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What Only Fans Of The Original Graphic Novel Know About Old

The next horror film from "The Sixth Sense" and "Split" creator M. Night Shyamalan, "Old" is coming to theaters on July 23, 2021. The film has a very simple premise — a group of families arrive on a secluded beach littered with clothes, jewelry, and phones only to discover that they are all trapped there and rapidly aging. The children on the beach become adults, the adults become much older, and, as the hours pass it becomes clear that the litter on the beach is from people who have died — and that everyone still alive won't be for much longer. 

The trailer for "Old" dropped recently and people are already trying to piece the story together based on the footage. What many may not realize is that "Old" is actually an adaptation of a graphic novel from 2010 called "Sandcastle," written by Pierre Oscar Lévy and drawn by Frederik Peeters. And for all the questions you may have from the trailer, those who have read the book have some provisional answers.

Here are some of the scary facts abut "Old" you would only know if you've read "Sandcastle."

How quickly people in Old age and how aging impacts them

There's an obvious question to ask about "Old" other than "why is this happening": just how quickly are people aging on that beach? In "Sandcastle," we get the answer from one of the people working to figure everything out — for every half hour, everyone on the beach is aging one year. So if, for example, you were in your 20s or 30s when you arrive on the beach — as many of the parents in "Old" seem to be — you'll either be near the end of your life or dead within 24 hours.

There's a particularly horrific scene from the trailer in which a girl who begins the story as a toddler not only grows to puberty but also gives birth on the beach. The natural, if not deeply uncomfortable, question you might be asking is: "how did she become pregnant?" And the answer to that question in the comic is exactly what you'd think it is: she has sex with one of the other rapidly-aging children on the beach. It's hard to say whether or not that will make it into the film or how, but, in "Sandcastle," the children do psychologically mature enough to understand what sex is and to want it.

And Old's twist ending is...

And then there's the biggest question of all: since this is an M. Night Shyamalan adaptation, what is the movie's twist ending? And the most twisty thing of all is that there really isn't one in the book. While the characters mull over different possibilities — they're in someone's dream or this is some sort of experiment — no official explanation is ever given. The story ends with more or less everyone dead. Like the sandcastles on the beach, everyone's existence is carried away by the proverbial tide. The final moments show one child — presumably the one who is born on the beach — building a new sandcastle all alone.

Interestingly, there was a more definitive ending originally crafted, but it was left unused. In an interview with CBR News, Frederik Peeters said, "Originally, Pierre Oscar had written an ending, a resolution, a final twist, but we finally decided it was useless, and would have destroyed the frightening dimension of the book. So we had to find the only frontal and implacable way to replace the first ending."

Whether or not Shyamalan will leave the original ending to "Sandcastle" intact is unknown, but we'll find out together when "Old" premieres in theaters on July 23.