Gotham is a bit of an odd duck in the DCEU. The show is situated on FOX, isolating it from the larger ‘Arrow-verse” on The CW. This isn”t a bad thing, as one of the joys of DC not interconnecting their film and television universes opens the door to a varied multiverse experience. But even within the microcosm that is Gotham, some odd choices have been made. Choosing to hew closely to Bat-lore is fine, but when that makes Bruce Wayne a high school freshman and a majority of his future foes already adults, it feels wonky. The only future members of the rogues” gallery on Gotham the same age as our larval-stage Batman were Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) and Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley).
But now even Ivy is leaving childhood in the dust.
For Season 3 of Gotham, Poison Ivy has been recast. The new actress, Maggie Geha, is a far cry from the frumpy version of the character that was played by Foley. TV Insider got the first look at Ivy”s new…everything.
Image Credit: FOX
In case you”ve forgotten, here”s what Ivy Pepper looked like for the first two seasons when she was played by Clare Foley.
Image Credit: FOX
According to reports from FOX, Ivy Pepper”s transformation from frumpy horticulturist with a terrible home life to teenage bombshell will be caused by a monster that has escaped from Indian Hill. But the real reason is that Gotham wanted to put Ivy in more adult situations and thus needed to recast. Den of Geek asked executive producer John Stephens at SDCC last month what the through process behind the decision was. The answer is – I”m going to be honest here – gross.
“The mentality of the Ivy we have in our world is not the same as the Ivy who exists in the canon. She's a bit more of a loose cannon. And so she goes and creates a great deal of havoc in our world. And because she is still a 14-year-old, 15-year-old street teenager in the body of a 25-year-old woman, she doesn't know how to act in the world yet, and so she has to fumble her way about.”
Allow me to repeat that: Poor Maggie Geha – who just wants to be an actress – was cast to play the mentality of a 15-year-old in a 25-year-old body.
No. Also, ewwwwwwwww what is wrong with you!?
When Gotham first revealed the look of Poison Ivy back in Season One, I was intrigued. I thought they were playing the long game. One where Ivy would – like so many girls her age do – begin to develop early. I thought maybe Gotham would delve into how being sexualized by strange men when you”re barely a teenager can affect a girl”s self-esteem and outlook on life. I thought maybe they were going to write Ivy as slowly coming to use her body as a weapon in retaliation against how society was treating her. That”ll teach me for hoping for the best.
Instead, it looks like Gotham needed a teenager old enough to seduce Bruce Wayne. During the TCA”s, Stephens brought up that Season 3 will show Bruce trying out a new side of his personality: the playboy billionaire.
“We”re going to see him start to develop this playboy persona that he inevitably ends up faking [when he”s a grown man]. As he explores that, he”ll get lost and cross this line where coming back will be very difficult.”
Stephens also added that Ivy is canonically a seductive character and Geha is playing her as somebody in a body that isn”t hers. While they don't come right out and say Ivy and Bruce will hook-up, the hallmarks are all there.
At the end of the day, Gotham has chosen a lazy – and frankly disturbing – character arc for their Poison Ivy. Because she needed to be sexy faster.