The Batman has yet to debut in theaters, but talks about potential sequels are already making headlines. The upcoming DCEU movie will introduce a new version of Bruce Wayne who will be portrayed by Robert Pattinson. Directed by Matt Reeves, the highly-anticipated Batman solo movie will also include a stellar cast that includes the likes of Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, and Paul Dano as the main villain, the Riddler.
As marketing ramps up alongside early hype for the movie, many would agree that the potential of seeing a sequel gets stronger every week. This is also on top of the cast and crew's remarks about expressing their hopes to see a follow-up to The Batman.
In the past weeks, Pattinson has been front and center in discussions about the sequel for The Batman. The DC newcomer has expressed interest in reprising his role as Gotham's Caped Crusader several times, already having pitching potential villains while also confirming that the movie will have a sequel tease in its nearly three-hour runtime.
Now, the film's director has revealed his thoughts about crafting a sequel for The Batman, including who could be a potential new antagonist.
Mr. Freeze in The Batman Sequel?
The Batman director Matt Reeves sat down with Collider to talk about Mr. Freeze's potential involvement in a Caped Crusader sequel.
While explaining how he was drawn towards a more "grounded" interpretation of the Dark Knight, Reeves opened up about the idea of including fantastical villains like Mr. Freeze in a potential sequel, admitting that a grounded take on the character "could be really powerful:"
"In my view, I just feel drawn to finding the grounded version of everything. So to me it would be a challenge in an interesting way to try and figure out how that could happen, even the idea of something like Mr. Freeze, that such a great story, right? I think there's actually a grounded version of that story, which could be really powerful and could be really great."
The veteran director continued by pointing out that it would be interesting to "try and unwind the fantastical" side of the Batman mythos if it is going to be adapted into the current universe of Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne:
"So, I love the fantastical side of Batman, but this iteration, obviously, while being, to me, I think it is very comics faithful, but I don't think that this one is necessarily, it doesn't lean as hard into the fantastical, I guess. But I think to me what would be interesting would be to try and unwind the fantastical and see, well, how could that make sense here? And so that's kind of my view, how I see it."
A Grounded Take on Mr. Freeze
The Batman's grounded and gritty nature was apparent from the get-go when the first official footage from the film arrived at DC FanDome 2020. The fact that the movie only includes grounded villains like the Riddler and Catwoman should also drive the point home that Reeves is going all-in for this interpretation.
Despite that, the director's latest comments clearly suggest that he is open to taking a deep dive into the fantastical side of the Batman mythos, but it would be on his own terms. Given that Batman is set in its own universe, unique portrayals of villains like Mr. Freeze could be showcased.
Victor Fries a.k.a. Mr. Freeze is one of Batman's most famous villains, but the character was only portrayed once on the big screen. That came with Arnold Schwarzenegger's camped-up interpretation of the Batman villain during 1997's Batman & Robin.
Mr. Freeze has a tragic backstory, with the character's motivation deeply tied to his wife, Nora. That said, it's a no-brainer that The Batman's potential sequel would include this part of the villain's origin, especially after Reeves' "really powerful" remarks about the character.
However, the process of trying to "unwind the fantastical" element of Mr. Freeze's characterization could eventually come down to maximizing the tragic aspect of the villain while toning down some of its comical elements. Showcasing a sympathetic Mr. Freeze could do the trick, with the Dark Knight trying his best to redeem the villain throughout the sequel's runtime.
Interestingly, this storyline was already done during the Emmy-winning Batman: The Animated series featuring the ice villain. In the episode entitled "Heart Of Ice," the narrative leans toward showing Freeze's sympathetic side, but there are moments that still cement the idea that he's not a good person, such as him leaving his henchman behind in one of his fights with Batman.
Reeves' interpretation of Mr. Freeze could adopt certain elements from the aforementioned episode while also placing his own grounded spin that would fit The Batman's pocket universe.
The Batman is set to premiere in theaters on March 4, 2022.