Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mr. Freeze


Mr. Freeze, until the 1990s, was a silly gimmick villain who carried a freeze gun and committed ice-related crimes. If you ever saw Otto Preminger play Mr. Freeze on the Adam West Batman TV show, that's pretty much it. Then the animated Batman series reinvented the character completely. Victor Fries is a scientist specializing in cryogenics whose wife is terminally ill. He puts her in cryo-statis until they can find a cure, but badly damages himself in an experiment. As a result of the accident, his body requires sub-zero temperatures to survive. He builds a suit that keeps him cold (which runs on diamonds, a call back to the "ice" heists he used to pull in his gimmicky days), makes him strong, and has a gun that allows him to shoot freeze rays.

Pros: Still trying to save his wife and willing to do anything for her, he's a tragic villain who makes for some great stories.

Cons: The freeze gun, the cryo-suit, and the need to stay at sub-zero temperatures don't fit the movies at all. Plus, the public still associates the character with the awful Arnold Schwarzenegger portrayal in Batman & Robin.

How I'd do it: It's very, very tough. He can't do most of the freeze-related things. A man willing to rob and murder to save his wife is compelling, but is that Mr. Freeze anymore?

Casting Guesses: Patrick Stewart would be great. Great.

Verdict: In a more fantastical Batman film universe, a well-done Mr. Freeze would make for a wonderful movie, but in the universe Christopher Nolan and friends have established, I just don't think Mr. Freeze fits.

12 comments:

D3votionXD3sire said...

i think Hugo Weaving could do a great job as Mr. Freeze

Greenlite said...

Saving his wife is too similar to Harvey trying to protect and avenge Rachael...but he would be awesome if they ever wanna do a TV series on Batman

Anonymous said...

In the new films Nolan has got rid of the whole fantasy/sci-fi stuff - after all they got rid of The Joker falling into a vat of acid. So I'd humanise Mr. Freeze. I'd have him as a cold-hearted killer (maybe murdering people with an ice pick) who is involved in a secondary plot thread, or is maybe a henchman for a gangster.

No Patrick Stewart though, that's obvious casting, something else the Nolan films have avoided.

Anonymous said...

Let's forget the wife. Freeze could be a paranoid scientist that is overconcerned of global warming. He murders people he thinks are advancing the phenomenon. With liquid nitrogen, not freeze gun. Wayne is one of his targets.

That's just my idea, if Freeze is in it, but personally I prefer other villains.

Bill said...

Interesting idea, I think Poison Ivy makes the better environmentalist though. And making all that liquid nitrogen can't be carbon neutral.

Anonymous said...

What about a man, who lost his wife, and went off the deep end. He decides to turn to crime, because his wife always loved crime novels. He becomes a criminal, and he kills his victims by locking them in freezers or something like that. The media immediately begins to call the new threat mr. freeze.

Bill said...

It's not a bad thought as far as a villain goes, but it's too little of Mr. Freeze to call him Mr. Freeze, if that makes sense.

It's a delicate balance. Almost all characters need to be changed to move them from the comic world to the movie world, so that they'll appeal to non-comics fans. But if you change them too much, they are no longer the character comic fans love, and you'll end up alienating your core audience.

Law of the East said...

While it's worked for us so far, the Nolan-verse's realism is choking some of the wonder out of Batman altogether. You don't need to ditch fantasy to preserve psychological realism. The fact Nolan's not sure another Batman film can be made to his tastes beyond TDK would signal his approach may have reached its limit. That said, fantasy can't supplant psychological realism either. But speaking in terms of straight entertainment value, DC may have a hell of a time competing with Marvel's upcoming releases if they keep the best booms in Batman's canons in Nolan's tight little box. As much as lasers and flying douchebags aren't a hallmark of Batman's world to the extent it is in other superheroes' worlds, the right dose of fantastical elements can't hurt the series in the long run as much as Nolan's reservations. Eventually they may run out of good straight-edged reality-based possibles like the Riddler and once they wear out TDK's coattails they'll be screwed.

I'd say break free of Nolan's grip eventually, if not soon. Not that he's been bad for Batman, that's just a foolish thought. But this adherence to his personal aesthetics will drain a lot of bang out of the franchise. Why not stretch the films' horizons and dare to bring Mr. Freeze (I don't see Arnold's botched role as a con, any future attempt will only be better), Clayface (I invite comparison to The Sandman's appearance, which was awful to begin with), and the Ventriloquist (the BTAS portrayal haunts me still).

They have to cut the chord sometime. As time goes on Nolan will only hold Batman movies back.

Anonymous said...

^ The reason they've avoided the fantastical elements like cancer is because those fantastical elements suck. The mortality and realism are THE most important aspects of Batman. Either it is important to you that a mortal "realistic" Batman starts and concludes his story in that manner, or it isn't. Having Superman fly into the conclusion of The Dark Knight to save Batman or Jimmy Gordon would be an absolute betrayal to the world which has been set-up. And they're making Batman 3 so they have plenty of ideas of where the story should go. Villains like Mr. Freeze are only interesting for their origin which has essentially been covered.

Anonymous said...

pscrew nolan because first of all Mr.Freeze needs his freeze gun,Cyro suit and Helmit. cause that is how you get Mr.Freeze however my choices for this guy they are Hugo weaving,Jason Statham and Kevin Spacey but arnold's version might have suked but if nolan comes up with great one liners and uses CGI and stcks to to the TBS orgin everything will be fine.

Anonymous said...

^ Shut the fuck up.

Tim Gallagher said...

You guys are fags. Get a life. Good fucking show, leave it at that.