How Dropping Out Of A Spider-Verse Film Helped The Old Guard Director Make The Netflix Hit

Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne in The Old Guard
(Image credit: (Netflix))

Gina Prince-Bythewood is the director behind the current No. 1 Netflix film of the weekend, the action flick The Old Guard. The movie that has received a lot of high praise and is based on Greg Rutka’s graphic novel is the director’s first big-budget film ever, but that accomplishment almost belonged to the Spider-Verse spinoff Silver & Black.

Sony is building its own Marvel Universe based on Spider-Man characters after its take on Venom was successful. One of the early projects the studio has been pulling in and out of development for several years was a spinoff film for Silver Sable and Black Cat. Gina Prince-Bythewood was formerly the director on Silver & Black. She worked on it for a year and half before dropping the project and moving to the newly-released Netflix hit. It turns out the switch-up became an advantage for her boarding The Old Guard. In Prince-Bythewood’s words:

I wanted to go edgier than some of the Marvel films. It was a question of how far could I push it in that Marvel universe...Silver & Black put me in the conversation. I was one of those couple of women people go to for these big films. I knew what kind of movies Skydance makes. It was exhilarating and nerve-racking. I knew I loved this project, partly because I could do everything I wanted to do from the other film: an edgy superhero film with two women.

This is a common discussion about high-profile comic book films. When Gina Prince-Bythewood signed on to Silver & Black, she wanted to push the boundaries of the property by providing a new experience within the genre. She went as far as crafting costume designs, scouting locations, working with a VFX team and storyboarding action sequences for the Spider-Verse spinoff. But for some reason, she stepped away and the project remains in limbo.

Black Cat, Spider-Man and Silver Sable in Marvel Comics

(Image credit: (Marvel))

As Gina Prince-Bythewood told IndieWire, her work did not get wasted when she left Silver & Black as director (she is still reportedly on board as a producer). She had hopes to make a grounded and gritty movie centering on two women, and The Old Guard allowed her to do that without constraints placed by Marvel. She continued with the following:

Everything happens for a reason. I learned so much in that year and half. All the stuff I was learning about doing a film of that scale I could transfer over to The Old Guard. So it didn’t feel like a gigantic leap.

Now we’re wondering what Silver & Black would have turned out to be if Gina Prince-Bythewood was given free reign. Since she left the movie, the idea of splitting the movies into two in order to feature Silver Sable and Black Cat in their own capacities has been in conversation. Another idea that has floated around is making Silver & Black a television series over on Disney+. Prince-Bythewood recently said she hopes it will continue to be developed into the film she set out to do.

After Sony sees The Old Guard and how successful it has become, could it rethink its approach to the material as well? Gina Prince-Bythewood’s next order of business may be a sequel for The Old Guard if it's given the green light. She told us here on CinemaBlend there’s already conversations about how the story could continue, and as she put it: “it's pretty dope.”

You can stream The Old Guard on Netflix now. Check out our interview with the cast and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more movie news.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.