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'The Old Guard' ending: Why Charlize Theron and Gina Prince-Bythewood want a sequel

Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

"The Old Guard" just launched on Netflix, but the movie's ending quite neatly sets up a sequel -- and things being what they are, it'd be great to see that next film as soon as possible.

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and adapted by Greg Rucka from his own graphic novel, the action movie is exciting and fresh, especially in a summer that has been robbed of the usual blockbusters.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

In the film, Theron's 6,000-year-old Andromache the Scythian, known as Andy, leads a small team of immortal soldiers as they defend themselves against Merrick (Harry Melling), a pharmaceutical executive who wants to extract the secret to their self-healing abilities and nearly eternal life. One of the team, Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), sells them out to Merrick. As punishment he is exiled from the team for 100 years.

Earlier in the film, in flashbacks, Andy is seen fighting in the Middle Ages alongside Quynh (Van Veronica Ngo) until they are captured and hanged as witches. When that doesn't kill them, they are separated and Quynh is locked inside an iron casket and tossed overboard from a ship into the sea. She is doomed to drown and reawaken, drown and reawaken for the rest of time.

In a final scene, Booker is surprised to find Quynh in his Paris apartment, somehow freed from her underwater tomb. Presumably, this sets the stage for the two of them to band together to seek revenge on the rest of the team.

 

"I love that. That was from the graphic novel," Prince-Bythewood said of the film's open-ended final beat. "And for me, I didn't want to leave that loose end of 'Where was Quynh?,' but also it was important that this film has a beginning, middle and end, that there is a satisfying ending to it.

"Greg always envisioned the story as a trilogy," Prince-Bythewood said. "So there's certainly more story to tell if the audience wants it."

A second series of graphic novels, "The Old Guard: Force Multiplied" was recently released, which may provide the blueprint for where the next movie could go. The sequel would presumably provide a bigger role for Ngo, the Vietnamese actress best known to American audiences for her roles in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and more recently "Da 5 Bloods."

"Obviously we had Greg Rucka along with us this whole journey, making the film, and he shared with us how he was writing Volume 2 of his graphic novel," said Theron, also a producer on the film." Having insight to that and knowing exactly what that graphic novel is, we know that we want to go and explore another volume -- and we definitely set it up in the way that Greg is setting up his graphic novel.

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