Nowadays, the real challenge isn't in getting a comic book movie made, but rather making it in such a way that the film stands out in an oversaturated market. Gina Prince-Bythewood, the director of the recently released Netflix movie The Old Guard with Charlize Theron in the lead role, spoke to Collider about how she brought her own unique sensibilities to making a superhero film adapted from a graphic novel:
"I wanted to bring my aesthetic to this. One of the things that I talked about, in terms of creating the look with Tami Reiker, we used two phrases, which were intimately epic and crazy gritty. We wanted to be able to tell this big story, but it starts with the personal and the details. I wanted to bring handheld to this and a natural look to it, yet just slightly heightened, given the fantastical conceit of it and given that I wanted to give some homages to the graphic novel, and that was really my use of silhouette."
Netflix original movie The Old Guard tells the story of a company of immortal assassins, led by Theron as Andy, who are on the run from a sinister corporation intent on learning their secret to immortality. For Prince-Bythewood, the type of cameras and lighting used for filming became an important means of setting her movie apart from the superhero pack:
"We definitely tried a couple of things that hadn't been done in the genre before. The first was using 65mm cameras, which are really big. That's why people don't use them for handheld, for an entire film, but we really loved what the camera could do and the range that it had. Props to our camera guys, who had massages every week, seriously. And then, we also used a different lighting technique with it, which hadn't been done either, in the genre. It was something that Tami Reiker had done, early in her career, and then Matthew Libatique used it in A Star is Born and brought it back. We said, "Let's try it for this film." It's called flashing the film."
The action scenes in The Old Guard have been praised for their realistic approach which are closer in spirit to the John Wick series, than the MCU. Prince-Bythewood believes the choices she made while filming allowed for a more authentic and grounded feel that audiences connected to:
"Bringing those kinds of things to this felt different, but felt true to who I am, as a filmmaker. What I've really gravitated towards is that realistic, grounded feel. It feels like that allows you to truly connect with the characters because they feel more real, as opposed to these untouchable superheroes. These heroes, I felt were going through such real emotion and real things that I knew, as me personally, I was connecting with them, and I wanted to give that experience to an audience, as well."
The risks taken by the movie's creative team appear to have paid off, as The Old Guard has topped Netflix's most-watched list following its premiere. Hopefully, the movie will be able to maintain that momentum in the coming weeks. This latest info comes from our good friends at Collider.