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Patrick Stewart was up for Mr Freeze in Batman and Robin

Before Uma Thurman and Arnold Schwarzenegger were cast as villains in Batman and Robin, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, and Patrick Stewart were contenders

Mr Freeze

Casting rumours and speculation is not a recent phenomena, and following the release of Batman Forever in 1995, everyone was wondering who would be playing Batman’s allies and villains in Joel Schumacher’s follow up; Batman & Robin. While Alicia Silverstone was always a named attached to Batgirl, other actors circling other roles are maybe more surprising.

Firstly, there’s Poison Ivy – a role eventually taken by Uma Thurman. EW reported at the time that “a battle royale” had broken out between Demi Moore and Julia Roberts for the role. Schumacher bucked a rumour that Moore’s casting was all but certain; “How do you know if I’ve even offered it to her?” Insiders thought that Schumacher would choose Roberts because of 1990’s Flatliners. Moore’s and Roberts’ $12 million price tags might have led to the casting of someone cheaper, like Sharon Stone, but Schumacher went with Thurman in the end.

According to EW, Schumacher confided to Patrick Stewart’s agent that his client was ”on the list” for Mr Freeze – the role that famously went to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Stewart was already booked to shoot three movies in 1996, probably taking him out of the running.

Both Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher were keen to get Robin Williams to be a Bat villain, mainly The Riddler. But he maybe burned his DC bridges before he could be offered the role of Mr Freeze. It’s always fun to imagine not only how different superhero movies could be with different casting, but also how differently careers of certain actors could have gone.

The next time we see Batman will of course be in Matt Reeves’ The Batman 2 and some names are already circulating villain roles in that movie – eg. Benny Safdie (who is an actor and director) for Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face.

While we wait to hear more, check out our guide to the best Batman villains.