The second season of Fox's Gotham television series was subtitled "Rise of the Villains", and rising is exactly what they've been doing. The show has begun to really hit its stride this season (off-beat and strange that stride may be), and part of that is fast-tracking the introduction of more villains from the Batman comic books rogue's gallery.
The latest villain to surface in Gotham is sure to put a chill down the spine of any Batman fan. Yes, Mr. Freeze will make his debut on an upcoming season 2 episode, and a new interview with Nathan Darrow (House of Cards), the actor portraying the wicked ice doctor, provides insight into this new version of the character - along with the exclusive first images of him suited-up.
USA Today has a new interview with Darrow, where he delves into his take on the Mr. Freeze character on Gotham (among related issues). First, on what makes portraying Victor Fries an interesting villain, Darrow explained:
"Victor has one central intimate human connection, and that’s with his wife. There’s something really, really interesting and vulnerable and difficult about that. Of course, that is threatened by her illness. In some of the research I did on the character as he has evolved in the comic book, he has a more tenuous connection with humanity and his own humanity, and she’s it. He is applying all his talents and skills and energies to maintaining that."
Mr. Freeze began his evil career in the comic books as a rather one-dimensional villain, named Mr. Zero. It wasn't until the portrayal of the character by Michael Ansara in Batman: The Animated Series that Freeze really began to become a sympathetic character with real emotional ties. The Emmy Award winning 1992 episode "Heart of Ice", written by Paul Dini, brought a new life to Mr. Freeze, painting him for the first time as a tortured and devoted husband that is simply misunderstood.
On the subject of the ill-fated wife of Mr. Freeze, Nora, Darrow said:
"I really kind of love that it’s referred to as a “mysterious illness.” It’s not just comic books, though. Look to Shakespeare and you’re going to see things like that. You’re going to see where a person has something that’s mysterious and it’s threatening their life, and it’s never refereed to but we just know it. It’s almost like it has greater weight because it’s not named as like, “Oh, she has this type of cancer."
Nora is relatively new to the Batman universe, having been created for Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992, as a way to give Mr. Freeze more depth as a character, as we delved into above. Nora later transitioned into the comic books, as did the Dini version of the villain, and she will be portrayed on Gotham by Kristen Hager (Wanted).
You can check out the first images of Darrow as Mr. Freeze (and his gun) on Gotham, below:
Batman fans know that Mr. Freeze has a long history battling the savior of Gotham in the comic books, TV, cartoons, and movies. Mr. Freeze has been featured in over a dozen Batman cartoons and the villainous doctor has been portrayed four times in live-action format. The first three appearances were all on the 1966 Batman television series, played by George Sanders, Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach. The fourth appearance was the rather notorious version portrayal by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Batman & Robin.
When questioned about these past live action portrayals and whether Arnold "ruined" the character for the audience, Darrow had the following to say:
"Well, it depends on your definition of the word “ruined.” (Laughs) I have to plead some ignorance here. I never saw Batman & Robin, and I’ve seen bits of the old TV show but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything involving Mr. Freeze. I looked at some artwork and there’s these backstories that’s written about the character. I grabbed some of that. I find the character to be like a lot of the characters on the show: What becomes interesting is this “villainy” is really something that is revealed out of a person in some particular circumstances with a particular history and what they care about combined with their own level of fear about being alive and being in the rather difficult world of Gotham."
The exact episode and date of the appearance of Dr. Victor Fries has yet to be announced, but we do know that he will be around for at least three episodes of Gotham, according to the USA Today article.
Gotham continues with “Worse Than a Crime” tonight at 8pm on FOX.
Source: USA Today