Gotham: Nathan Darrow Cast As Mr. Freeze


Via Deadline, we have news that Fox’s Gotham has cast Nathan Darrow in a recurring role as Victor Fries — the future Mr. Freeze.

Nathan Darrow started his acting career in Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories.  He later appeared in Rigged (2008) and Blue Bloods.  Darrow is best known for his role as Edward Meechum in the award-winning House of Cards.  He’ll soon be seen in Stranger in the House, In the Studio, The Wizard of Lies, and Ambitions Debt.

Created by Bob Kane, David Wood, Sheldon Moldoff, and Logan Sowadski, the character of Mr. Freeze made his first appearance under a different moniker — Mr. Zero in Batman #121 (February 1959).  In Detective Comics #373 (March 1968), the character was formally introduced as Mr. Freeze.

Mr. Freeze first started out as a joke character among Batman’s rogues gallery.  In modern interpretations (Post-Crisis), the character has been given some more dramatic weight, and is now one of Batman’s deadliest foes.  The most famous and most often used backstory for the character has been the one inspired by Paul Dini.

Dr. Victor Fries was a cryogenicist who had an obsession with cryonics ever since childhood.  Later, in college, Fries would meet a woman named Nora, fall in love, and get married.  It wouldn’t be long before Nora became critically ill.  Fries, working for GothCorp and having developed a freeze ray, used the device on his wife to keep her in stasis until a cure could be found.  However, Fries’s boss, Ferris Boyle, after telling the mob about the device, tampers with the experiment — resulting in an explosion that kills Nora.  Fries survives, but due to being exposed to the device’s chemicals, he now required a cryogenic suit to keep his body temperature low.

Other future interpretations all root from this backstory with a few slight changes.  Some have Fries originally working for Wayne Enterprises, and others have Fries being obsessed with cryonics due to his mother surviving a fall through a frozen lake.

In live-action, the character of Mr. Freeze has appeared in the 1960s Adam West Batman television series.  The role was played by three different actors: George Sanders in the first two-part episode; Otto Preminger in the second two-part episode; and Eli Wallach in the third two-part episode.  Later, Arnold Schwarzenegger would portray the villain in the critically panned Batman & Robin (1997).

So far, the best incarnation of the character has been in the 1990s critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series.  As a testament to Paul Dini’s storytelling expertise, the character’s debut and origin story in the episode titled “Heart of Ice” won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.

Fox’s Gotham airs on Mondays at 8:00PM EST.

Next: Catch up on Gotham with a review of 'By Fire'

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