Greg Rucka’s best-selling graphic novel The Old Guard has been adapted into a Netflix movie starring Charlize Theron as the leader of a group of immortal mercenaries whose lives are threatened after humanity stumbles across their secret existence. Movie and tv adaptations often play fast and loose with the source material, but in an interview, Matthias Schoenarts, who plays Booker in the film, explained how important it was for him to keep a key scene from the graphic novel in the script.
“There was a very specific scene that was in the comic book that at some point was in the screenplay and then all of a sudden, just in a new version, a new draft, disappeared. 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.”
“It’s crazy because one scene can either amplify everything and the absence of that scene can just flatten everything. 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.”
Fans of the graphic novel will appreciate the efforts of the cast to keep the miniseries faithful to the source material. Director of The Old Guard, Gina Prince-Bythewood, was also committed to making sure Rucka’s vision was translated to the live-action version of the story.
“The most important thing is that Greg Rucka’s work is represented on screen. Like, that’s it. 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.”
The trailer for The Old Guard has been released, and the series itself will be available on Netflix from July 10. This news originated at ComicBook.com.