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|“||My uncle's big on family - even the ones he's hit.||„|
|~ Paris Franz|
Paris Franz is the secondary antagonist in the 2016 animated superhero film Batman: The Killing Joke. He is the nephew of Carlos Francesco, the most powerful crime boss in Gotham City. Batman describes him as "a nasty mix of narcissist and sociopath".
Unlike most characters of the film, Paris does not appear in the original graphic novel; he and his uncle are the only characters featured in the film to be an invention of the screenwriters.
He was voiced by Maury Sterling.
Paris Franz is the nephew of Carlos Francesco, a renowned and respected crime boss in the criminal underworld of Gotham City. One night, during a robbery Paris is supervising on his uncle's orders, the thieves are interrupted by Batman and Batgirl. Barbara follows the truck Franz and his right-hand man are fleeing in. While Batman is occupied with other thugs, Barbara tries to stop Paris but is thrown off the truck. Franz however develops an unhealthy obsession with Batgirl.
Back at his uncle's office, Franz is reprimanded for failing to succeed with the robbery as well as for being much too careless. Francesco reveals that Paris' failure cost him $100,000 and he demands that Paris pays him back or he will get him killed. Paris however has other plans. He breaks into a storage room owned by his uncle. There, Batgirl, who has decided to take him on alone, attacks him. Although she manages to defeat his henchmen Franz proves to be a capable combatant and manages to spray knock-out gas into her face. To not fall into Franz' hands, Barbara locks herself up in the vault before fainting. Franz uses this opportunity to flee.
For this betrayal, Carlos orders a revenge strike on Pariz. While on his yacht, Franz's henchman is shot by a sniper and armed men enter the yacht. Franz and his right-hand escape by diving off the yacht with oxygen tanks. Franz also leaves a bomb on the yacht, killing the attackers.
Franz later contacts Batgirl by leaving a message for her at the police station. The message leads her to the office of Francesco, where she finds the mob boss dead. Franz, having hacked his uncle's accounts, is now his successor and blames Francesco's death on her.
The next night, Franz ambushes Batman at the docks by shooting the Batmobile with a rocket launcher. Although the car crashes, Batman survives and is able to escape the wreckage. He is then attacked by Franz' men and Franz himself. This is witnessed by Barbara who decides to intervene. Barbara drives by him on her bike and attaches a rope around his neck. She drags him behind the bike and crashes him into a pile of wooden crate. Franz gets back up to be viciously beaten up by Barbara. When Barbara blames him for her falling out with Batman, Paris only remarks that it must be 'that time of the month'. That enrages Barbara even more and she continues beating Franz almost to death. However, before delivering the final blow Barbara forces herself to stop, leaving a weakened and beaten Paris for pickup by the Gotham City Police Department. Franz is later taken into custody but is still obsessed with Batgirl, yelling that he loves her.
- Paris Franz, and by extension Batgirl's prologue in the movie, has been one of the most criticized aspects of the film not only by film critics but by the Batman fandom too, especially considering that he wasn't present in the original source material, making Paris a considerable object of scorn from comic book fans. Some critics even consider him a sexist villain due seeing Batgirl as a sex object, musing that Franz's role in the film could have been easily filled by a female villain who saw Batgirl as an equal.
- It can be possible that Paris Franz serves as a parallel to The Joker: both men became sociopathic criminals for different reasons (both involving love in some sort) and descended into insanity, but while The Joker had to physically transformate to lose his sanity, Paris has already lost it despite his normal appearance.