While you might think a film where most of the cast are immortal would have some trouble with creating dramatic tension, Netflix’s The Old Guard certainly manages to keep you guessing until the final moments.
But what does the film’s shock ending mean for any follow-ups – and if there is an Old Guard sequel, what would the cast like to see their characters get up to?
Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork to find out… in that we asked some of the cast and The Old Guard’s director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, all of whom seemed keen for more adventures with these characters.
“If the story continues it’s absolutely up to an audience,” Prince-Bythewood told RadioTimes.com, adding that screenwriter Greg Rucka (who also wrote the graphic novel The Old Guard is based on) has plenty of ideas.
“I know that Greg Rucka has always envisioned his story, when it was a graphic novel, as a trilogy, and actually the second part of his comic book just came out. So I know where the story goes, and it’s pretty great. So if an audience wants it, there’s absolutely more story to tell.”
Check out our analysis of the ending alongside the cast’s wishes for a sequel below, but beware – there are some serious spoilers right after the jump.
The Old Guard’s ending explained
Big spoilers follow, so don’t read on if you haven’t seen The Old Guard.
The film concludes with our unkillable heroes free from the clutches of evil pharmaceutical mogul Merrick (Harry Melling) and beginning a new quest to right wrongs with the help of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Copley – but there have been a few consequences from their adventure.
Longtime team leader Andy (Charlize Theron) is now mortal having lost her ability to heal rapidly and return from death, while Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) has been exiled from the group for the next hundred years following his betrayal earlier in the movie.
And 6 months after the events of the film, Booker is joined by fellow immortal Quynh, a former friend of Andy’s who (in earlier flashbacks in the film) was captured, imprisoned in an iron maiden and thrown in the sea to drown, revive then die again for all eternity. Andy looked for Quynh for years but never found her, worrying that the ordeal would drive her old friend mad – and now that she’s somehow returned, it may be that Andy’s fears will be realised…
“Quynh has reared her head and that causes some issues, absolutely,” Prince-Bythewood told us – though she wouldn’t be drawn on exactly what trouble an insane immortal could cause in the sequel, instead directing fans to the source material.
“I would just base it on the graphic novel – because again, we have to see if an audience wants it, and then something will be written,” she said.
In a sequel, perhaps we could expect the down-at-heel Booker to join forces with Quynh, or try and get back in with his friends by telling them about her plans, assuming she’s out for revenge. Meanwhile, the main team would presumably begin their work with Copley (Ejiofor) directing them to serious threats around the world.
For a more specific guide as to what might happen, fans might be wise to check out Rucka’s Old Guard graphic novel sequel when it’s released in full in September.
Will there be an Old Guard 2?
Like Prince-Bythewood, the Old Guard cast say it’s up to audiences whether we see more stories in this world, with any sequels determined by just how many people stream the film in the coming days and weeks.
Still, they all seem very excited at the prospect of a sequel, noting that there are plenty of new directions for the story to go in.
“I mean I definitely think there’s potential for that, because the central characters and central idea are so fascinating, and can occupy all sorts of different times and periods and ideas,” Chiwetel Ejiofor (pictured) told RadioTimes.com.
“So I think it lends itself to that in that way, and I think that these characters are really interesting. And I think that there’s more story to tell in terms of their narrative. There’s a lot more to explore.”
“And I think philosophically there’s more to explore about this psychology, and what the nature of immortality is, and how that reflects on what one’s relationship is to being alive. There’s a lot to look at really.”
“Going off what Chiwetel said, the theme of immortality is such a huge one,” added co-star Harry Melling.
“There’s so many avenues you can go down and the characters are so fascinating. I really hope it has more to go.”
Marwan Kinzari (who plays Joe in the film) was also interested in a sequel, though noted that current filming restrictions may have to be lifted before he and the other cast could think of getting back into their immortal groove.
“We don’t know. We live in a complicated world,” he told RadioTimes.com. “And I can only hope for things to clear up, and for this huge storm to pass over us all, and to have somehow a world where we can all be creative again.
“And in this case, the Old Guard has a lot to offer. So I would be happy to be part of the second one – most definitely. That would be a no-brainer for me.
“It’s a fantastic world, and there’s a lot to explore,” he concluded.
What will happen in The Old Guard 2?
As we say, it seems likely that the Quynh/Booker storyline will play out in a sequel, and the film’s director suggests that the gang will face more real-life threats as well in their quest for justice.
“In the graphic novel there’s a very grounded story tackling a problem within the world, which again brings more villains that are not with the conceit of immortality,” Prince-Bythewood said. “So there’s actually a really cool balance between those two.”
And it’s possible some story beats cut from the first film will reappear in a sequel, with Prince-Bythewood keen to see more of the historical romance between Nicky (Luca Marinelli) and Joe (Marwan Kenzari).
“In the graphic novel, I have to say [I love] how Joe and Nicky met,” she said. “We talk about it in the film, but in the graphic novel you actually see it, and it was in one of Greg’s earlier drafts. The film was feeling so full we just had to cut it.
“But that is a pretty incredible sequence of those two in the Crusades. And they keep killing each other and coming back to life as everyone around them is dying and staying dead. And that final moment after the third or fourth time that they’ve killed each other, they just look at each other and they know that they’ve met their soulmate.
“It’s pretty great,” she added. “And I hope that if there’s a sequel, that gets to be illustrated.”