Why ‘The Old Guard’ Director Isn’t Returning for the Sequel

The Old Guard is one of the action-packed movies that kept people entertained during the pandemic. Steeped in modern and ancient fighting techniques and weaponry, the film balances a story of immortality-induced loneliness and pure brutality. It’s based on a comic book of the same title that narrates the already problematic mythology of immortality.

Still, the director’s role in disrupting a genre well executed by the Highlander – a blockbuster with five films and a TV series steeped in immortality mythology – was welcomed by fans as it perfectly blends its sci-fi elements with real-world experienced, such as solitude, emotional pain, grief, and loss. So, is there a sequel looming, and will the director be making a return with it?

A brief synopsis of ‘The Old Guard’

A spotlight conversation of 'The Old Guard,' including its director Gina Prince-Bythewood
A spotlight conversation of ‘The Old Guard’ | Getty Images/Getty Images for SCAD

The Old Guard is a story of four immortals – led by Andy (Charlize Theron) – who’ve lived in secret, only emerging for assigned missions that pay large sums. The group maintained its low-key status for millennia, thanks to one rule: not taking assignments from the same person. However, CIA agent James Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) learns of their existence, abilities, and purpose after breaking that rule and taking on a mission to help a group of kidnapped girls. 

As the mission unfolds, Nile –  an American military personnel – is on a mission to find terrorists when an assailant slits her throat. Her colleagues know she’s dead, but Nile reaches the hospital unscathed, revealing her immortality. That makes her a target of the group out to kill the four immortals. The warriors are now on a new mission to safeguard their new member and stop Copley from revealing their true identities. 

The film is directed by American female filmmaker and screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood. While most of her production films, such as Love & Basketball (2000) and Beyond the Light (2014, have been grounded in the real world, she adopted a fantastical approach to The Old Guard, incorporating sci-fi elements to bring out full-bore action that fans love to date. 

Gina Prince-Bythewood confirms she won’t return for the sequel

The Old Guard, currently streaming on Netflix, was highly appreciated during the pandemic. With an A-list actor like Charlize Theron as the producer and lead cast, the film received accolades for its stand-alone portrayal of superhero abilities. The good news is that the film is getting a sequel. The bad news is that Gina Prince-Bythewood won’t be directing it.

That doesn’t mean she’ll be entirely excluded from playing a back-end role in the movie. Prince will remain on board as a producer. She was quoted on Trinikid, saying, “I love The Old Guard, its story, and the characters I was privileged to bring into the world. It was exciting to direct such a genre with a nuanced eye. I’ve made the decision not to direct the sequel, but I’ll stay on as a producer.” she said. 

Victoria Mahoney, who was a second unit director in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will take the directorial role. Theron and Prince-Bythewood are excited about having Victoria on board. “We are excited to have Vic on The Old Guard team. We are overwhelmed by her passion for the movies and grateful to work with her,” they remarked. 

What do we know about ‘The Old Guard’ sequel and the trilogy plans?

Like the original movie, the sequel will be based on the graphic comic by Greg Rucka (who also adapted the first movie’s screenplay). The sequel is already featured in his graphic novel story, titled The Old Guard: Multiplied. Although little is known about the sequel, Rucka reportedly wrote the film with David Ellison and Dana Goldberg. 

Charlize Theron will not only be on board as a producer in The Old Guard 2, but she’ll also reprise her role in the movie. According to her, the script is already complete, and shooting will begin in 2022. That means fans will likely wait for its release at the end of the year or – even more likely – the beginning of 2023.

In an interview highlighted on Slash Film, Gina Prince-Bythewood was asked about the plans to create a trilogy. In her response, she said, “It all starts with Rucka. He always envisioned a trilogy. I know how the story goes, and it’s pretty exciting. It’s also critical to place the audience at the core of all that; what do they want? If they want more, then there’s a lot to tell about the story.”

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