EDITORIAL: Why Mr. Freeze Should Be The Villain In The BATMAN Reboot
LEVITIKUZ tells you why he thinks Mr. Freeze should be the first main villain featured in the upcoming Batman reboot. Why him instead of other villains? What should he look like? Who should write/produce/direct a film featuring Freeze? Click to check it out!
Let me start by saying that Mr. Freeze is my favorite Batman villain. Love Joker, he is my favorite villain of all time but Freeze is my favorite Batman villain. I grew up on the Paul Dini/Bruce Timm version. I just love that Freeze is a villain who commits crimes for a bigger and more important reason. We don't see that in other Batman villains. I'm not overly happy about the Mr. Freeze story in the New 52 that Scott Snyder wrote but I did enjoy it. As a kid yea I admit I liked Arnold Schwarzenegger's Freeze but now that I'm older, I don’t like it. I don't think it was Arnold's fault. If you watched Arnold as the Terminator he was stone cold and emotionless. I think Arnold could have played a good Freeze. The problem was how WB's wanted to make the film for toy profits and the script was bad and everything was just bad. I think Mr. Freeze should be the main villain in the first film of the Batman reboot series and here's why.
WHY MR. FREEZE SHOULD BE THE FIRST VILLAIN IN THE BATMAN REBOOT
My first reason is redemption. Mr. Freeze is the one comic book character in serious need of redemption. After that pitiful interpretation of him in Batman & Robin, Mr. Freeze has been viewed as a joke. Mr. Freeze is one of the best Batman villains but all people know and remember him for is the Freeze puns. The only interpretation worse than Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin was Bane and Nolan gave Bane redemption. Nolan showed us the Bane from the comics, Bane being smarter and stronger than Batman. Mr. Freeze needs redemption. I don't care if you hate Nolan's Bane or not but look at Bane now. It's Freeze's turn for redemption.
Freeze is really the only villain in Batman's universe that you feel sorry for. Mr. Freeze is the only Batman villain that commits these crimes for a higher and more important purpose: to save his wife. Only 2 things matter to Freeze: curing his wife and seeking vengeance on the men who did this to him. Having a story revolve around Freeze doing those two things is something that has never been done in a Batman film and would be a first. The Freeze in Batman & Robin wanted to freeze Gotham. Nobody remembers Freeze trying to save his wife, hell I don’t think that he even tried to save her and that’s a good thing. Because Freeze trying to cure his wife never happened in Batman & Robin means you can still use it.
Freeze Isn’t After Gotham
Looking back at Batman films; Joker tried to destroy Gotham with Joker gas in Batman, Penguin tried to destroy Gotham with exploding penguins in Batman Returns, Riddler and Two-Face tried to destroy Gotham with mind control in Batman Forever, Mr. Freeze tried to destroy Gotham by freezing it in Batman & Robin, Ra's tried to destroy Gotham with fear gas in Batman Begins, and Bane tried to destroy Gotham with a nuclear bomb in The Dark Knight Rises. We need to stop this "destroy Gotham theme." Freeze isn't after Gotham. All Freeze wants is to cure his wife and vengeance against the men who did this to him. We need a smaller and more personal story to start the new series with. We need to stop doing the same song and dance. Having Freeze without destroying Gotham but having him do those 2 motives (him going after the people who did this to him and him curing his wife) is new. Yes it will be a more small-scale Batman movie but all that matters is if the story is good. Die Hard was a small-scale film and it is the best action movie of all time. Nolan said Batman Begins was a small-scale movie and that was a great movie. Small-scale doesn’t mean worse.
WHY SHOULD MR. FREEZE BE THE MAIN VILLAIN? WHY NOT…
First off, Joker has been the main villain in two Batman movies. No other villain can say that. Second, we have had 2 great and different interpretations of the Joker in Jack’s and Heath’s performance. Three, we need to give the Joker a rest. Batman has the best rogue gallery in comics and its best if we try someone else besides Joker. Fourth, Jack’s Joker was the main villain in the first Batman film series so it’s already been done before. I’m alright with a Joker cameo or if he was a minor villain but not as the main villain. Not yet. If you ask me, the opening scene in this new Batman should include Batman apprehending Joker. The opening scene should take notes from how Nolan’s openings were action packed. We start with Batman chasing down Joker or Joker is doing one of his plans. Batman stops him. Joker gets caught, arrested, then a small conversion between Batman and Gordon. End scene.
Two-Face is another Batman villain I love and I don’t think as been done justice in movies. I dislike Tommy Lee Jones’s Two-Face and felt he was more like the Joker than Two-Face. I like Billy Dee Williams’s Harvey Dent. I love Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face and Harvey Dent but my only problem is I felt he was only Two-Face for 20 minutes. Since this is a reboot, we should have Harvey Dent in somewhere between the first 2-4 films. At the end of one film, we have the scarring on his face which leads him to physical becoming Two-Face and then show his face and then end it. Do Two-Face for the next film. You would explain the Harvey Dent story throughout 2-4 films and then the next film starts off with Two-Face.
My problem with Penguin is I don’t see him as a major threat. I think he could have a minor appearance as a crime lord or as the owner of the Iceberg Lounge. Compared to Freeze, Penguin isn’t a physical or emotional villain to face off against Batman.
We just had her in The Dark Knight Rises so it’s a little too soon.
This would be a great villain. Love Riddler especially the Arkham City one. My only problem is that you are coming off the Nolan series where a major theme was realism. The best way to start off a new Batman series so it's not like Nolan's is to escape from realism with a villain with more fantasy elements. Mr. Freeze is a great choose because you really can't make him realistic. He has a suit designed to keep him alive, a freeze gun, and a frozen wife. This is far from realism and that's what you need to start of the new Batman series. Escape from realism, descend into fantasy. I would have him in the sequel though.
Not a good villain to start off a series with, plain and simple.
Same reason as Catwoman, we just had him in The Dark Knight Rises so it’s too soon.
I would love never more than if the Batman reboot Scarecrow was more Freddy Krugarish. If you notice in Batman: Arkham Asylum, its obvious Freddy was an influence with the Scarecrow. Look at both Freddy’s and Crane’s right hand, the fact in your first nightmare Scarecrow says “You’re in my world now” which is a saying Freddy says. My problem with Scarecrow, he was used a lot in Nolan’s trilogy and in the first film of Nolan’s trilogy so it’s repetitive using him again in the first film of a new trilogy.
Ra’s, Talia, And The League
Most of the Nolan series were based off these characters so it’s not a good idea to start off with them.
A Villain That Hasn’t Made A Big Screen Appearance Yet
My feelings towards this are simple. While yes I would love characters like Harley, Man-Bat, Hush, Clayface, Scarface, Black Mask, and many others to make the big screen but what does that prove? I think that people would gain more confidence in this new Batman series by introducing a villain that hasn’t had good film treatment in the past then you have a villain that has yet to make a film appearance. People will gain confidence and grow interest in this new Batman series if you take a villain that’s been portrayed poorly and give the villain redemption. No matter how you word it, nothing can top Nolan's trilogy. People will always compare Nolan's Batman to future Batman films. You need to have a great film with a character that hasn't succeed in the past to tell people, it's not just Nolan that can make a good Batman film. Others can too.
WHAT LOOK SHOULD THEY GO FOR WITH MR. FREEZE?
There are two Mr. Freeze designs that should be considered. Both are great and vastly different.
Batman: Arkham City Look
I love the Mr. Freeze look in Batman: Arkham City. It’s very high-tech, the helmet for the suit is different from ones we see in the comics, lots of armor. It’s not easy to defeat Freeze with this suit. Just ask someone who has played Batman: Arkham City that. It’s a great look for Freeze and the best part is it’s different from the Batman & Robin look.
The New 52 Look
I will admit, I’m torn between the Mr. Freeze in the New 52. I liked the issue with him but I didn’t like how Scott Snyder changed his origin. Won’t spoil it for you but outside of his background, I loved the suit. The thing I loved most about the suit is that Freeze can fight in it. There isn’t as much armor as Batman: Arkham City. Freeze could literally put down the gun and fight Batman. It's a look I haven't seen for Freeze and I love it.
Both suits are great and should be considered. I don’t care which one you choose because they both are great but at least pick one of them.
WHO SHOULD PRODUCE AND WRITE THE FILM?
Bruce Timm To Produce And Paul Dini To Write
Let’s see how long before people get this photo?
I don’t know what WB’s is doing in their board meetings but it sounds like that everyone is trying to get their piece of the pie. WB’s leave your egos at the door in your meetings. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm should extremely be a part of this movie and future Batman movies. First off, Dini and Timm are the best Mr. Freeze writers ever. They took a b-list Batman villain and turned him into an A-list. Now we want comic book writers to have a part of live action films but the biggest complaint to that is what have they done outside of comics? Bruce Timm and Paul Dini were heavily involved in Batman: The Animated Series. That animated series isn’t just the best Batman animated series, it isn’t just the best superhero animated series, but it’s one of the best animated series of all time. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm also worked on Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini also wrote and Timm drew the graphic novel The Batman Adventrues: Mad Love which is praised as one of the best Batman graphic novels. Dini and Timm won an Eisner Award for Mad Love. Frank Miller even said that when Mad Love came out in 1994, that Mad Love is the best Batman story of the decade. Paul Dini also wrote Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City and both have not only been called the best superhero games of all time but 2 of the best video games of all time. Paul Dini also wrote for the hit TV show Lost. Bruce Timm worked on just about every DC Animated movies. Everything from Batman: Gotham Knight to Superman: Doomsday, to Wonder Woman to Green Lantern: First Flight to Batman: Under The Red Hood to Justice League: Doom and everything in between Timm has been a part of. These guys have had success and been praised in the video game world, the TV world, the animation world, and the comics world. It’s time for them Bruce Timm and Paul Dini to be involved in live action Batman films.
Who Should Direct It?
I know Sam Raimi isn't the first guy on everyone's list so just forget about everything you know and just listen. This would be a one shot deal. This would be Raimi's only Batman film. No more. Now one thing Raimi did in his Spider-Man trilogy that would work well with Freeze is some of his villains has pathos. In Spider-Man 2 you really felt sorry for Doc Ock. Otto wasn’t a bad guy. He lost his wife and he just wanted to see his dream become a reality and he gave up his dream to save the city which killed him in the process. In Spider-Man 3, you felt sorry for Sandman. Sandman had a purpose for committing his crimes and that was to save his daughter. While people didn't like Harry Goblin, Venom, and the Green Ranger from Sam's Spider-Man trilogy; people still loved and praised Sandman and Doc Ock. Sam's best work is with showing pathos with villains and can you think if a better villain you feel sorry for than Freeze?
Another thing Sam has going for him his source material. Look at the designs for the Spider-Man suit, look at Sandman, Venom, and Doc Ock. If you look at the concept art for Green Goblin, there were some designs that looked like the Green Goblin from the comics. Now with the source material, am I going to lose sleep or complain that Spidey didn’t have web shooters? No. Am I going to complain about how Gwen came before MJ in the comics? No. Some things don’t matter. Did Sam get the characters right from the comics? Yes for the most part. People complain about Venom but Sam even admitted that after he did research on Venom and read comics, he didn’t like Venom.
I had never read Venom in the comic books, since they came after my time. Because of that, I didn't have a natural inclination toward him. And when I read those comics, at [producer] Avi Arad's urging, I didn't understand where Venom's humanity was. I know that kids think he looks cool, and they think he's a good villain for Spider-Man. I actually didn't. What was it about Peter's own makeup that this villain represented some weaker or darker side to? Just looking like a dark version of him is not enough for me. The more I read [Venom stories], the less interested I became. But then Avi said, ''Look, you've got to be less selfish. You've got to learn what it is these kids love about Venom.'' So I tried to open my mind up.
I agree with Sam for the most part. My problem with Venom in the comics is what has he done to Peter? What did Venom do that was so amazing? Nothing major, nothing big at all.
The other thing back with Raimi is that none of the villains in the Spider-Man trilogy wanted to destroy New York. Goblin didn't, Doc Ock didn't, Sandman & Venom didn't. As I said before, looking back at every Batman film; just about every movie had the villain trying to destroy Gotham. I don't think Joker really tried to destroy Gotham in The Dark Knight compared to others. We need to ditch the "destroy Gotham theme." Raimi wouldn't have Freeze destroy Gotham.
In bringing something new to Batman movies, with Mr. Freeze being a sympathetic villain and not destroy Gotham, your making people want to come back to see Batman. I don’t care if you hated or loved The Dark Knight Rises but facts are facts. The film was very well received and made over a billion dollars. It’s hard to follow that up no matter what. The whole point is you don’t follow-up with trying to make Batman films on the same level as Nolan’s but you try to make good Batman films. Don’t look at what Nolan or even Burton did; just make a good Batman movie. You have to make it on a smaller scale. The one thing I also did for this film was that I wanted Sam to only do one Batman film so Bruce Timm will have experience working on live action films so in a sequel, Bruce Timm can take over as a director. You can’t have Timm be the director with no live action experience and this will be it. What do you think? Comment below. Peace
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