If you could live forever, you’d probably get around a bit – which is why it’s no surprise to see that new Netflix movie The Old Guard sees its gang of unkillable mercenaries zip all around the world throughout its runtime.
Or so it would seem – because while the film’s plot sees our heroes (including Charlize Theron, Kiki Lane and Chiwetel Ejiofor) travel to places like Afghanistan, South Sudan, France, Morocco and more, in actual fact The Old Guard only filmed in two locations – Morocco and England.
“We had to create three countries within Morocco,” director Gina Prince-Bythewood told RadioTimes.com.
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“The beauty of Morocco is the landscape is so different throughout that we were able to realistically create Afghanistan, and realistically create South Sudan. Paul Kirby is my production designer, and Giles Edleston was our locations manager. Two incredible men who helped a lot – they were really, really good.”
“I thought Morocco was a great experience and a beautiful country, and it has all these beautiful colours in its landscapes, and buildings,” added actor Marwan Kenzari, who plays Joe in the movie.
“And it was great to have the production there, and see everybody in shorts and I think we shot some great stuff there.”
Other parts of the film set in Europe (including France and England) were all filmed in England, with a lot of studio shooting done at Shepperton Studios alongside location work in Sandwich and Bourne Wood in Surrey.
“We shot in England, we shot in Morocco, Marrakesh. And that was it!” Kenzari told us.
“There was a lot of studio work, and apart from the studio, we shot in a place called Sandwich in England, and in Morocco. When you do studio work it’s nice, because everything has the same pace, and you can obviously control the weather and all those things.”
“I had hoped to actually shoot in France, and we had scouted there and it was my first time there,” Prince-Bythewood said. “But when you don’t have the funds, which was shocking to me given how much we did have, it doesn’t matter about the creativity!
“My last film was $7 million. This was 10 times that, and the fact that there’s still compromises you have to make always shocks me. But I think in coming from that lower budget world you learn to figure it out, and that was very very helpful for me in this landscape.”
Gina Prince-Bythewood on set with Kiki Lane and Charlize Theron (Netflix)
If there’s a sequel, though, the whole cast and crew are hoping to actually travel to a few more exotic locales…and some even have a bit of a wish list.
“I’ll send them a little list of places they should go to next. I think that’s a good idea,” Chiwetel Ejiofor told us. “The West Indies, I wouldn’t mind going out there immediately.”
“I’m sure somebody said Malta!” Prince-Bythewood added. “It truly is up to [screenwriter Greg Rucker].
“What I love so much about The Old Guard and this film is how global it is. Because that’s what they do – they travel the world.”
“The tapestry is so rich, in terms of you can go anywhere at any time,” agreed Ejiofor. “And you can explore any period.
“So I think it’d be really great to knuckle down on some warm countries that we could go to.”