If you’re salivating for a new live-action superhero outing, then you have to check out the new Poison Ivy short film directed by Leah McKendrick. Poison Ivy is one of the most popular characters in Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Unfortunately, her only big-screen portrayal thus far is complete garbage. Who can forget Uma Thurman cringe-worthy performance as the character in 1997’s Batman & Robin? It isn’t Thurman’s fault of course. There’s only so much you can do when the material you’re given consists of nothing but plant jokes and lines from a porn parody, such as “There’s something about an anatomically correct rubber suit that puts *fire* in a girl’s lips.”
But I’m sure we will be getting a big-screen rendition of Poison Ivy that does her comic book counterpart justice, sooner rather than later. Birds of Prey director, Cathy Yan, has previously expressed interest in bringing the character to life. Despite your thoughts on Birds of Prey as a whole, I think few people will deny that the characters were wonderfully portrayed.
In the meantime, check out this brilliant Poison Ivy short, Pamela & Ivy:
In an interview with Collider, director Leah McKendrick talked about why it’s important to portray these characters properly, without turning them into hyper-sexualized caricatures.
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. 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.
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.