In a summer movie season bereft of actually going to the movies, Netflix serves up a heaping dose of much-needed thrills in The Old Guard. But will the streaming giant ever offer us a sequel with The Old Guard 2?
Comic book author and screenwriter Greg Rucka tells Inverse the ending of the film sets up a future installment — one that already exists in comic book form. Here's everything we know so far about The Old Guard 2.
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard stars Charlize Theron as the leader of an elite team of immortal mercenaries who recruit a former U.S. Marine named Nile. When a big pharma billionaire seeks to use their immortality for profit, the "Old Guard" fight back to save both the world and themselves.
The movie The Old Guard adapts, sometimes down to the panel, the 2017 Image Comics series created by Rucka and artist Leandro Fernández. For the movie, Rucka adapted his comic book script for the screen.
"The opportunity to tell the story in a different way means focus shifts," Rucka tells Inverse. "When I'm writing a comic, it tends to be hero-focused even when there's a team. The story was pretty much about Andy. The movie is upfront about Nile. We are able to highlight Nile. That's a benefit." The writer also believes the movie is "more uplifting" than the comic.
"And I'm pleased with that," Rucka says.
The Old Guard had quite the fast track in becoming a movie, with negotiations taking place shortly after the release of its first issue. As production took place throughout 2019, Rucka and Fernández got to work on the comic book's sequel, The Old Guard: Force Multiplied. Its first issue was published on December 2019 and its final issue will be released on July 15.
Here's how The Old Guard's ending and mid-credits scene sets up a possible sequel, one already mapped out in The Old Guard: Force Multiplied.
Warning: Spoilers for The Old Guard ahead.
What happened at the end of The Old Guard?
As The Old Guard reveals, the immortal mercenary Andy (Charlize Theron) is haunted by the loss of her lover, Quynh, played by Veronica Ngo. (In the comics, the character is named Noriko.) During the Middle Ages, Andy and Quynh/Noriko are torn apart, with Quynh— also an immortal — sentenced to the bottom of the ocean, fated to drown for eternity.
But in a mid-credits scene, which recreates a scene from the first issue of The Old Guard: Force Multiplied, we learn Quynh is alive. And while her dialogue is a little cryptic, we can deduce she's not happy with how things ended between her and Andy.
"I always knew in the comic that Noriko would be coming back," Rucka tells Inverse. "She quote 'dies' under the ocean. I always thought the next logical question was, What happens when one of them goes wrong? "
With the story's premise of immortal mercenaries, Rucka pondered the "immediate unsolvable problem" of an Old Guard-er gone rogue. That's where Quynh comes into play.
"God bless Veronica. With one line, Quynh is like, 'You are crazy. You are not at all at home,'" Rucka says. "It would be classless for me to deny it wouldn't be lovely set-up for a sequel, if we are fortunate enough to have them."
How The Old Guard's ending "expands the mythology"
The scene does more than set up an obvious direction for the sequel. It expands the world.
"For the purposes of the film, we wanted to show more of the world. Expand the mythology a little more," Rucka says.
Despite Andy's best efforts to find Quynh, we know that Andy eventually gives up and lives for centuries fighting alongside her fellow immortals. Unbeknownst to them, they're saving the world with their actions.
This concept, loosely informed by Rucka's fandom for the afterlife sitcom The Good Place, is all about the unseen consequences of one's actions. "There is no moral dessert," the writer says. "An individual's choice to help [others], you don't do it to see the effect of what you've done. But the choices we make, the causes we support, has ramifications on a global level."
Rucka feels The Old Guard has a timely message in the middle of a pandemic. "In the world right now, my choice to wear a mask influences not just the lives around me but the spread of Covid-19. I can't think of a more potent time to be talking about this."
Is there a trailer for The Old Guard 2?
Not unless you count the end of The Old Guard. Production hasn't even begun, and the comics it could theoretically adapt are still being published. So don't expect any news about a sequel any time soon.
When is The Old Guard 2 release date on Netflix?
With The Old Guard having just made its debut on Netflix, there is currently no word regarding an official sequel to the movie. But because of the movie's faithfulness to Rucka's comic book series, the comic's actual sequel is a fitting place to feed one's newfound Old Guard obsession.
Even better: That comic is available now.
The Old Guard is streaming now on Netflix.