Netflix's The Old Guard Grants Charlize Theron Immortality - Comic Years
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The Old Guard Is Coming to Netflix Starring Charlize Theron As Immortal Warrior

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BY January 25, 2021

Netflix has been busy during the pandemic. Although production is currently shut down on the majority of film and television sets around the world, Netflix is still going strong due to the endless streaming everyone is doing at home. This week brought news that an adaptation of the graphic novel The Old Guard is coming to Netflix. The project stars sci-fi luminary Charlize Theron as the immortal Andromache of Scythia. Writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood is also onboard to direct the film. She also directed an episode of the Netflix series Cloak and Dagger in 2018. Let’s dive into what we know about The Old Guard on Netflix.

The Old Guard On Netflix Grapples With Immortality

The Old Guard The Old Guard Cover Art via Image Comics

The graphic novel of The Old Guard, written by Greg Rucka and and illustrated by Leandro Fernandez, came out in 2017. Published by Image comics, the synopsis tells us the following.

The Old Guard, the story of old soldiers who never die…and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia – ‘Andy’ – and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find-and afford-their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.

The Old Guard Netflix Photo by Aimee Spinks via Netflix

Andy is the oldest immortal who gathers others like her to join her team. There is a French soldier from the Napoleonic Wars (Matthias Schoenaerts). And two Crusaders who were once former enemies that have formed a romantic attachment over the centuries (Luca Marinelli and Marwan Kenzari). When a newly reincarnated Immortal – a U.S. Marine named Nile played by Kiki Layne – comes to their attention, everything changes for the group.

The Old Guard Netflix Photo by Aimee Spinks via Netflix

“I almost feel like she has to go through all the stages of grief, in a way. Mourning herself and mourning her life that she lived,” Layne tells Vanity Fair. “I feel like when she starts off, there’s a lot of denial: Why was I chosen to carry this responsibility, of all the people in the world? … Something like this has to be purposeful.”

The mentor/mentee relationship between Nile and Andy is the ’emotional core’ of the story. They must work together for Nile to find her place on the team. But their safety is soon threatened by nefarious forces, including a CIA operative who is hunting the Immortals (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

The Old Guard Netflix Photo by Aimee Spinks via Netflix

Charlize Theron Is No Stranger To Playing Badass Female Warriors

Theron is one of those rare actors who has always embraced genre roles, while simultaneously winning Oscars and earning accolades for her dramatic work. She first made herself known as a genre action star in an adaptation of Aeon Flux fifteen years ago. Most recently she played the lead role in Mad Max: Fury Road as another badass warrior. Andromache definitely has big Furiosa energy from the images released so far. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Theron expressed her feelings about playing the role of Andy in The Old Guard.

The Old Guard Netflix Photo by Aimee Spinks via Netflix

“It was important to feel the weight of thousands and thousands of years on her,” Theron told Vanity Fair. “The worst part for her is just feeling like she’s not doing anything. So what is the point, you know? She’s lost faith, not just in herself but in humanity. I think a lot of people can relate to that at this moment in time. We go through periods in life where we just look at the world and go, Oh, my God… You just feel like you’re pushing a rock up a mountain.”

Theron also expressed her thoughts on the film’s relevance during such a tumultuous time in human history. “From the first moment I read Rucka’s graphic novel, I felt like there was great potential to make this thing feel really very relevant and have it ask some real questions about humanity,” Theron says. “Is what we’re doing enough? Is what we’re doing actually changing anything? Are we making better, or are we making the world worse?”

The Old Guard Will Be Gritty And Realistic

The Old Guard Kiki Layne, Director Gina Prince-Blythewood, and Charlize Theron on the set of The Old Guard | Photo by Aimee Spinks via Netflix

Director Gina Prince-Blythewood says that she wants the film to feel realistic. This is not a glossy colorful comic book movie that could fit into the MCU.

“I never wanted any moment to take an audience out of the fact that these could be real people,” the filmmaker said. “This is somebody that can get stabbed and walk away, but it’s going to hurt.… This is a woman alive 6,000 years, and we come to her at the point where she wants it over.”

With several badass immortal women leading the film’s cast, and an accomplished black woman at the helm this might be the fierce feminist genre film of the year. The name Andromache is Greek and literally means ‘battler of men.’ We look forward to seeing Theron in the role, and how Netflix will adapt this compelling story.

The Old Guard will debut on Netflix on on July 10th. In the meantime, the first issue of The Old Guard can be read for free online via Image Comics. For more coverage on adaptations and genre news be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.


Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

AdapationsAdaptation NewsCharlize TheronChiwetel EjioforFilmGina Prince-BlythewoodImage ComicsKiki LayneNetflixSci-Fistreaming servicesThe Old Guard

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