A chilling Easter egg spotted on the Chicago set of The Batman reveals connections to Mr. Freeze and Batman: The Animated Series. Set in the second year of Bruce Wayne's (Robert Pattinson) costumed crime-fighting career, The Batman pits the Dark Knight detective against early-day versions of the Riddler (Paul Dano), Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), and Penguin (Colin Farrell). Amid Internet whispers that The Batman includes a modernized version of the Lewis Carroll-obsessed Mad Hatter, a poster appears to reference two other Bat-villains: a masked anarchist known as Anarky and Victor Fries, who becomes the refrigerated rogue called Mr. Freeze.
Set decoration photographed by FOX 32 News entertainment anchor Jake Hamilton shows a torn-up anarchist's poster marked with the "A" logo adopted by Anarky. Below it is a message urging Gotham City citizens to "destroy GothCorp," a corporation created for Batman: The Animated Series.
There the company was operated by cold-hearted CEO Ferris Boyle, who is responsible for the laboratory accident that leaves Fries unable to survive outside of the freezing temperatures regulated by his specially designed cryo-suit. In the 1992 episode "Heart of Ice," Mr. Freeze pursues cold vengeance against Boyle for interfering with the use of cryogenics in a desperate attempt to cure his terminally-ill wife.
Wait — is the THE FLASH logo on the Chicago set of THE BATMAN?! pic.twitter.com/p2pRpBv6kn— Jake Hamilton (@JakesTakes) October 17, 2020
This same origin story is referenced in the Batman: Arkham City video game scripted by Batman: The Animated Series writer-director Paul Dini, who is credited with reinventing Mr. Freeze as a tragic and sympathetic figure in "Heart of Ice."
Michael E. Uslan, a longtime producer of the Batman franchise and executive producer of Joker, recently named Mr. Freeze as the next Bat-villain he most wants to see reinvented in an origin film.
"One of my favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series — which I love, absolutely love — dealt with Mr. Freeze and the loss of his wife. The empathy, the emotions that that created, I could see [making a movie]," the producer said during a virtual convention panel, adding there are presently no plans for a Mr. Freeze film.
"I'm putting on my fanboy hat, not my producing hat. This has nothing to do with any plans, or this or that. I don't want that part on the Internet," he said. "It's just that as a fanboy, I can see taking that iteration of Mr. Freeze and doing something amazing with his backstory."
During the DC FanDome event in August, director Matt Reeves revealed his reboot tells "the origins of a lot of our Rogue's gallery characters." Selina Kyle and Oswald "Oz" Cobblepot aren't yet fully-formed versions of Catwoman or Penguin, respectively, and the enigmatic Riddler is emerging for the first time when he puts his plot into motion in The Batman.
Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, John Turturro, and Colin Farrell, The Batman opens in theaters on March 4, 2022.