For the past few weeks, The Old Guard has proven to be a bonafide phenomenon, providing a bit of action-packed solace in a summer essentially without theatrical blockbusters. The film, which debuted on Netflix last month, struck an emotional and exhilarating chord with viewers, many of whom are already advocating for various sequels and spinoffs. One of the most-praised elements of the film is its female representation in front of and behind the camera -- and it sounds like that extended further than fans might have initially known. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, The Old Guard director Gina Prince-Bythewood revealed that the film's post-production team was made up of around 85% women.
"[That] doesn't happen, or very rarely happens on any movie," Prince-Bythewood explained, "but on an action film, I guarantee you that's never happened before."
This includes Prince-Bythewood herself - who is the first Black woman to direct a mainstream comic book movie. The crew of the film also included editor Terilyn A. Shropshire (Love & Basketball), VFX supervisor Sara Bennett (Ex Machina), cinematographer Tami Reiker (Beyond the Lights), SFX supervisor Hayley Williams (Annihilation), and costume designer Mary Vogt (Crazy Rich Asians).
"When you look at the résumés of a lot of really talented women, they are not as long or as extensive as a lot of men in the same position," Prince-Bythewood added. "But I know for a fact that it doesn't have to do with talent, it has to do with opportunity. … There are so many women out there who are so good at what they do, but they just haven't gotten the chance. Their being on my crew, being a part of the film, makes the film better."
It's safe to say that The Old Guard benefitted from providing those opportunities, as the film almost instantly became a hit for Netflix. According to Prince-Bythewood, the goal was to put a "stamp" on the world of comic book movies like Black Panther and Logan, "which had all the muscularity that you love, but I cried in both of those because I felt so deeply for the characters and the themes within."
"I absolutely give out props to Patty Jenkins: Her work on Wonder Woman and just killing it absolutely opened the door a crack," Prince-Bythewood continued, "and through that crack Skydance, who has this property of The Old Guard, were very intent on wanting a female director for it."
The Old Guard is now available to stream on Netflix.