How familiar are you with the films in the Batman Anthology? As a reminder, the films in the Anthology include: Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).
Well, if you are familiar with all four movies, then you will know that across the course of the series each movie introduces a new villain(s).
In Batman, the villain of the piece is the Joker, as played by Jack Nicholson. Penguin, Catwoman and Max Shreck are the villainous trio in Batman Returns, with Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken playing the parts respectively.
In Batman Forever, the villains are Two-Face, played by Tommy Lee Jones and Riddler, played by Jim Carrey. While in Batman & Robin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane square up to the Dynamic Duo, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman and Jeep Swenson in the roles.
As a general rule of thumb, all of the villains stick to their respective movies. Jack Napier, the alter-ego of the Joker, makes a very brief appearance in Batman Forever, but that’s about it – all the other villains only show up in one movie.
Or do they?
Is it possible that Mr. Freeze makes an appearance in Batman Returns?
Is Mr. Freeze in Batman Returns?
Early into Batman Returns, Selina Kyle is in the office of Max Shreck. After holding a meeting for Gotham City officials, including the Mayor, Max has left the office to speak to the citizens and “bring joy to the masses.”
Alone in the office, Selina begins to tidy up. As she clears away coffee cups, a collection of photographs can be seen adorning the wall in front of her.
The photographs feature Max Shreck alongside some very famous faces, including Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Jr., and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The same Arnold Schwarzenegger who would appear in Batman & Robin as Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze.
So, that’s Dr. Fries in that picture, right? Mr. Freeze appears in Batman Returns!
Batman Returns was released in 1992. At this point in time, Schwarzenegger was not being considered for a role in a Batman movie – and certainly not one that would come out in 1997.
So, why is Arnold Schwarzenegger in the photo?
Simple – the photographs in Max’s office are to demonstrate that Shreck knows famous people. In 1992, Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
The collection of photos is a neat little detail, which subtly establishes Max Shreck as a high-profile figure and Schwarzenegger is simply one of the people he knows. It is a coincidence that the actor would later appear in a movie within the Batman Anthology.
BUT because Schwarzenegger did appear in the movie series, it could be argued that Shreck is actually standing side-by-side with Victor Fries. It stands to reason that if Shreck hob knobs with prominent figures from across the US, then Gotham’s own molecular biologist, Dr. Fries could be one of these people.
When Batman Returns was produced, Max Shreck appeared in a photograph with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once Batman & Robin was produced it could be argued that Max Shreck appeared in a photo with Mr. Freeze.
Was Mr. Freeze in Batman Returns? That is up to you to decide.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post on I’ll Get Drive-Thru. Should you want to read more posts about the Batman movie series, check out one of the recommended reads below.