Gotham has outgrown its current Poison Ivy.
According to TVLine, when Gotham returns in the fall the plant obsessed pre-teen Ivy Pepper will have evolved into her grown-up evil alter ego Poison Ivy. The show will replace Clare Foley, who made recurring appearances on the show as Ivy in the first two seasons, with a new actress who has yet to be cast. They are looking for someone "in their late teens to assume the now-series regular role of the would-be eco-terrorist."
Poison Ivy is the latest in a litany of iconic Batman villains to enter the Dark Knight prequel series — but she's the first to be aged up into her Batman era alter ego. While classic baddies like the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Mr. Freeze (Nathan Darrow) and Hugo Strange (BD Wong) have already transformed into their evil selves, Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) is still waiting to officially label himself as The Riddler. As of now, we're not sure if Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) will also age up or be recast for the upcoming season.
Bringing in a fully-fledged Poison Ivy falls in line with Gotham's realization that its villains are its strong suit, and the crazier they can make the bad guys the better the show. It was deftly able to balance Hugo Strange, Mr. Freeze and the experiments of Indian Hill to create a blockbuster second season. Adding Poison Ivy to the mix would only intensify their villain forces.
However, the sophomore finale let loose a school bus full of Hugo Strange's experiments — including a long-haired Bruce Wayne doppleganger — loose on the city. Now Poison Ivy will join those potential villains, Freeze, Strange, the Penguin, Ed Nygma, and the previously announced Vicki Vale and the Mad Hatter in the third season. There's also a theory that Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) could return as well — leaving room for the Joker to still make his official appearance on the series.
Is Gotham rushing into Poison Ivy's arrival when it already has a full plate of villains to deal with? Potentially, but if last season is any indication the show has just figured out what works and is leaning hard into it.
Gotham returns this fall on FOX.