Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is finally in theaters with the female-centric DC film winning over fans and critics alike. As of this article's writing, the film is sitting at an 81 percent Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an equally solid 84 percent Audience Score. However, while fans are enjoying the Margot Robbie-starring film directed by Cathy Yan, there are still elements that haven't won over every fan and that includes Birds of Prey comic book writer Gail Simone. Simone took to social media on Saturday to share the one complaint she has about the film that she otherwise genuinely loved: the characterization of Cassandra Cain.
In a very lengthy thread on Twitter, Simone explained that she has a very unusual point of view going into the film given her history with the characters. She also detailed how much she loves the characters of Birds of Prey and how protective she is of them before breaking down that she went into the film excited to see what the movie did with them, to see the way the core elements of characters like Huntress and Black Canary came to life. That said, though, Simone said she was troubled by the portrayal of Cassandra "Cass" Cain in the film because it's not even close to the character. You can read Simone's full threat in the tweet below.
Okay, I want to have a talk about one aspect of the @birdsofpreywb movie that I was withholding judgment on, that did bug me. I think it’s pretty obvious I loved it, but I do have a sizable gripe.
However, that is only meaningful in a larger context.
So mute this, maybe. :)— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) February 7, 2020
"I have held back commenting on this, mostly, because I wanted to see for myself," Simone wrote in part. "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 isn't wrong. In comics, Cassandra Cain was raised from birth to be an assassin and the perfect bodyguard for Ra's al Ghul. During her childhood, she was not taught to read or speak and was deprived of human contact as well, all as part of her conditioning to become the world's greatest assassin. Instead of written and spoken language, Cassandra learned to read only body language. While over the course of various story arcs Cassandra does, eventually, learn to use some language she continues to struggle and the comics take is a far cry from the Birds of Prey version which sees Cassandra reinterpreted as a young foster kid and pickpocket with no issues chatting it up with some of the characters she encounters.
The differences between comics Cassandra and Birds of Prey's Cass are so significant that Simone ultimately suggests that the film should have just given the film character -- which she otherwise has no complaint about -- a different name. She simply isn't Cassandra Cain.
Even with her complaint about the approach to Cass in the film, though, Simone had praise for the film.
"I loved it, I totally get people complaining, but I had a blast and will probably see it eleventy times," Simone wrote. "It's part John Wick and part My Little Pony."
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is in theaters now.
Do you agree with Simone? Let us know in the comments below.