'The Poison Ivy' Short Film
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Poison Ivy has been a popular villainess within the Batman's rouge gallery. She was infamously portrayed by Uma Thurman in Batman and Robin, following this her only other live action appearance is on the Gotham TV show portrayed by Clare Foley as a child name Ivy Pepper (later adopted the name Pamela) who later mutates into a late teens/early adult form portrayed by Maggie Geha and then later mutates into another adult form portrayed by Peyton List. Poison Ivy was hinted at in the DCEU Birds of Prey as a former lover of Harley Quin with Director Cathy Yan expressing full interest in exploring that side. We've yet to see another Live Action Poison Ivy up until now.
McKendrick exclusively told Collider, “These representations of women are broadcast globally and I think it’s important to not reduce them to crazy, hyper-sexualized caricatures whose behavior is never explained.” Owen also added, “With Pamela & Ivy being created by two strong female-filmmakers, we wanted to put our spin on being in a man’s world, which we both know from our own personal trials and tribulations within the entertainment industry.”
Owen further explained:
“We wanted to give some understanding to where the hyper-sexualization of previous versions of Poison Ivy comes from. Using what she has is the magic and mystery to her; it’s her currency in the pursuit of survival and she has had to survive all of her life. In our origin story the viewer is granted a chance to empathize with her and see life through Ivy’s eyes for the first time. You understand that she grows from where she’s planted.”
We see Aria Lyric Leabu portray a Young Pamela who was kidnapped by a man who then treats her like an Abusive Father until she shoves him into a wall hard enough to fracture his skull and die. During this ordeal she develops a secondary personality to cope called Ivy playing very similar into Arrowverse Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost dual personalities. Pamela and Caitlin being the shy geeky girl and Ivy and Frost being the confident killers with a ruthless streak.
Leah McKendrick portrays a shy geeky adult Ivy who takes up Botany as her Doctorate but she is convinced by her Professor Jason Woodrue (portrayed by Patrick Zeller) to undergo a procedure that grants her the iconic powers.
The short film makes references to Ivy different origins in the comics such as her University Professor being the one to grant her powers via experimentation serum. Post Crisis Ivy was born to a wealthy mother and father but they emotionally distant and neglectful most likely due to to their professions, here she is separated from her parents by being kidnapped and has trouble opening up to them and connecting with them after returning home. The New 52 origins for Pamela Ivy switches out the emotionally distant parent for an abusive father that kills her mother and abuses Pamela as a child. The short film alludes to it by having a Pamela's kidnapper act like a father to her, a horribly abusive one until its revealed he isn't her real father that is.