‘Birds of Prey’ comics writer Gail Simone criticises “missed opportunity” in film

"I think it’s pretty obvious I loved it, but I do have a sizable gripe"

Gail Simone, the legendary comic book writer behind the original Birds of Prey story, has questioned one of the character portrayals in the new film adaptation.

Despite being a spin-off from David Ayer’s critically reviled Suicide Squad, the new DC film focusing on Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn has received mostly positive reviews.

While Simone says she “loved it” on the whole, the writer posted a lengthy Twitter thread today (February 7) detailing where she feels Birds of Prey could have done better.


Simone wrote: “I have held back commenting on this, mostly, because I wanted to see for myself. But essentially, this Cassandra Cain is a new character.

“I like her, she’s fun to watch, the actress is adorable (Ella Jay Basco) is great in the role. But she bears no resemblance to Cass.”

“I don’t think of it as an insult so much as a missed opportunity,” Simone added, explaining that the character’s “struggles with speech and reading and socialisation” were a “hugely meaningful” part of the story for many fans.

The writer also had a suggestion for how the issue could have been easily avoided.

“Just give her a different name,” she wrote towards the end of the thread. “It’s possible that they didn’t want another voiceless Asian flawless goddess assassin, and that’s perfectly fair, but it would have been the same movie character if they had named her Nancy Floogenbottom, not Cass.”


In a four-star review of the Cathy Yan-directed film, NME said: “Birds Of Prey might not be DC’s first female-led comic book movie, but it certainly is its goriest and most violent. If bloody brawls and faces being sliced off on camera are good enough for the boys, they’re most definitely good enough for the women too.

“Most of all, Birds Of Prey is riotous fun, peppered with moments of warmth and light amidst the brutality, and a breakneck race for survival with some of Gotham’s most badass broads.”