The mere mention of Mr. Freeze in a live-action setting is ironically enough to send a shiver down the fans of Batman fans everywhere, who still struggle to erase the memories of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s scenery-chewing performance in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin from their brains.
Not that the future Governor of California was too bothered about the negative reception to his hammy turn as the iconic villain, when he went home with a $25 million paycheck for a few weeks of work and top billing in all the promotional and marketing materials, never mind the fact he’d spend his downtime smoking cigars on set with the likes of Jon Bon Jovi.
Suffice to say, the next time we see Mr. Freeze on the big screen, it’ll be a million miles away from what came before. Funnily enough, The Batman director Matt Reeves admitted during a recent press event (via Collider) that he’d be open to a grounded reinterpretation, but only on his terms.
“In my view, I just feel drawn to finding the grounded version of everything. So to me it would be a challenge in an interesting way to try and figure out how that could happen, even the idea of something like Mr. Freeze, that such a great story, right? I think there’s actually a grounded version of that story, which could be really powerful and could be really great.
So, I love the fantastical side of Batman, but this iteration, obviously, while being, to me, I think it is very comics faithful, but I don’t think that this one is necessarily, it doesn’t lean as hard into the fantastical, I guess. But I think to me what would be interesting would be to try and unwind the fantastical and see, well, how could that make sense here? And so that’s kind of my view, how I see it.”
That doesn’t mean we should expect Mr. Freeze to show up in the inevitable sequel, but speculation and rumors will no doubt begin pointing in that direction shortly after The Batman arrives on March 4, especially when every frame of the movie will be pored over, analyzed, and dissected in detail.