THE BATMAN 2: Dr. Victor Fries Aka Mr Freeze Deserves Another Shot At Lead Villain In Matt Reeves’ Eagerly Awaited Sequel
If there’s anything that movie fans can agree on, it’s that Joel Schumacher’s star-studded 1997 flick Batman & Robin was - and still is - one of the more difficult memories in Hollywood’s photo album. Still, on some fronts, it’s easy to defend. Warner Bros. simply didn’t want another gritty Batman movie, after Batman Forever’s disappointing takings two years earlier, and so rushed production on something entirely different.
Of course, that ‘something different’ would ultimately kill the movie part of the franchise, to paraphrase George Clooney some ten years later. No new Batman films would be produced until 2005 when the now-famous Christopher Nolan trilogy kicked off with Christian Bale in the role of Caped Crusader.
The great tragedy of that one-off 1997 movie was that it effectively ended the potential attached to several Batman characters, who haven’t been seen on film since.
Batgirl, Robin, Poison Ivy, and Mr Freeze are all popular characters within the wider DC universe, but it’s debatable among fans whether enough time will ever pass from Batman & Robin to put them in a movie again. However, all four of them have appeared in one or more of the Arkham games by Rocksteady and Warner Bros., suggesting that the lingering embarrassment may have started to subside.
Also, the release of The Batman in 2022 and its recently-announced sequel opens the door for just about any of Batman’s villains to make an appearance. The Riddler served as our hero’s foil in Matt Reeve’s moody reboot, while The Joker got a few minutes in a (suspiciously) deleted scene. We also got a look at Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, otherwise known as The Penguin.
A Refrigerated Exoskeleton
So, what’s next? Mr Freeze seems to stand out as the most likely of Batman & Robin’s rejects to star in The Batman 2 or in a future Reeves-led instalment. Known as Dr Victor Fries, Mr Freeze is described in this infographic from ExpressVPN as a genius cytogeneticist who is forced to wear a refrigerated exoskeleton following an accident at his lab.
What’s interesting about Mr Freeze is that he’s more than a two-dimensional thug. Dr Fries’ villainous ways stem from his efforts to cure his wife Nora of a terminal illness. Nora, as the established backstory goes, is cryogenically frozen, prolonging her life. This kind of tragic, sympathetic villain is fairly rare in movies, although fellow Batman rogue Two-Face and Marvel’s Magneto are both good examples. Maybe even Thanos, too.
If you’re still not convinced, Matt Reeves has expressed interest in creating a more realistic, more believable version of Mr Freeze. The director aims to “unwind the fantastical” concepts of superheroes and villains to suit his version of the Batman universe, a process that does place Mr Freeze in a prominent position. While the science involved is still in the realm of magic, the character is no Superman, and certainly no more technologically advanced than Batman.
In any case, it’ll be exciting to see how Reeve’s reimagining of these oft-repeated stories evolves over the coming years.