Batman has proven himself as one of the more compelling characters in pop culture, regularly inspiring movies, TV series, and comic books that explore the hero's journey. The character also has many compelling villains, with the Joker getting his own solo movie in 2019 starring Joaquin Phoenix. Filmmaker Kevin Smith notes how much he'd love to see Mr. Freeze be brought back to life in a new film, especially given how other storytellers have proven how interesting of a character he can be.
"Well, they're already making 96 different Joker movies, so obviously not the Joker," Smith joked during a live taping of his podcast Fatman on Batman when asked which villain deserves their own film. "In terms of Batman villains, I would look no further than Paul Dini's 'Heart of Ice,' Mr. Freeze, from the Batman animated series. They took one of the simplest, dopiest characters in Batman's canon, 'He's a man with a freeze gun!' and turned him into one of the most tragic, Shakespearean level villains in all of comics. I would do Mr. Freeze, you get a lot of powerful material there."
In 1997's Batman & Robin, Arnold Schwarzenegger played the villain, though that film's campy tone has resulted in it becoming regarded as one of the worst DC Comics adaptations in cinema history. So long as a new film would avoid making the mistake of that film, Smith thinks the villain could be a compelling character.
One of the elements of Mr. Freeze's persona is that he has a massive gun which he can use to cool things to dangerous levels, a "superpower" that would likely be difficult to translate in a compelling way to a film. Most of the villains in the DC Extended Universe have relied on brute strength for the abilities, with Mr. Freeze potentially not fitting in line with the franchise's tone.
"Also, the freeze gun, visually, is a cool thing to see, I would imagine, on screen. We've seen it already done a few different times, just not the Arnold version, please," Smith joked. "I think I'd go Mr. Freeze."
Smith's co-host on the podcast, Marc Bernardin, shared his opinion about the question, claiming that Ra's al Ghul could also make for a compelling villain to base a story around.
"I think I would want a Ra's al Ghul movie. I love the big global threat bad guy who's so much f-cking smarter than your hero," the host detailed. "And, he's got a point, right? Like, I want a villain who's got a point."
Smith added, "He's kind of like Thanos, like, Thanos says he wants to kill half the universe for the survival of the other half. It was Ra's al Ghul's philosophy as well. Mankind has done horrible things to the planet so we should just raze them like weeds."
Other than Joker, the future of Batman villains in a feature film is uncertain.
What do you think about Smith's remarks? Let us know in the comments below!
[H/T YouTube, Kevin Smith]