In a new interview, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked a bit about his role as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin. The action star also noted that he’d be open to playing a Batman villain or another villain in a comic book movie franchise if he were asked.
While many of his Batman & Robin co-stars (most notably George Clooney) have sworn off comic book movies due to a terrible experience working on that film, Schwarzenegger would love nothing more than to come back to the fold of comic book movies.
“Absolutely! I think all of those movies, if they’re written well, they’re entertaining. If it’s Batman or Batman and Robin, or X-Men or Spider-Man – all of them. If they’re written well, they have a great life. People enjoy them, and you can see the grosses that they make worldwide. So, yes, of course I would.”
To me, it seemed as though the decision to cast Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze was a good idea with a rather terrible execution. While the movie did score points for including Mr. Freeze’s fantastic origin story from Batman: The Animated Series (which was fairly recent addition to the Batman mythos at the time the movie was being made), any goodwill is lost underneath a blizzard of terrible ice puns and a narrative that can’t decide whether or not it wants to take its villain seriously. However, I feel like with a different, more sophisticated approach that treats Victor Fries as the tragic figure that he is, Schwarzenegger could make the character work where he previously failed. But whether or not he would return to the role or play a new character altogether, Schwarzenegger is always fun to watch – so it seems like another comic book movie would be something up his alley.
10 Batman Villains Who Deserve A Chance On The Big Screen
Batman's been on the big screen a handful of times, but he still has so many enemies who’ve never been in a movie. I love the Joker, but man-oh-man am I tired of seeing him. Batman's got one of the most impressive, deep rogue galleries in all of comics, and I think it’s time more of them were given the love they deserve!
Some of these characters might have been in Lego Batman (if Kite-Man was anyone could have been) but that doesn’t really count as an introduction. Look at how well-known someone like Slipknot is now thanks to Suicide Squad. Well, all these people on the list are way better than Slipknot, and should be seen taking on a member of the Bat-family on the big screen soon.
Hit Next to find out more about 10 Batman villains who deserve a shot on the big screen.
10. Calendar Man
Some characters should really just be featured in the background or as passing threats to Batman, and Calendar Man is one of them. As his name alludes to, Calendar Man is obsessed with calendars and dates. His major crimes often correlate with certain holidays or important dates throughout the year. That makes one of his largest assets his patience and ability to plan his crimes out. He waits all year for certain days to pull off his heists, never rushing or leaving anything to chance.
Not only is Julian Day (seriously) a great long-term strategist, he has the inventing chops to develop some heavy-duty weaponry. He’s been shown alternately as a clownish character, a Hannibal Lecter-esque serial killer and a master manipulator. All three would work well on the big screen so I really hope he gets something soon!
Blockbuster is more well established as a Nightwing foe, but he did actually fight Batman and Robin first. I don’t want this to be a long confrontation, but with the news of a Nightwing movie being in development, it’d be cool if Blockbuster was a slightly established character before Nightwing came out.
Blockbuster should be featured in a flashback scene that shows Batman reminiscing about his days with Dick Grayson when he was Robin. He shouldn’t be given too much of a backstory in the movie, just be featured in a great fight scene to get fans excited about him for a future movie. Not only does Roland Desmond have brutish strength and is impervious to most injuries, he is incredibly tactical and intelligent. He quickly asserts himself as the Kingpin of Bludhaven and starts controlling the city how he sees fit. Seeing an acrobatic hero take down a foe who fights like the Hulk would be a fun moment in either The Batman or Nightwing.
Here’s another foe that would work better in the background or as hired muscle for another villain. As you can likely guess, Firefly is an arsonist who uses flamethrowers and special effects rigs to terrorize Gotham. He’s a low-level thug that found a way to hurt a lot of people. He’s not manipulative like Riddler or scary like Bane, he’s just bored and in need of a few bucks. He’ll work with other lower tiered villains when necessary, but he’s cocky enough to think he can survive working on his own sometimes.
I want to see Batman save children from a burning building and have to deal with Firefly at the same time. That’d be an amazing way to start the movie to establish just how much crap Batman has to deal with on a regular day.
7. Lady Shiva
We saw Talia Al Ghul in Dark Knight Rises, but Lady Shiva is Batman’s most deadly female opponent when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. Trained by the League of Assassins, Shiva is one of the most feared and renowned killers in the DCU. While she might use weapons when it’s necessary, she prefers killing her opponents with her bare hands.
She is such a skilled fighter and tactician that she can predict her opponent’s next moves based on their body movements. At different points throughout Batman’s timeline, the two of them have been allies. She even helped develop his training regimen in the Knightfall story line after he had his back broken by Bane.
It’d be fun to watch a reluctant partnership like this unfold on the big-screen. While they can’t stay allies forever, it’d be neat to watch what ultimately comes between them and the two old friends meet on the battlefield.
6. Professor Pyg
Professor Pyg is one of the newest Batman villains on this list and he already feels like a classic. He is one of Grant Morrison’s twisted characters he developed specifically for his series when Dick Grayson was Batman. Professor Pyg was Morrison’s attempt to create one of the weirdest, most twisted Batman rogues yet.
Lazlo Valentin wants to make everyone around him perfect. The only problem his version of perfect means drugged and turned into a mindless minion. He kidnaps people and performs harmful plastic surgery on them that leaves them scarred, drugged and under his control. When he tries to kidnap Damian Wayne, he bites off more than he can chew though and brings the full rage of Batman down on him.
He is a chemist and surgeon who has been known to use viruses and his knowledge of the body to try and assert control over Gotham. It’d be fun to watch Batman race against the clock to try and stop a Contagion like event from taking place that dismantle Gotham.
Professor Pyg is a unique, twisted foe that belongs on the big screen as soon as possible! I just want to watch a man in a Pyg costume operate on young children listening to shitty pop music. I can’t be the only one, right…?
5. The Ventriloquist
The Ventriloquist is a tragic character in my opinion. Arnold Wesker is a puppeteer with multiple personalities. Under the psychological pressure from a gangster personality named Scarface, Wesker walks around with a scary looking doll killing people and running a criminal empire. While many people think Wesker is just hiding behind the puppet, in fact he truly considers himself Scarface’s lackey. The master becomes the puppet as Wesker becomes scared and even feels threatened occasionally by Scarface.
While a lot of Batman’s foes are quickly written off as mentally ill, Wesker is genuinely sick. He acts out evil tendencies because the voices in his head tell him to do them. This makes him a genuinely empathetic character that audiences can relate to. Everyone has bad things they want to do, but most of us have the willpower to overcome those baser tendencies and work forward in a productive way. Watching Batman figure out the best way to deal with Wesker on the battlefield and figuring out the best way to get him help could result in a Batman movie unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Let’s make Batman sympathetic about the villain for once just because he’s a good guy and not because he is the reason he’s evil now (a la Two Face in The Dark Knight).
4. Black Mask
Black Mask is one of the most twisted figures in Gotham. Roman Sionis is a kingpin with a fetish-like love for masks who will do anything to remain at the top of the criminal underground. Roman was born into a wealthy, elite family that always cared more about money than his own well-being. Upon his birth, he was dropped by the doctor. Instead of freaking out about their son’s health, the wealthy parents covered up the whole fiasco to ensure their friends wouldn’t hear about it. He grew up and was forced to endure the social fakery of the social elite as his parents constantly sucked up to the Waynes despite hating them. Roman soon became obsessed with the different masks people put on to get what they need.
Roman has no limits when it comes to getting what he wants. He has tortured Robins and burned people alive just to secure his position. He is one of DC’s most sadistic villains, and I think his backstory and emotional head space could work well in a Batman movie.
While there have been quite a few different Clayfaces with various origins throughout Batman’s history, I think he would serve best on the big screen as a boogey-man esque monster without much of a backstory. I know some of you might be angry at that decision because DC Rebirth has fleshed out his character a bit and made him one of Batman’s allies, but Clayface should remain a scary monster for the big screen. Clayface even started as a movie character inside the comics and he reminds me of some of the classic Universal monsters. You got your vampire, wolfman and mummy, now all you need is your mud monster.
I’m not to sure what his motivations should be in the movie, but I just want to see Batman have to fight a living cement wall for a little bit. I didn’t like Spider-Man 3, but I still have fond memories of the Sandman fight scene, and I’d love to see that handled in a more mature, dark fashion.
Tommy Elliot is one of Bruce Wayne’s oldest friends. He also just happens to be one of his deadliest rivals. It seems like an old Batman rival trick at this point, but Hush knows how to manipulate the other Gotham villains to do his bidding. Unlike characters like the Joker or Penguin who might pay other villains to work for them, Hush can often have people do his bidding without them even realizing it.
Sure, he asks some people for help sometimes, like my boy Clayface is a very emotional confrontation I don’t want to spoil in the original Hush story line. Hush knows exactly what buttons to push to get Batman extremely angry and emotionally vulnerable. Not only is he a physical match for Batman, but he is a mental equal to him that forces Batman to dig deep and think differently in order to take him down. A battle between two old friends might be a tired trope at this point, but it could be handled well if talented screenwriters are attached to the project.
1. Hugo Strange
Hugo Strange is one of Batman's most mentally imposing and oldest foes. Not only was he the first foe to deduce Batman's secret identity, he often manipulates other villains to do his bidding to keep his own hands clean. Dr. Strange (yup, he’s actually a doctor) works at Arkham Asylum. So part of his job is direct contact with Gotham’s most wanted, making it all the easier for him to slowly twist them to his bidding. Not only is he trained in psychology, but he’s also a master biologist and chemist, often brewing up terrible things for the inmates and citizens of Gotham.