackson Putnam pointed out) comes from here at about 26 seconds in. Listen out for the brass:

You can also check out our playlist of different scenes we referenced here:


- Travis Bickle's opening journal narration, similar to Batman's on Halloween, in Taxi Driver

- Henry Hill beating the neighbor that Ben dubbed the original "I'm vengeance" scene from Goodfellas

- Clarice Starling's POV shots of the cops looking at her like an outsider in Silence of the Lambs, similar to how the cops look at Batman at the Mayor's crime scene

- A Tom Hagen-Michael Corleone confrontation from The Godfather Part II that inspired the Alfred-Bruce dynamic in the film

- Travis's gun sleeve in Taxi Driver

- Fredo's rant in The Godfather Part II which inspired the characterization of the Penguin

- A scene from Rear Window, a film on voyeurism for crime fighting that likely inspired the scene of Bruce spying on Selina

- Michael Myers attacking Annie in Halloween, which looks similar to Riddler abducting Colson

- Popeye Doyle punching his informant in The French Connection

- The car chase in The French Connection

- Christine on fire like the Batmobile in Christine

- Evelyn's confrontation with her father from Chinatown similar to Selina trying to kill Falcone

- John Doe turning himself in, like Riddler did, in Seven

- John Doe's journals and apartment, similar to Riddler's, in Seven

- A confrontation between the detectives and the serial killer they've been spending the whole movie trying to chase him, with a divider separating the two, in Seven

You can also check out Ben's Spotify playlist

Which ties in the soundtracks of the cinematic influences of the following:

- Nirvana's main three albums, Bleach, Nevermind, and In Utero (with "Something In the Way" moved to The Batman soundtrack towards the end)

- The songs featured in Gus Van Sant's Last Days - "La Guerre" by Clement Janequin and the King's Singers through "A Pointless Ride" by The Hermitt

- Bernard Herrman's Taxi Driver score, including "Thank God for the Rain" that Matt Reeves cited

- John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's score for Christine

- The soundtrack to Goodfellas, including "Layla" by Derek & The Dominos

- Jerry Goldsmith's score for Chinatown

- Michael Small's score for Klute

- Don Ellis's theme for The French Connection

- David Shire's score for Zodiac

- Nino Rota's score for The Godfather

- Howard Shore's score for Seven

- Michael Gatt's score for Batman: The Long Halloween Part I and II

- Jason Hill's score for Mindhunter Seasons 1 and 2

- Michael Giacchino's score for The Batman, put in order, along with songs featured in the movie available on Spotify, including "Ave Maria," "Something in the Way," the classical music that plays in Wayne Tower, and some of the music from the Iceberg Lounge and Falcone's hideout.

2:08:27 Fan Comments

2:24:43 Closing: Fan Shoutouts and Social Media Promotion

Big thanks to our research assistant Dan Yamat for providing a lot of the visuals, as well as doing the thumbnail, QC, and chapter time codes.

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