Why The Batman Composer Michael Giacchino Snuck A Reference To A Beloved Indie Filmmaker Into His Track Titles [Exclusive]

The only thing better than Michael Giacchino's film and TV scores might be his title tracks. At a certain point in his career, the ultra-busy composer decided he was done giving his musical themes standard (read: boring) names like "[Name of Character]'s Suite" or those describing the scene they accompany in plain terms. This, in turn, is how we ended up with such golden dad joke track titles as "Suite, Suite Dino Revenge" from the "Jurassic World Dominion" soundtrack or "Foster? I Barely Know Her!" from "Thor: Love and Thunder" (to cite two recent examples), and the world is a much improved place for it.

Even in the case of Matt Reeves' Very Serious comic book film "The Batman," Giacchino filled his soundtrack with pun-y track titles like "Collar ID" and "Are You a Kenzie or a Can't-zie?" Naturally, he and his musical collaborators used Catwoman's presence in the movie as an excuse to get extra silly, coming up with suites named "Crossing the Feline," "An Im-purr-fect Murder," and "Meow and You and Everyone We Know." The latter of those titles, for those who are not familiar, is specifically a nod to "Kajillionaire" director Miranda July's acclaimed 2005 feature-helming debut, "Me and You and Everyone We Know."

In an interview with /Film's Jack Giroux, Giacchino explained how this and his many other wonderfully ridiculous track titles have come to pass:

"All of those titles are, it's always a contest between me, the music editor, and even my assistant Curtis has been getting in on the game recently as well. Everyone sort of fights for who can come up with the best one for those things. It's just a game we all play and at some point, you have to make the cue sheet and it's got to come down to that."

'Those things seem to be very divisive'

As irreverent as these track titles are, they're also based on the actual movies Giacchino scores. "When we're first watching the film, all of these ideas come up, and it's so funny," he explained. He credited his longtime music editor Paul Apelgren for coming up with "a bunch of them" for "The Batman," along with his assistant. However, lest anyone think Giacchino and his team are spending hours on end trying to think up cheeky track titles, he assured us it's "just a way to distract ourselves when there's so much pressure to get this stuff done. We never forget to have fun as well."

There are, of course, soundtrack lovers who feel title tracks are no laughing matter and cannot sanction Giacchino's buffoonery. "Those things seem to be very divisive," he admitted, noting he's gotten flack from people who take umbrage at him treating a movie about a rich oddball who runs around punching criminals while dressed as a bat with anything but the utmost seriousness. That's not to say he's entirely unsympathetic to people who feel that way, mind you:

"I mean, I get it, even on 'Star Wars,' it was different. For 'Rogue One,' I knew let's do a legit track list but include on the inside of the cover our own alternate track titles. So if anyone's a fan of those things, they can just change their things on iTunes or whatever they want to do. Change the titles for them."

Personally, I just think it's a shame the Academy doesn't have an award for individual themes from movie soundtracks. I would love to hear a presenter announce something like "Highway to the Anger Zone" from "The Batman" as the winner of the 2023 Oscar for Best Original Suite.