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Gail Simone shares the set visit that made her believe in the Birds of Prey movie

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Jan 30, 2020

Writer Gail Simone is, arguably, the most important creator to ever work on the Birds of Prey franchise. While she didn't create the team, Simone's lengthy run with the title and its characters had a major impact on her own career, the book's sales, and the passionate fanbase that sprung up around the title. We're just days away from the release of a Birds of Prey film, and Simone's work on the characters in the mid 2000s and early 2010s is a big reason why. 

Yesterday, while the first reactions to Birds of Prey's world premiere were hitting social media, Simone decided to share a story about her relationship to the new film adaptation, which she had no direct involvement in making. In a lengthy Twitter thread, Simone laid out the story of how she first met the actresses who form the title team in the film, and how the movie made her a believer. 

Because of her close ties to Birds of Prey as a comic book property and the many years she spent living with the characters every day, Simone began her thread by explaining that she was apprehensive about the film adaptation because she'd grown "stubborn to the point of obnoxiousness" about protecting the characters while she was writing them. She'd grown so protective of them, in fact, that early live-action TV interpretations of Black Canary were difficult for her to watch. Though she explained that she has since softened on this stance, and called herself "encouraging, but also a little skeptical" about the film, Simone also noted that the trailers for the movie led her to believe that no matter what she was going to see, it couldn't really be Birds of Prey

Because of her close association with the title, Simone was eventually invited to visit the set of Birds of Prey, and went on to describe in her thread what it was like to see the color palette of the sets for the first time and meet designers and crew members who'd been reading her comics for inspiration and were massive fans of her work. Even then, as she looked at the costumes and how they'd been adapted for the screen, Simone admitted she was still skeptical. Then came the actual shooting day she got to see. 

Though Simone doesn't go into to deep detail about the fight scene in question, she noted that she was very unfamiliar with most of the actresses in the film (except Rosie Perez) and that what she was asked to watch was one long, unbroken take that featured the film's stars doing their own fight work, without stunt doubles. It was here that Jurnee Smollett-Bell won her over. 

Simone went on to describe just missing Smollett-Bell, who's a huge fan of her work, during the set visit that day, but connecting with her later and forming a bond. And that's the story of how one of the most important Birds of Prey creators ever became a believer in the new film, despite its many deviations from her own stories. For more context and observations, check out the full thread over on her Twitter feed. 

Birds of Prey is in theaters February 7. 

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