The Old Guard Stars Fought To Keep Key Comic Moments

The Old Guard is not a comic book which has the same main stream following of many Marvel or DC Comics title. It is a miniseries from writer Greg Rucka published by Image Comics, the same brand behind titles like The Walking Dead. While The Old Guard's source material may not be known to everyone who will watch the film on Netflix. Still, the cast of the film took it upon themselves to make sure the work of Rucka was accurately brought to life, especially in key moments from the books as they were adapted to the screen -- or almost were not.

"There was a very specific scene that was in the comic book that at some point was in the screen play and then all of a sudden, just in a new version, a new draft, disappeared," Matthias Schoenarts, who plays Booker in The Old Guard, said in an interview with ComicBook.com. "I get like freaky about it, 'I'm like no, no, no, we need that scene back in!' I'm not gonna spoil it right now. 'We need that scene back in because that to me was the core of the journey of Booker,' and I thought if we lose that, it kind of annihilates or neutralizes, or flattens the entire story."

For fans who know The Old Guard comics, they may have their own ideas of what scene Schoenaerts is talking about. "It's crazy because one scene can either amplify everything and the absence of that scene can just flatten everything," he explains. "Definitely I looked into the graphic novel because I wanted to see what the narrative tone was of the, knowing that we're gonna make a movie still, we're gonna do something else, but at the same time you wanna know what the rhythm is, what the dynamic is between the characters, what the visual tone is, what the narrative tone is. Just to get a sense of that, of the universe. And that really helps."

The Old Guard director Gina Prince-Bythewood echoed such a sentiment, as she made clear her primary goal was to accurately represent Rucka's work on screen.

"The most important thing is that Greg Rucka's work is represented on screen. Like, that's it," she explained. "I fell in love with the script, and as soon as I finished reading it, I hadn't been familiar with the comic, so I went to read the comic, fell in love with it all over again. I love his brain, I love his female characters. They just feel different. And I love the story that he created, the fact that these characters are immortal, mostly, I thought was just a brilliant conceit. So for me, his graphic novel was my bible, absolutely, and I wanted to stay true to it. Obviously things do need to be shifted a bit in terms of making an adaptation and the jump to the big screen, but I needed the characters to be there, I needed the heart, the story, the themes to all be there."
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The Old Guard follows a group of mercenaries, all centuries-old immortals with the ablity to heal themselves, discover someone is onto their secret, and they must fight to protect their freedom. The comic miniseries published its first run in 2017 before quickly having its film rights purchased by Skydance, ultimately landing the film at Netflix.

The Old Guard is available on Netflix on July 10.

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