Amazon has placed an eight-episode series order for ‘The Boys’ based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s violent/hilarious comic book series. ‘The Boys’ comes from Eric Kripke, the creator of ‘Supernatural’ and co-creator of ‘Timeless’ who will executive produce and serve as showrunner. It will be directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan, who previously directed episodes of AMC’s ‘Preacher’ also based on an Ennis comic series. ‘The Boys’ comes from Goldberg and Rogan’s Point Grey Pictures, Sony Pictures TV Studios and Neal H. Moritz’s Original Films, also the team behind ‘Preacher’, and Amazon Studios.
‘The Boys’, written by Ennis and illustrated by Robertson, was published from 2006-2012. The first six issues were published by DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint but DC was uncomfortable with the book’s dark, violent and explicit tone and released it and its creators, who found a new home at Dynamite Entertainment. The book focuses on a team loosely referred to as The Boys, lethal operatives meant to keep their world’s superbeings in check. In this reality, superheroes (often based on existing archetypes and tropes) are out of control celebrities, drunk with power with a dark side darker than that of most supervillains in regular comics.
The main characters are “Wee Hughie” Campbell, a wide-eyed everyman, physically based on ‘Sean of the Dead’ actor Simon Pegg; strong and merciless Billy Butcher; Mother’s Milk, an African American with a tragic backstory; The Frenchman, who speaks broken French, and is one of the most violent and lethal members of the team; and The Female (of the Species)– think River Tam from ‘Firefly’ but even more deadly. The series’ main villain is James Stillwell of the Vought-American company, a sinister entity with connections to the superbeings. Hughie inadvertently becomes romantically involved with Annie January, who is secretly the innocent superhero Starlight.
‘The Boys’ TV series is the first ordered by Sharon Tal Yguado, Amazon’s new Head of Scripted Series. This is also the first order in Amazon’s new push for genre programming and a new emphasis on ordering more series and not just pilots.
Tal Yguado stated:
“In a landscape saturated with superhero shows, The Boys is the next evolution in this popular genre. With Eric, Evan, Seth and Original Film all behind this series, we are excited to adapt this popular comic, from the visionary minds of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, for television.”
As stated, ‘The Boys’ is the first step of Amazon’s pursuit of a breakthrough genre hit. The service has made no secret that they want their own ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘The Walking Dead’ and/or ‘Stranger Things’, going so far as to sign deals with ‘TWD’ creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman and ‘Stranger Things” Justin Doble. They are also reportedly looking to develop a ‘Lord of the Rings’ series along with other programs like ‘Lazarus’, ‘Snow Crash’ and ‘Ringworld’.
‘The Boys’ was previously in development at Cinemax.
Rogen and Goldberg are also in the process of developing a TV series based on Kirkman’s ‘Invincible’ comic book series.