The Batman is coming to theaters in 2021, as Warner Bros. reboots the Batman movie franchise under director Matt Reeves. While we still don't know much about what the plot of The Batman is about, rumors have already started to circulate about the larger plans for the franchise. There have been several rumors about the DC Comics villains that could appear in a larger trilogy of The Batman films, including iconic Batman foe Joker being a major player in the next two movies, and even that Bane could also be brought back. However, while Joker and Bane are Batman movie favorites, The Batman sequel would do better with a different antagonist: Mister Freeze.
So far, Victor Freeze has only gotten one live-action Batman movie adaptation: in Joel Schumacher's franchise-killing film, Batman & Robin (1997). That movie also featured Bane as a villain, but he at least got some redemption when Tom Hardy portrayed him in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (2011). Mister Freeze has yet to be redeemed after Arnold Schwarzenegger's hammy, scene-chewing portrayal - but Matt Reeves and The Batman series would be the perfect remedy.
"There's a chance to do an almost noir-driven, detective version of Batman that is point-of-view driven in a very very powerful way, that will hopefully connect you to what's going on inside of his head," Reeves told New Trailer Buzz, when first taking on The Batman. Later interviews and promotional materials for the film made good on that promise: Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne Batman will be in his second year of costumed crime-fighting in this latest film, and still dealing with the dark emotions of his parents' murder, and his quest for justice (vs vengeance or punishment). That Noir tone and those emotional themes are a perfect stage for the real story of Victor Freeze!
Fans of Batman: The Animated Series are pretty united in the idea that the show had one of (if not the) best depictions of Mister Freeze ever, thanks to the classic "Heart of Ice" storyline. Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and the rest of that creative team in many ways embraced Noir films and old serials to create their version of Gotham City and its characters; their version of Freeze was a tragic (but moving) love story. Victor Freeze was depicted as a brilliant man who sacrificed his own heart and humanity in attempt to save his dying wife, becoming a (literal) cold, heartless monster in the process. That angle has echoed across the Batman mythos, and in many ways has come to redefine Mister Freeze as a villain with much more depth and character - even an anti-hero at times.
The moral and emotional complexity of Mister Freeze's modern version is perfect clay for Matt Reeves to work with. The cold, emotionless, and methodical Freeze would be a perfect foil to a younger and more emotion-driven Batman; Freeze's analytical intellect is a perfect match to Batman's cunning; and the Mister Freeze cryo-tech and freeze-gun could actually be pretty scary if depicted in the some of the dark, Noir ways The Animated Series introduced.
Best yet, the themes of carrying on an obsessive mission on behalf of lost loved ones would unite Batman with his foe in an emotionally powerful way we haven't seen onscreen before. It's a total departure from the Batman vs. Joker theme of opposing forces colliding (order and chaos, sanity and madness, etc.), and in the end, that might be the best selling point for a fanbase that has seen that same 'Batman vs. His Dark Reflection' story already play out so many times before (three times in the Nolan trilogy!).
The Batman hits theaters on October 1, 2021.0comments