The Old Guard makes one change from the comic books that will affect the sequels in a massive way

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Old Guard (opens in new tab) has touched down on Netflix – and audiences are lapping up the action flick, with many people pouring adoration on Charlize Theron's performance as the immortal Andy. This has led to many fans discovering the comic books (opens in new tab) on which the movie is based, and discovering that there's one major difference that will inevitably lead to the sequels being very different. 

Warning: Spoilers for The Old Guard on Netflix ahead.

As is made clear in The Old Guard, Theron's Andy is no longer able to regenerate like the other members of the eponymous superhero squad. Her immortality has reached its end, and therefore her confrontation with Merrick could be fatal. Luckily, she survives, but her life is now very much in the balance. 

This is, perhaps surprisingly to non-comic book readers, a major change from the source material. In writer Greg Rucka and artist Leandro Fernández's original work, Andy does not lose her immortality but remains able to regenerate after death. 

"The one concern that we had in developing it, was, 'Is there enough jeopardy and stakes?'" the movie's director Gina Prince-Bythewood told Esquire (opens in new tab) while discussing the change. "They can die, and they never know when they're going to, but adding that extra layer gave us that jeopardy for her character."

The big question now concerns what that means for The Old Guard 2 (opens in new tab), should that sequel happen. In an interview with GamesRadar+, Prince-Bythewood said that "it'll be based on the graphic novel" still, but added no more details on Andy's fate. With Andy's loss of immortality playing such a major role in the first film, surely the writers' fo the sequel will have to address the situation – which will naturally lead to some further differences to the graphic novel. 

For the most part, The Old Guard remains a faithful adaptation of the source material with only minor differences. Rucka, after all, wrote the script for the movie and put certain stipulations in his contract about scenes that had to appear in the filmed version, including one where Joe and Nicky declare their love for each other.

One minor difference concerns the character Quynh, seen at the end of the movie. In the comics, her name is Noriko – it appears the change happened as the actress Van Veronica Ngo is Vietnamese, unlike in the comics, where the character is Japanese. CIA agents Copley is also white in the comics, whereas Chiwetel Ejiofor plays him in the movie. 

There are also some timeline discrepancies, as Copley only discovers that Andy's actions are doing good in the world in the second comic run. Perhaps, then, the movie has acted as a spoiler for future comics and will see Andy lose her immortality sometime soon? We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, read more about The Old Guard ending – with quotes from Prince-Bythewood on what to expect.

Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film