2019’s Joker film surprised critics and comic book fans alike with its myriad accolades, such as 11 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards — including a Best Actor Oscar secured by Joaquin Phoenix — and the accomplishment of becoming the highest-earning R-rated film of all time with over $1 billion in the worldwide box office.
The unprecedented success of Joker begs the question: which villain is most deserving of the Joker film treatment next? Lex Luthor? Ras al Ghul? Michael E. Uslan, executive producer of Joker and co-executive producer of the Batman films since the 1989 Tim Burton offering thinks one DC supervillain is more deserving than the rest: Mr. Freeze.
“What [director Todd Phillips] did, and his genius, can be applied to I think any other villain,” Uslan said in an online Wizard World panel. “If any villain was studied like that … there are some great possibilities.
“One of my favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series — which I love, absolutely love — dealt with Mr. Freeze and the loss of his wife,” Uslan said. “The empathy, the emotions that that created, I could see [making a movie].” The producer then stressed there are presently no plans for a Mr. Freeze movie in the vein of Joker.
Uslan is referring to “Heart of Ice,” the fourteenth episode of Batman: The Animated Series‘s first season, written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm. The episode not only transformed Mr. Freeze from a C-list Batman villain to one of his most dangerous, tragic rogues in the rogue gallery — it also won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program and is believed to have been the episode which catapulted the series to fame in the eyes of children and adults alike.
“I’m putting on my fanboy hat, not my producing hat,” Uslan continued. “This has nothing to do with any plans, or this or that. I don’t want that part on the Internet. It’s just that as a fanboy, I can see taking that iteration of Mr. Freeze and doing something amazing with his backstory.”
Do you think a Mr. Freeze movie could be pulled off in similarly successful fashion to the 2019 Joker one? Could the inhuman Mr. Freeze and his cryogenic suit be accurately depicted in gritty fashion on the big screen? Or is now not the right time, so we’ll instead have to see Mr. Freeze’s debut in the DCEU as a dish best served cold? Let us know in the comments.