Why Is 'Gotham' Replacing Poison Ivy's Actress? The Villain's Role Is About To Expand

Hey, listen, I don't know how to tell you this, but Gotham is recasting Poison Ivy. Clare Foley has played the character of Ivy Pepper on the series since 2014, featuring in nine episodes as the young girl who we know will blossom (no pun intended) into the formidable villain Poison Ivy. Up until now, little Ivy Pepper has just been a sweet, if creepy, botany-brained orphan in Seasons 1 and 2, but apparently she'll be making the previously-referenced transition to eco-terrorist for Season 3, and Gotham producers want to switch things up. Which, in this case, means replacing Foley with an older actress. But why is Foley being replaced on Gotham?

It's gotta be a bummer for the 14 year old, but I hope she takes solace in the fact that it doesn't seem to be a reflection on her. This isn't the first time a character has been recast like this mid-show; especially in the casting of younger actors, sometimes the initial selection is replaced midway through when it looks like that character is suddenly going to have more to do. Ivy Pepper has been a smaller role for the past two seasons, not being given a whole lot to do, and the producers had a lot of time to think about the direction they might want the character to go in.

Foley was likely perfect for the original conception they had for the role, but, now that Ivy Pepper is transforming into not just the villain that is Poison Ivy, but also a series regular, it seems like their initial idea has grown and changed.

Which makes total sense. A shy, vaguely creepy orphan is a very different archetype than a bold, reckless eco-terrorist, and it would be tough to find an actress who could move seamlessly between those two poles. I'm not surprised to see a recasting. After all, we saw almost the same thing happen in Game of Thrones between Seasons 3 and 4, when Tommen Baratheon was recast. The role had originally been played by Callum Wharry, only to be replaced by Dean Charles-Chapman in advance of the moment when Joffrey Baratheon's death would make Tommen king... thereby giving him a whole heckuva lot more screen time.

So these things do happen, and while it's sad for the actress and the Gotham fans who love her, Foley has an impressive enough resume that I'm sure she'll land on her feet. And I'm excited to see who the show gets in to play Poison Ivy. There's exciting stuff ahead.

Image: Giphy