A year after its release, The Old Guard continues to hold a certain pride of place among the roster of Netflix’s various original action films. The Charlize Theron-led streamer (directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, and written by Greg Rucka from his own original comic) was a well-made, good-looking superhero action flick that also happened to arrive online at the exact moment to dull a bit of the pain of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Or, as Tom Breihan put it in his Age Of Heroes column about the film: “The Old Guard still felt like a balm when it came out…beamed into our houses at a moment when many of us probably felt plenty mortal but when we were also getting used to a new kind of crushing monotony. [It] arrived right on time.”
Which raises a question: Will a second film in the franchise, released in non-pandemic conditions, do as well? That’s what Netflix is apparently banking on, with Variety reporting on a recent conversation with Theron in which she confirmed that a script has been completed for a follow-up to the first film. (Which was, in case you’d forgotten, about a crew of immortal warriors doing their unkillable A-Team thing in the more shadowy corners of the mercenary world.) Theron also noted that the movie will begin filming in the early part of 2022, so it might not be all that long until we get to see Andy Of Scythia (plus co-stars KiKi Layne, Marwen Kenzari, and more) once again solve violent problems by letting themselves get shot a bunch in the head.
For what it’s worth, Netflix has always been bullish on Old Guard, issuing its usual raft of statements about its 72 million views in early weeks of release, and its placement on the company’s list of its 10 most popular films. All of that is informationally suspect, of course, since Netflix only ever lets us see these metrics when it makes the company sound good. But, fair’s fair: News that filming is set to begin feels like a much more concrete vote of confidence from the streaming service.