The latest action movie saw 72 million households tune in during its first week of release

By Claudia Harmata
August 04, 2020 02:49 PM
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Charlize Theron
Aimee Spinks/NETFLIX

The Old Guard is a hit with Netflix viewers — but behind the scenes, the Charlize Theron-starring action film was downright revolutionary.

According to a new report by The Hollywood Reporter, the film, which is based on a comic book series by Greg Rucka and illustrator Leandro Fernández, had a female-led postproduction team that was about 85 percent women.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights), who also became the first Black woman to helm a comic-book-themed movie, told the outlet that a gender breakdown like that "doesn't happen, or very rarely happens on any movie, but on an action film, I guarantee you that's never happened before."

"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."

Charlize Theron
Courtesy of Netflix

On Prince-Bythewood's team was also Terilyn A. Shropshire, the first Black woman to edit a comic-book-themed movie. Her VFX supervisor was Sara Bennett, who is one of only two women to have ever won an Oscar in VFX, for the 2014 film Ex Machina.

The action film, which stars Charlize Theron as the leader of a team of immortal fighters, began streaming on Netflix July 10 and saw 72 million households tune in during its first week of release. The Oscar-winning actress, 44, was shocked by the overwhelming reception.

“It’s pretty nutty, right?” Theron recently told Variety, reacting to the number of people who have seen it. “It’s pretty crazy.”

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But the huge success doesn't mean they're thinking about a sequel just yet, even though the ending of the film sets up an intriguing new storyline.

“We’re still pushing this one out,” Theron said. “Let’s have a little resting period, but just given the fact that all of us really want to do it, I’m sure when it’s the right time, we’ll start the conversation.”

The film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Marwan Kenzari, Matthias Schoenaerts, Luca Marinelli and Veronica Ngo.

The Old Guard is available to stream on Netflix.