[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Old Guard.]
How about that The Old Guard ending, eh? Netflix’s latest A-list action movie stars Charlize Theron as Andromache, the leader of an immortal group of mercenaries trying to fight for good over the centuries, and as we find out late in the film, they’re doing a pretty good job! The acts of Andromache and her family of fighters have helped turn the hands of history, and with newcomer Nile (KiKi Layne) joining the squad, the remorseful but treacherous Booker (Matthais Shoenaerts) sentenced to 100 years of solitude, and a freshly mortal Andromache ready to lead them back into action with a rewed sense of purpose, the story looks pretty well tied up and resolved. And then the final scene happens.
Stumbling through his lonely new life of banishment, Booker finds an unexpected guest waiting for him; Quynh (Van Veronica Ngo), Andromache’s former right-hand-sister-in-arms, who was locked in an iron maiden and thrown in the ocean, lost for 500 years, constantly drowning but unable to die. You can read a full breakdown of the ending and what it could mean for what comes next here, but when we spoke with director Gina Prince-Bythewood about the film, we had to ask if that final scene means we’re getting a sequel and if she would want to come back to direct.
On the final scene and why she decided to include it, the filmmaker told Christina Radish,
“It was part of the graphic novel, and I always loved it because I felt there would have been a hole, if it didn’t end the way it did. There’s always a fear because you don’t want to annoy an audience. I know how I feel when things are left open, but for me, we told the story. It does have a beginning, middle, and end. And then, there is a hint and a possibility of more, but that’s absolutely up to the audience. Greg has always envisioned this as a trilogy. I know where the story is going and it’s pretty dope. So, if the audience wants more, there’s certainly more story to tell.”
In a separate interview for our ongoing Collider Connected series, Prince-Bythewood explained that if The Old Guard wasn’t released on Netflix (where the user interface urges you to hit play on the next title the moment the credits start,) the final sequence probably would have arrived in the form of a post-credits stinger rather than an ending scene.
“Honestly, in a theatrical, that would have been a tag. But Netflix, as soon as the movie’s over they’re telling you to watch something else. So we made the decision to make it part of the ending.”
However, the filmmaker also felt it was an important element to satisfy in the scope of the first film because of the emotional connection you feel to Quynh and her horrific plight.
“The sequence with Qhyn, for me, was really emotional and I cared about this woman caught in this horrible existence of drowning for 500 years. The psychology of that alone… I wanted to know what happened. It’a hint of, ok she’s alive. It was giving a hint, hopefully not having anyone feeling like they’re cheated of what happens next. I want you to want more, but again it is wholly up to the audience.”
And if the audience does want more, would Prince-Bythewood want to return to helm the sequel? Perhaps.
“I would really have to think about that. It’s been two years, and just coming out of it now, I’m eager for a rest. I would probably feel two ways about it. If it continues on, I was the first that established it, but it would probably also bug me and I’d be like, ‘Nile doesn’t do that!’ So, I just don’t know.”
We may not know if there will be an Old Guard sequel yet (or if the director would want to return for another go at it,) but as Prince-Bythewood pointed out, we do know there’s plenty more story left to tell from Rucka’s comic series. And things are certainly off to a good start — The Old Guard has been sitting pretty at #1 on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. all weekend!
For more on The Old Guard, be sure to check out our full review of the film and stay tuned for more from our Collider Connected chat with the director.