NPR

'Old Guard' Superhero Warriors Battle Their Greatest Foe Yet — Ennui

The Old Guard director Gina Prince-Bythewood is the first black woman to direct a big budget superhero movie. "I hate the fact that I'm the first — in 2020 that we're still having firsts," she says.
Director Gina Prince Bythewood on the set of The Old Guard. Source: Mohammed Kamal

Gina Prince-Bythewood directs intimate, romantic, independent films like Love and Basketball and Beyond the Lights. So she's not necessarily who you'd expect to helm the latest action-packed comic-book come to life.

But the filmmaker says she was committed to making her latest film — Netflix's The Old Guard — feel as grounded as her smaller films. Charlize Theron plays Andy; her team of mercenaries has lived for centuries and fought in countless battles, but faced with a new mission and a new, reluctant addition named Nile (Kiki Layne), Andy's will to fight has waned.

"The Old Guard are a group of warriors ... who have been tasked with protecting humanity," Prince-Bythewood explains. "But they are at a point where they don't see their work influencing the world at all and they feel like they've lost their purpose."

In directing Prince-Bythewood becomes the first black

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