Wednesday, June 22, 2016

GOTHAM Recasts Maggie Geha as Poison Ivy

You can look but you better not touch.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that the Fox series Gotham has recast Maggie Geha in the role of Ivy Pepper, who becomes the DC Comics supervillain Poison Ivy.  Geha takes over from Clare Foley, who portrayed the character in Seasons 1 and 2.

According to the article, "Season three of Gotham will see Ivy Pepper finding herself reborn following an encounter with a monster from Indian Hill and one step closer to the DC villain she is destined to become: Poison Ivy.  Now a 19-year-old woman who has harnessed the full power of her charms, she sets her sights on Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz)."

Geha has appeared in the movies Ted 2 and Winter's Tale, and on episodes of the television series Gossip Girl, 30 Rock, and All My Children.

Created in 1966 by by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff, Poison Ivy first appeared in Batman (vol.1) #181 as Dr. Lillian Rose, Ph.D., a promising botanist from Seattle, who was seduced by Marc LeGrande into assisting him with the theft of an Egyptian artifact containing ancient herbs. Fearing she would implicate him in the theft, he attempted to poison her with the herbs, which were deadly and untraceable.  She survived this murder attempt and discovered she has acquired an immunity to all natural toxins and diseases.

The character's origin was revised by Neil Gaiman in 1988's Secret Origins (vol.3) #36 as Pamela Lillian Isley, who grew up wealthy with emotionally distant parents.  She later studied advanced botanical biochemistry at a university with Alec Holland under Dr. Jason Woodrue.  Isley, a timid shy girl, was easily seduced by her professor.  Woodrue injected Isley with poisons and toxins as an experiment, causing her transformation.  She nearly died twice as a result of these poisonings, driving her insane.  Later, Woodrue fledfrom the authorities, leaving Isley in the hospital for six months.  Enraged at the betrayal, she suffered from violent mood swings, being sweet one moment and evil the next.  

She began her criminal career by threatening to release her suffocating spores into the air unless the city meets her demands.  Batman, who appeared in Gotham that very same year, thwarted her scheme, and she was incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.  From this point on, she developed something of an obsession with Batman, with him being the only person she could not control.  Over the years, she developed plant-like superpowers, the most noticeable being a lethal toxin in her lips; she is able to literally kill with a kiss.

Geha will be the third actress to portray the character in live action, after Foley and Uma Thurman in the 1997 movie Batman & Robin.  The character has also appeared in a number of animated projects, including Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Static Shock, Gotham Girls and Justice League (all voiced by Diane Pershing), The Batman (voiced by Piera Coppola), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Jennifer Hale), and Young Justice (voiced by Alyssa Milano).

Gotham returns to Fox on Monday, September 19th at 8 p.m. EST.

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