During a recent interview with EW, screenwriter Greg Rucka opened up about his experience writing The Old Guard. In particular, he explained his vision for the film’s two LGBTQ characters, Joe and Nicky.
According to Rucka, his priority was to show viewers that a queer relationship can be both perfectly happy and fully functional. He also wanted to give depth to the lovers, stressing that the two might have never met were it not for a little stroke of luck.
“I wanted a happy queer couple,” Rucka told EW. “I felt the audience needed to see, here are two people who, if not for this, probably wouldn’t have found each other.”
The film, which tells the story of a group of undying mercenaries who have been turning the tide of earth’s most important battles since time immemorial, naturally deals with themes of love and hate. These themes, in turn, are reflected in the relationship between Joe and Nicky.
“They meet killing each other,” Rucka adds, “and only within the discovery that they can’t do it are they able to put down all this bullshit about religious hatred.”
The message – of love conquering hate – is an all too familiar one. But while it’s been told many times across human history, rarely has it been done through characters such as these.
As the civil rights protests in the name of George Floyd put an ever-increasing pressure on Hollywood to reinvent itself into a more inclusive industry, films are starting to tell stories that they’ve never told before. And although there are tons of niche indie productions centered on gay characters, Joe and Nicky are two of the first openly homosexual figures to feature prominently in a mainstream blockbuster action movie. And The Old Guard is all the better for it.