Todd Phillips JOKER standalone proved to be a big hit last year and earned a handful of Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actor win for its star, Joaquin Phoenix. Seeing how well a standalone film worked for Joker, the longtime Batman movie producer Michael E. Uslan would love to see Mr. Freeze get his own supervillain origin story and he thinks Batman: The Animated Series would provide the template for an excellent film.
While speaking about JOKER in a virtual “From Batman to Joker” panel for Wizard World, Uslan addressed how there are “great possibilities” for other DC villains to be explored in their own JOKER-style projects. Addressing which supervillain he’d personally most like to see get a movie, Uslan pointed to Mr. Freeze and he thinks the Batman: Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice” is a perfect inspiration:
“One of my favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, which I absolutely love, dealt with Mr. Freeze and the loss of his wife. The empathy, the emotions that that created. I’m putting on my fanboy hat, not my producing hat. This has nothing to do with any plans. It’s just that, as a fanboy, I could see taking that iteration of Mr. Freeze and doing something amazing with his backstory.”
Uslan, who also served as an executive producer for last year’s JOKER, made it clear that there are no plans for a Mr. Freeze standalone film but even the idea of it is a pretty intriguing possibility. In “Heart of Ice,” the first Batman: The Animated Series episode to feature Mr. Freeze, it is revealed that Mr. Freeze is really Victor Fries, a cryogenics scientist who freezes his terminally ill wife until he can find a cure for her condition. A lab accident results in Fries’ transformation into Mr. Freeze, leaving him unable to survive unless his body kept in sub-zero conditions. The acclaimed episode won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program, serving as one of the most memorable supervillain origin stories that DC has produced.
Uslan also said that many of the Batman villains would be deserving of their own standalone project because “they’re all so juicy.”
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Scarecrow, Riddler, Catwoman, Penguin… they’re so juicy. Part of their success has been their mystique, where all the i’s haven’t been dotted and the t’s haven’t been crossed. It allows filmmakers and writers to come in and take it to places that it’s never been taken before.”
“Heart of Ice” is definitely one of my favorite episodes of the Batman: Animated Series and it could make a pretty solid motion picture if done right. DO YOU think Mr. Freeze would be deserving of a standalone film?