The Reason Gotham Recast Poison Ivy Is Kind Of Gross

Recasting is a time-honored TV tradition. Ever since Bewitched switched Darrins without telling anyone, TV shows have been swapping actors.

So we didn’t think much of the decision to replace Poison Ivy on Fox’s Gotham. And now, TV Line has the first look at 28-year-old Maggie Geha, who will replace 14-year-old Clare Foley as Ivy.

The producers apparently decided they wanted an older actress for the part, so they engineered an accident to put someone else in the role (the character will apparently be given a growth spurt after an encounter with an escaped monster). But their justification is…a little strange.

“The mentality of the Ivy we have in our world is not the same as the Ivy who exists in the canon,” executive producer John Stephens tells Den of Geek. “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.”

So let’s unpack that a little bit. Poison Ivy was recast with an actress double the original’s age in an effort to put the character in more adult situations, but still with the mentality of a 14-year-old. The whole enterprise seems vaguely icky. While the recasting might not be played entirely that way, the optics are bad. With Bruce Wayne and young Catwoman still in their early teens, putting an underage mind in the body of a woman whose power stems partially from her ability to seduce smacks of something different than narrative necessity.

This Instagram comment kind of sums up the issue: "The new Poison Ivy, she will go through a transformation and become this beautiful thing."

Here's an official image of Geha as Ivy.

Yea @gothamonfox ! 🌿

A photo posted by Maggie Geha (@maggiegeha) on

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