Mr. Freeze was kind of ruined for the big screen, thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger's portrayal of the character in 1997's Batman and Robin. However, director/writer Kevin Smith believes that it's time to see the big bad back in theaters for a new Batman movie. Smith didn't specify whether or not he was referring to Matt Reeves' The Batman, which is currently in development. It's been over 20 years, and Smith makes a good argument, as he seems to do a lot of the time. And before anyone asks, no, Smith did not cry when talking about Mr. Freeze.
During a taping of his podcast, Kevin Smith was asked which villain he'd like to see in an upcoming Batman movie. After making fun of the fact that DC Films and Warner Bros. already have the Joker character covered, he went on to suggest Mr. Freeze. Smith believes that Paul Dini's version of the character from the Heart of Ice episode of Batman: The Animated Series would be an excellent place to gather source material. Smith had this to say.
"Well, they're already making 96 different Joker movies, so obviously not the Joker. In terms of Batman villains, I would look no further than Paul Dini's Heart of Ice, 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."
Heart of Ice is the 14th episode of Batman: The Animated Series and premiered in 1992. It was the debut of the Mr. Freeze character, and is considered by many fans to be the best portrayal of the villain next to his appearance in the Arkham City video game, which is an epic boss battle. Both the animated series and the video game provided a very serious version of the character and nailed the look as well.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin was a silly pun-filled version that fit the absurd vision of the film. However, that's what many fans think of when they think of Mr. Freeze, which means that now would be an excellent time to take the character and redeem him, just like Kevin Smith is talking about. It's been over 20 years since Batman and Robin, so why not take the mysterious villain out and make him an even darker character.
The Heart of Ice episode of Batman: The Animated Series gave the character a complete overhaul from the comics and won an Emmy of Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program. In February of 2002, a poll was held to determine the best episode of the series to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. Heart of Ice was the overwhelming winner and even got Paul Dini to comment on the making of the episode. You can watch the Fat Man on Batman podcast below, thanks to Kevin Smith's YouTube channel and get some more information about why Mr. Freeze should be the next big screen Batman villain.