Jurnee Smollett-Bell has made it clear that while she loves playing Black Canary for Birds of Prey, she doesn’t like the retcons done to the character in the comics.
In the pages of DC Comics, the backstory of Black Canary was changed at one point to make it so that she received her signature “Canary Cry” as the result of a curse by a wizard, as opposed to being a power that she obtained herself or was born with. This has proven to be unpopular with some fans, and as it turns out, Birds of Prey star Jurnee Smollett-Bell is one of them.
While speaking at CCXP to promote Birds of Prey, Jurnee Smollett-Bell expressed a dislike for that story element of Black Canary’s story while hinting that it does not have a place in the movie. One fan expressed glee at the sentiment that Black Canary’s story didn’t need to be changed that way, to which Jurnee Smollett-Bell agreed:
Hahahha!! The worst! Made me dizzy. The friggin curse by the wizard when she was a child!?! Bye. Bye!! C’mon @DCComics! Lol. Made my brain hurt. Hahah. #blackcanary #BirdsOfPrey https://t.co/9Qe65zvuPK
— jurnee smollett (@jurneesmollett) December 6, 2019
So there you have it. While Birds of Prey star Jurnee Smollett-Bell was not familiar with the comics before she took on the role, she’s very clearly become invested in playing this character right… And perhaps not-so-subtly telling the producers that she doesn’t want this element retconned in a possible Black Canary spin-off down the road.
Directed by Cathy Yan from a script penned by Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz, Ewan, McGregor as Black Mask, and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Ali Wong, Robert Catrini, and Michael Masini have also been cast in undisclosed roles.
Birds of Prey will be released in theaters on February 7, 2020.