Making ‘The Old Guard’: Gina Prince-Bythewood Turned Her Marvel Loss Into Her Own Netflix Franchise

Making ‘The Old Guard’: Gina Prince-Bythewood Turned Her Marvel Loss Into Her Own Netflix Franchise
On July 10, opening day for the summer’s first major action flick, “The Old Guard” director Gina Prince-Bythewood took her two sons, who are 16 and 19, up to Sunset Boulevard to see her first Netflix billboard. “The Old Guard” marks the UCLA track star’s biggest budget yet after such modest hits as “Love & Basketball” (2000), “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008), and “Beyond the Lights” (2014).

The director made that backstage musical romance for just $7 million, after she insisted on casting emerging Gugu Mbatha-Raw over a star like Beyoncé, as a biracial singer who tries to break free from her overbearing stage mom (Minnie Driver). That meant that Relativity Media, not Sony, released the independent film — with a smaller marketing spend. But Prince-Bythewood made the movie her way. She always does.

When the director met with Skydance on “The Old Guard,” she knew that she had to nail her pitch for how
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