Matt Reeves’ The Batman is set to reboot the caped crusader with The Lighthouse‘s Robert Pattinson in the titular role, wiping the Batman-slate clean. While the film has already cast its antagonists in Colin Farrell’s Penguin, Paul Dano’s Riddler and Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, could Poison Ivy play a role in Reeves’ universe going forward? Or hell, could appear in one of the many Harley Quinn projects in the works at Warner Bros? Today, I want to have a discussion regarding the cinematic potential of Poison Ivy.
Poison Ivy is a deeply beloved Batman villain. Whether it be because of the brilliant Arkham video games, the wonderful interpretation from Batman: The Animated Series or even Uma Thurman’s campy performance as the character in the cult-classic, Batman & Robin, Ivy remains one of the most iconic women in the DC Universe, and she hasn’t appeared on screen since 1997. In recent years, Ivy has become something of an LGBTQ icon thanks to her progressive and touching romantic relationship with Harley Quinn, which was subtly hinted at in 2020’s critically acclaimed, Birds of Prey.
The Cinematic Potential of Poison Ivy
Unlike many of Batman’s iconic villains, Ivy’s first comic book appearance is not from the 1940s. Ivy didn’t make her comic book debut until June of 1966, in Batman #181. This ‘newness’ is one of the reasons why I wanted to write this article today. Collecting Batman key issues is rather difficult due to the simple fact that most of the important ones (i.e. first appearances) all happened in the 1930s-40s, which makes the books rather hard to come across and genuinely expensive. However, Ivy’s first appearance is not like that at all.
If you were to hop onto eBay right now, you could purchase a 7.5 grade of Batman #181 for a mere $1,500 (USD). Which, to me, is rather insane considering how iconic and recognizable the character of Poison Ivy truly is. If you weren’t too interested in paying that sort of money, you can pick up a lower grade (6.0) for $850. This realization led me to ask a simple question: Why is Poison Ivy’s comic book debut actually affordable? Personally, I think the lack of cinematic interest in Ivy is a reason why the book is affordable, had the character appeared in Birds of Prey, or 2016’s Suicide Squad, I guarantee that price would be significantly higher. As comic book investors, we know that above all else, a character appearing in a live-action movie is really the only way a book goes gangbusters, but even then, it has to be the right character in the right movie (looking at you, Bloodshot).
Now, will Ivy appear on screen in the next 3-5 years? I can’t really tell. However, she is a super-popular character, and her relationship with Harley Quinn is beloved by fans around the world, so much so that the second season of the DC Universe animated Harley Quinn show is adapting the storyline or a version of it.
Speaking of Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie has a lot of power at Warner Bros, and with the character not going anywhere (even following the less-than-stellar box office for Birds of Prey), I could see the studio working Poison Ivy into a team-up movie within the next few years. Hell, if Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman is as great as everyone expects, Warner Bros would be stupid to turn down the cinematic potential of Gotham City Sirens with Harley Quinn, Catwoman and of course, Poison Ivy. So, what is the cinematic potential of Poison Ivy? Well, I would say it is looking pretty good.