Four iconic villains from Batman’s rogue gallery make their first appearance in the upcoming pilot for Fox’s prequel series “Gotham”. The future Penguin, Catwoman and Riddler are all essential parts of the new show and are expected to be regular players, whilst a young Poison Ivy is glimpsed in one scene.
However, we could be seeing another famed Batvillain making his debut sometime in the first season as well – Mr. Freeze. During a recent interview about the show, executive producer and pilot director Danny Cannon revealed to Hitfix that he is about to pitch his take on Mr. Freeze. Should it be approved by series creator Bruno Heller and executive producer Geoff Johns – it’ll hit the screen:
“I have a big pitch with Bruno about the Mr. Freeze character, whose origins are uncertain. If I can win Geoff Johns over and if I can win Bruno over, then I look forward to the moment where that character can be realized.”
In the comics, the character was a scientist whose exposure to cryogenic chemicals forces him to live in subzero temperatures. First portrayed in 1959 as Mr. Zero, and later changed to Mr. Freeze due to the 1960’s TV series, for several decades he was seen as essentially a gimmick villain.
That changed in the early 1990s with the “Batman” animated series. The episode “Heart of Ice,” commonly cited as the best single episode the series produced, reinvented his backstory into one far more tragic. His actions were now due to his efforts to save his dying wife Nora whom he put in cryo-stasis until he could find a cure for her rare illness.
It was so good subsequent comics, games, etc. have since adopted that as canon, even the often lambasted turn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role in 1997’s “Batman & Robin”.