After Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, the Detective Comics Cinematic Universe is officially up and running. Suicide Squad, which focuses predominantly on villains from the Batman universe, is set to release on August 5th of this year and a sequel starring the fan-favorite Harley Quinn has already been greenlit by Warner Brothers. Harley Quinn has been linked romantically to The Joker, Poison Ivy, and Deadshot, all villains of some notoriety and prestige within DC comics, as well as been a member of the Suicide Squad, Secret Society of Super Villains, Secret Six, and Gotham City Sirens. Just by the nature of the Ms. Quinn’s connections and generally dependent personality, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll be seeing a few other villains in her “solo” film. Personally, I’m hoping for a Gotham City Sirens adaptation. Harley, Ivy and Catwoman? It doesn’t get any better than that.
We already know Margot Robbie will be playing Harley Quinn, Jared Leto The Joker and Will Smith Deadshot, but what about the other members of Batman’s infamous rogue gallery?
Fancasting Batman’s Rogues
I’m going to start off with my best guess as to who will be included in the solo Harley film- Poison Ivy. One of Batman’s earliest female foes, Ivy’s first comic book appearance was in 1966’s Batman #181. She was portrayed by voice actress Diane Pershing in Batman: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992-1995, and then again in The New Batman Adventures (essentially the same show with “sleeker” designs) from 1997-1999. The only (notable) live-action adaptation of the character was Uma Thurman’s in 1997’s Batman & Robin.
I wish I could laugh at how terrible Batman & Robin was, but honestly, it just hurts too much. It was…so bad. But you already knew that. As a fan of Poison Ivy and a fan of movies in general, I hated it. Ivy is one of the most complex villains in the Batman universe as well as the greater DC universe. In Batman & Robin, they simplified her a caricature who made far too many plant-themed sexual innuendo for anyone’s comfort. No one in that movie could have hoped to do a good job, but Uma Thurman was especially crippled.
This new Ivy HAS to be different. She just has to, and that’s why I would pick…
Jessica Chastain as Poison Ivy
First off, let me acknowledge that I included Chastain as part of my Captain Marvel and former DC fancast where I said she would make a great Hawkgirl. I am completely happy with the Brie Larson idea for Captain Marvel, and as for Hawkgirl…well she would still make great Hawkgirl, but I’m assuming we won’t see her in the DCU for quite sometime. And ANYWAY…it doesn’t matter. Look on the bright side, as soon as Chastain locks up this part, I’ll never have to fancast her again. I truly believe, from the bottom of my heart, that Jessica Chastain was born to play Poison Ivy. That’s right, she was born for this one specific purpose.
My friend told me I was being too obvious with this choice, my response was “That’s like if Dr. Pamela Isley herself walked into your bedroom and was like ‘hey, I was thinking of becoming a super villain, what do you think of the name ‘Poison Ivy’? and you were like ‘I’d go with Toxicodendron radicans. It’s less obvious.'” In other words, there’s no such thing as “too obvious” when the person is right for the role.
The actress who plays Poison Ivy will need to blend the many facets of the character into a cohesive performance. It is of the utmost importance that she is not just a pretty face. Ivy is a victim, hero, villain and friend, and sometimes even girlfriend when Harley Quinn is involved. Yes, I do hope they highlight their romance in the upcoming film. And sure, you *could* disagree with me, but it’s canon now, so…
Poison Ivy is such a nuanced, iconic, complicated and sort of bizzare character and villain that she deserves an elite actress (like a two-time Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner, perhaps?). Chastain fits the mold perfectly, even down to the Marilyn-Monroe-like physique of the original Ivy and age difference between she and Harley. I want to see the more mature and refined Ivy as a bit of a contrast to the overzealous, energetic Harley. The opposites attract thing is part of what makes this couple so fantastic and Chastain has proved she can excel in any genre and almost any dynamic. She would make the perfect Poison Ivy. Watch Crimson Peak, Miss Julie or Lawless or Jolene for proof. Perhaps more importantly, Chastain can also believably pull off Dr. Pamela Isley, Poison Ivy’s hyper-intelligent and introverted “before photo” (watch Zero Dark Thirty or Interstellar).
I could talk about Ivy forever, but for your sake, I’ll move on…
Garret Dillahunt as Two-Face
One of the things I love so much about DC is they take the time to develop their villains almost as much as they do their heroes. Just like Poison Ivy who is wearing that Narcissistic Personality Disorder like a badge of honor, Harvey Dent aka Two-Face has a very real and absolutely diagnosable mental health disorder. His disfigured face serves as a reminder and physical representation of his cranked up version of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The actor who plays Two-Face will need to, in effect, portray two separate characters that don’t always agree on everything.
Garret Dillahunt, who some of you might recognize from FOX’s Raising Hope or Hulu’s The Mindy Project, is not just a comedic actor, he’s also a dramatic actor of some prestige known for films like No Country for Old Men, The Road, 12 Years a Slave and Winter’s Bone. He also guest starred on USA’s Burn Notice for some time playing an exceptionally crafty domestic terrorist, and was one of the finalists for the role of Negan on The Walking Dead. It seems to me that Dillahunt is either playing a diabolical villain, or an endearing simpleton. There is no in between. That’s perfect for Two-Face who will need to have two distinct personalities attempting to coexist within his psyche.
Mark Strong as Mr. Freeze
Again, I can’t think of anything that went right in Batman & Robin, but one thing that *definitely* went wrong was Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. Victor Fries is, more than anything, an intellectual. He’s a scientist who ends up mad because he refuses to accept the death of his wife. Mr. Freeze is a controlled villain, Schwarzenegger is not a controlled actor. There must be some degree of nuance in the performance. From what I have seen from Mark Strong, he has that ability in spades but also a willingness to “let (it) go” when necessary.
Lena Headey as Catwoman
Emily Blunt should play Catwoman. It’s just what should happen, but…I already used up my “duh” card with Chastain, so I’ll eat my vegetables and talk about my second choice.
Lena Headey walks around with this self-assured smirk all the time that makes me wonder if she’s actually just Selina Kyle in a really bad disguise. Yes, Headey is 42, but when your Batman is 43 you can get away with nefarious stuff like casting a woman over the age of 40. That was a joke about ageism in Hollywood. Please don’t get mad at me. Anyway, Headey has proven she can play a rather unnerving villain every Sunday night on HBO’s Game of Thrones. There is also a good amount of gray area with Selina Kyle, though, and I would love to see Headey explore that place somewhere in between hero and villain…and also just bugging the crap out of Poison Ivy because that’s always funny.
Michael C. Hall as The Riddler
There have been a lot of different versions of The Riddler since his first appearance in 1948’s Batman #140. I know Neil Patrick Harris is a popular choice for the role, especially given his likeness to the Batman: The Animated Series version of the character, but I thought I would offer a slightly different flavor. Michael C. Hall has shown off his versatility and commitment to character work on such brilliant shows as Dexter and Six Feet Under. In Dexter he, of course, played the titular conflicted psychopath. I like the idea of letting Hall be uninhibited in his madness, and Riddler is the perfect character to go all out with. If they end up doing something along the lines of a Sirens movie (which I very much doubt they will), I hope he’ll make an appearance.
From what I’ve seen from the DCEU thus far, they know how to cast their movies, even when they have to drag their fans kicking and screaming. I was very much against the Gal Gadot Wonder Woman casting, but was won over so quickly it made my head spin. At this point, they’ve given me no reason not to trust them…but, in any case, these are fun little exercises to get the fans thinking.
If by some error in God’s judgement you happened to stumble upon this blog, then welcome! My name is a season that is not summer, winter, or spring (this is a deductive reasoning test), and I have started this blog as an outlet for the ridiculous amount of useless cinematic trivia that occupies valuable real estate in my head. I have deduced from the declining number of likes on my Facebook statuses that my friends and family no longer find my long winded reviews or niche pop culture references amusing, so I’m giving them a break. What’s up with the title? “Cooless” is my attempt at a play on “Clueless”, which is the closest I could get to a Mean Girls reference. The point is, I’m a bit of a geek with an addictive personality and very few marketable skills. Here’s what I can do: Lift weights, read, write, speak in front of large crowds, binge watch TV shows, and sit through multiple Oscar nominated movies in the same day. What you will find on here: Reviews. Movie reviews, TV Show reviews, and even the occasional book review (yes, I live in 2015 and still read books. Books made out of paper). Enough with the self-deprecation for now. Thanks for reading and feel free to use the comment section, I was a fairly accomplished debater in high school and have been going through withdraws, I’d love a worthy opponent (or teammate).