- "Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well, for it's the chilling sound of your doom!"
- ―Mr. Freeze to Arkham guards[src]
Mr. Freeze was the alias of Dr. Victor Fries.
After the result of an accident that condemned him to live in sub-zero temperatures, Victor Fries became a cold-hearted villain and was determined to find a cure for his wife, Nora's disease, even if he had to freeze all of Gotham City to do it.
Dr. Victor Fries was a two time Olympic decathlete and a very well known scientist, who won the Nobel Prize in the field of molecular biology. He tried to cure his wife, Nora, (to whom he was deeply devoted) from a terminal illness that was called MacGregor's Syndrome that would eventually kill her. Victor placed Nora in an experimental cryogenic tank of his own invention, and hoped to keep her in suspended animation until he could find a cure. He continued his research on the disease while his wife endured her frozen slumber, and even managed to cure the disease in its early stages, but still worked on the advanced case that Nora contracted. During an experiment, an explosion caused Victor to fall into a vat of his machine's cryo-fluid that was fifty degrees below zero. Victor somehow survived, but the chemicals mutated his body and left him incapable of surviving outside of temperatures below the freezing point. Victor developed a special cryosuit that used diamond enhanced lasers to keep him at zero degrees. He then took on the persona of Mr. Freeze.
- "The Iceman cometh!"
- ―Mr. Freeze while robbing the Gotham Museum.[src]
Freeze hid out at the Snowy Cones Ice Cream Factory and began a life of crime in a continued effort to cure Nora. Freeze began to rob museums of large diamonds, and planned to use them to create a deadly device that he called his "freezing engine", a device so powerful that it would create a giant Freeze Gun. He would then freeze Gotham and hold it ransom for billions, which would allow him to complete his research for Nora's cure. Freeze was pursued by Batman and Robin, but managed to steal a diamond after he froze Robin, and warned Batman that he had eleven minutes to thaw him out before he would freeze to death. Freeze spared Batman, but threatened to kill him the next time that he tried to stop him, and escaped with the diamond.
At his hideout, Freeze watched his past before his accident. Freeze was then interrupted by one of his thugs, Frosty, who held a newspaper and told him that he wanted him to see, but Freeze froze him, and commented: "I hate when people talk during the movie". Then, he told Nora that only one diamond was left, noticed the newspaper on Frosty, and read it.
Save the Rainforest Costume Ball
At a rainforest costume party that used a large diamond necklace to help raise money for charity, Freeze returned and stole it.
Batman and Robin followed Freeze, captured him, and imprisoned him at Arkham Asylum. Stripped of his cryosuit, Freeze could no longer survive outside of his specially designed cell, and was rendered incapable of escape.
While at Arkham, Freeze carved an ice statue of Nora in order to have some solace; he missed her deeply and wished that he was still with her.
Alliance with Poison Ivy
- "If I must suffer, humanity will suffer with me! I shall repay them for sentencing me to a life without the warmth of human comfort! I will blanket this city in an endless winter! First Gotham... and then the world!"
- ―Mr. Freeze swears revenge on Batman.[src]
They returned to Freeze's hideout where Ivy and Bane distracted the Dynamic Duo (who learned of Freeze's escape) while Freeze retrieved his energy diamonds and weapons, and told Ivy to bring his wife back to him.
However, Ivy betrayed Freeze by disconnecting the cable to the cryo tank that kept Nora alive. Later, at Ivy's hideout, the Turkish Bath House, Freeze took refuge there and froze one of the rooms for his survival. As soon as he saw Ivy, Freeze asked her if she had retrieved his wife. Ivy told him Batman had deactivated Nora and that she was dead. Freeze angrily refused to believe Ivy until she showed him Nora's special snowflake necklace that he had given to her as a gift. He was deeply grieved and shed a small tear that suddenly froze and blew away in the cold air. Freeze's sorrow then turned to rage and he swore vengeance on Batman, and, at Ivy's urging, humanity itself. Freeze thus decided to continue his plan to freeze Gotham and kill its population. Ivy continued to cause chaos in the partnership between Batman and his sidekick by seducing Robin with the Batsignal, modified to project his red bird emblem in an attempt to get rid of the Dynamic Duo once and for all. During this time, Freeze began to put his plan into action.
Freeze went with Bane to the Gotham Observatory to use its powerful telescope to create a giant Freeze Gun. On his arrival, Freeze froze lead scientist, Dr. Lee and his assistant, left them to die, and began his plan to freeze Gotham. Knowing Batman would likely arrive, Freeze had Bane plant bombs around the telescope room that resembled glowing icicles as a contingency plan.
- "Tonight, Hell freezes over!"
- ―Mr. Freeze prepares to freeze Gotham.[src]
Batman and Robin (who had survived Ivy's trap), along with their new partner, Batgirl, arrived at the observatory in special costumes that nullified freeze blasts. By this time Freeze had already frozen most of Gotham's population, and left them with only eleven minutes to thaw the whole city. Freeze sent Bane to deal with Robin and Batgirl while he engaged in physical combat with Batman. When given the opportunity, Mr. Freeze made no attempt to fire his rifle at Batman, likely deducing that his new costume was designed to withstand it like his new vehicles. A fierce battle ensued between Batman and Freeze for control of the telescope, which ended with Freeze being knocked off the telescope platform and the destruction of his freezing engine.
But Freeze wasn't defeated easily, and, with one last ounce of strength, detonated the icicle bombs that were placed around the telescope, causing the surrounding structure to explode. The telescope crashed straight through the walls to the ground far below in one last attempt to destroy Batman and avenge his wife. In doing so, Freeze fell fifteen feet to the ground below, and broke his helmet with the impact of the fall. Batman survived the fall along with the two scientists who were thawed out and clung onto the telescope for dear life. After he set the two scientists down safely on the ground, Batman went after Robin and Batgirl who defeated Bane. They headed back to the observatory and even though the clock hit midnight, finally found a way to thaw Gotham by using the satellites; the population was then restored to normal.
- "Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter... has come at last."
- ―Mr. Freeze to Poison Ivy.[src]
With Freeze lying amid the wreckage of the telescope structure and weakened by the heat, he was confronted by Batman, who responded to Freeze's order to kill him like he killed Nora. Batman revealed a recording in which Ivy admitted that she had pulled the plug on Nora's equipment. As Freeze roared in rage, Batman revealed that his wife was not dead; she had her systems restored and was still alive.
As Freeze sobbed in relief at the news, Batman solemnly reminded him that vengeance was not power as anyone could take life, but giving life was a power that only a few people possessed, including Victor. With that in mind, Batman asked Freeze to help him save another life by sharing the cure for the first stages of Nora's illness (specifically, to save Bruce Wayne's friend and butler, Alfred Pennyworth, who was dying from stage one of the disease).
Deeply moved by Batman's assurance that the man his wife loved was still inside him, Freeze complied and gave him two vials that contained the antidote with the words: "Take two of these and call me in the morning". Batman gratefully took them from him. Although Freeze was still sent back to Arkham Asylum, Batman promised that he would move Nora to the lab at Arkham so that he could continue his research for a cure.
After Ivy was allocated as his cell mate, Freeze promised to make her life a living hell for what she did to Nora and her deceit.
Skills and Abilities
Mr. Freeze was an expert in cryogenics and engineering. As a scientist, Freeze had a very intelligent mind. He had previously been a two-time Olympic decathlete and continued to maintain above average muscle mass throughout his life. As a criminal, he was very resourceful and a cunning strategist. The accident that mutated his body has given him the vital weakness of being unable to survive in a temperate environment, which he has overcome with technology.
Weapons and Technology
Freeze's diamond powered cryosuit not only gave him the ability to survive in normal temperatures, but also gave him great strength. The suit also doubled as highly durable body armor, gunfire having no effect. It had a flight pack with glider wings which allowed him to fly, a special pair of goggles were worn while skydiving under the armor's headpiece. The cryosuit has many hidden compartments and controls such as to check the gauge of the suit's cooling system, detonate icicle bombs, carry chemical vials etc.
His main weapon was a large Freeze Rifle that shot a powerful glowing beam that could freeze an opponent instantly (fatal, if they were not thawed out within eleven minutes). Freeze could use this to makes walls and objects brittle, easily smashed with his power armor and vehicle. Additionally, Freeze kept smaller freeze guns in his vehicles and laboratory. Gigantic freeze guns could be made using a hi-tech Freezing Engine that was made up of several white diamonds that could be used to freeze a whole city.
His main source of transportation is the Freeze Truck, a high tech vehicle that fired a freeze beam and Icicle missiles. A large escape pod rocket vehicle could also be launched from it.
- Batman & Robin
Behind the Scenes
- Joel Schumacher and Akiva Goldsman drew inspiration from Batman: The Animated Series version's tragic origin, but was portrayed as a machine accident, and falling into a vat of liquid nitrogen in a similar manner to the Joker/Jack Napier from Batman.
- Freeze was the second main villain in the initial Batman film series whose actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, received top billing ahead of Batman's actor, the first being Jack Nicholson, who portrayed the Joker in Batman.
- A deleted scene showed Freeze trying to fire his rifle at Batman's Ice Armor costume, showing it harmlessly reflect off the outside of his cape, due to a special coating. This explains why he does not try it in the final cut and confirms that the silver plating is the same ice blast deflecting material the Bathammer hull is made from. The comic book adaptation depicts this moment.
- Freeze's plot of freeze all Gotham would have been originally the Penguin's plan in Batman Returns. However, that plot was used first in the live-action series episode "Deep Freeze" and later in an episode of the same name in Batman: The Animated Series (although in the latter episode, Grant Walker was the one actually behind the aforementioned plot).
- The film's characterization of Freeze, as well as Schwarzenegger's performance, was widely criticized. Schwarzenegger was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award as Worst Supporting Actor for playing Mr. Freeze, but didn't win. Instead, the award went to Dennis Rodman, for Double Team.
- The infamous ice-related puns that Freeze used and the negative reception to them and his character as a result was also referenced in the Batman: Arkhamverse franchise, specifically Batman: Arkham Origins DLC Cold, Cold, Heart, when several Thugs used similar ice/cold-related puns in reference to either Mr. Freeze himself or the cryogenic weaponry that Freeze had provided them with, with some of their partners telling them off for it. In Batman: Assault on Arkham, when Suicide Squad member Killer Frost, learned about the Joker's theft and threat to use a dirty bomb in Gotham, she commented that it "gives [her] the chills", to fellow Squad member Captain Boomerang's displeasure: ("Ice puns? Really?").
- Schwarzenegger previously appeared in a doctored photograph alongside Max Shreck in Batman Returns. Given that Batman Returns is set approximately five years before Batman & Robin, it has not been confirmed if Shreck was standing alongside Schwarzenegger himself, or if it has been established that Victor Fries and Max Shreck were acquaintances/friends before the former's transformation.
This version of Mr. Freeze and a few of the other characters used a lot of cold joke puns in the film:
- "The Iceman Cometh!"
- "I'm afraid that my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy."
- "In this universe, there's only one absolute. Everything Freezes!"
- "You're not sending me to the cooler!"
- "What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"
- "Can you feel it coming? The icy cold of space!"
- "At thirty thousand feet, your heart will freeze and beat no more."
- "After you're frozen, your icy tomb will plummet back to Gotham."
- "Freeze Well!"
- "Stay cool, Bird-boy."
- "Can you be cold, Batman?"
- "My passion thaws for my Bride alone."
- "It's winter forever here in Gotham."
- "All right everyone, Chill!"
- "Pheromone Dust, designed to heat a man's blood. It doesn't work on the cold hearted."
- "Cool party!"
- "It's a Cold town."
- "Allow me to break the Ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well for it's the chilling sound of your doom!"
- "Always winterize your pipes."
- "Chilled to Perfection!"
- "Their bones will turn to Ice. Their blood will freeze in my hands."
- "I will blanket the city in endless winter!"
- "First I will turn Gotham into an Icy graveyard, then I will pull Batman's heart from his body and feel it freeze in my hands!"
- "If revenge is a dish best served cold. Then put on your Sunday finest, it's time to feast."
- "Tonight Hell freezes over!"
- "Let's kick some Ice!"
- "Tonight's forecast, a freeze is coming!"
- "Freeze in Hell, Batman!"
- "Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter has come at last."
Batman, Robin and Batgirl
- Batman: "You get the ice, I'll get the Iceman."
- Batman: "Now, here's where everything goes north."
- Batman: "If it's Ice, the Iceman wants..."
- Robin: "We're going to trap ourselves a snowman?"
- Robin: "No sign of the Snowman."
- Batgirl: "Maybe he melted."
- Batman: "No he's just hibernating!"
- Batman: "Hey Freeze, the heat is on."
- Batman: "Show me how to cure MacGregor's Syndrome Stage 1... and maybe you can save the life of the man your wife once loved. He's still inside you Victor, buried deep beneath the snow."
- "A cool customer. Yes!"
- "Icy demeanor!"
- "Well I, my most unabominable snowman have been impressed by you."
Arkham Asylum Guards
- Guard 1: "Welcome Home, Frostface."
- Guard 2: "You're the common cold and we're the cure."
- Guard 1: "Alright Freezy, you can't live outside the cold zone!"
- Guard 2: "Hey Icehead..."
Ms. B. Haven
- "I'd weather blizzards just to have you."
- "What do you say we heat things up?"
- "Talk about your cold shoulder."