Watch: Poison Ivy Short Film Explains the Hyper-Sexualization of the DC Character

     May 11, 2020

The release of new superhero feature films may be on pause for a bit, but we’ve got an especially well crafted short film about one of the most iconic DC villains to help fill the void. As far as live-action features go, we’ve seen one rendition of Poison Ivy on the big screen, Uma Thurman’s portrayal in the 1997 release, Batman & Robin. Regardless of how you feel about Thurman’s work in the role, the movie overall was panned and essentially put a stop to this iteration of the Batman film franchise. This can’t be Poison Ivy’s one and only shot on the big screen; the character needs another live-action feature.

You might have heard that director Cathy Yan expressed interest in exploring the relationship between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in a Birds of Prey follow-up movie, but whether or not we get that specific film, I’d like to bet that the folks over at DC and Warner Bros. will find a way to put the character back in the spotlight in the near future. When they do so, it might be worth taking a cue from writer-director-star Leah McKendrick and producer-star Mariah Owen’s new short film, Pamela & Ivy, which places prime importance on Poison Ivy’s backstory.

pamela-and-ivy-imageMcKendrick 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.”

How exactly do they apply that perspective to a supervillain’s experience? 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.”

Collider is thrilled to debut Pamela & Ivy, which you can check out for yourself in the video at the top of this article. And regardless of Poison Ivy’s live-action big screen future, the hope is that McKendrick and Owen will manage to make a major impression with this short. Owen noted, “We hope this film inspires the next generation of girls to fall in love with what makes them unique, to push boundaries and understand that every person has a story and every villain has an origin.”

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