Netflix has released new details about its upcoming film adaptation of the Image Comics series The Old Guard. On Twitter, Netflix offered the first synopsis of the film: "From director Gina Prince-Bythewood, Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne lead a covert group of immortal mercenaries who must fight to keep their team together when they discover the existence of a new immortal and their extraordinary abilities are exposed." The film also stars Marwan Kenzari, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Skydance's David Ellison, Don Granger, and Dana Goldberg will produce. Principal photography for the film began in Europe in May 2019.
Writer Greg Rucka and artist Leandro Fernández created The Old Guard. The series returned for its second series, The Old Guard: Force Multiplied, in December. The comic tells the story of Andy, a woman who is one of a handful of humans who cannot die, right up until they do. Though impervious to most fatal wounds, Andy knows that at some point, death will come for her and the others like her. She also knows there will be no warning and no explanation for why that arrow, sword, or bullet ended them when so many others failed.
Charlize Theron plays Andy, who has been around for generations. She feels a call towards others of her kind, most of whom have grown jaded and tired of eternal life. Together, they work as a small mercenary group. They've managed to keep their existence a secret for ages, but the new technology of the information age poses a new threat to their secrecy.
THE OLD GUARD: From director Gina Prince-Bythewood, Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne lead a covert group of immortal mercenaries who must fight to keep their team together when they discover the existence of a new immortal and their extraordinary abilities are exposed.— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) January 3, 2020
Skydance Media picked up the rights to The Old Guard in March 2017, days after the second issue of the series went on sale. Prince-Bythewood signed onto the project in July 2018. She directed the pilot episode of Marvel's Cloak & Dagger and more episodes thereafter. She was attached to direct Sony's Spider-Man spinoff movie Silver and Black about Silver Sable and Black Cat. Delays with that project freed her up for The Old Guard. Sony has since decided to turn Silver and Black into two separate movies, one for each of its leads, with Prince-Bythewood producing both.
Rucka also wrote the comic book Whiteout, the basis of the 2009 film of the same name starring Kate Beckinsale. He's also the co-creator of Stumptown, which is now an ABC television series starring Cobie Smulders. Another of his creator-owned works, Lazarus, is in the works as a television series for the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. Rucka also co-created Kate Kane, the lead character in The CW's latest DC Comics television series, Batwoman.