What do you do when the superheroes of the world turn out to be a bunch of scumbags? You call in The Boys. Eric Kripke (‘Supernatural’) is adapting the comic book series ‘The Boys’ by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson into a series on Amazon Prime Video, which Kripke calls “the most current show on TV.” In this alternate reality, “[Superheroes] are this endless fountain of stuff that we can [use to] comment on what’s really happening in society… a metaphor for celebrity… sometimes they are a metaphor for politics, sometimes they are a metaphor for professional athletes.”
Ennis and Robertson’s comic book is extremely graphic in violence and gore, as well as sex and sexual situations, drug use and more. But while Kripke admits there are plenty of “pornographic ornaments,” those are just the decorations on “a very wholesome Christmas tree.”
Certain elements from the original comic book had to be toned down for the TV show.
Karl Urban heads up the cast as Billy Butcher, one of the blue-collar everymen that is responsible for keeping the hedonistic corporate-sponsored superheroes in line. As he said:
“We have so many television shows and movies out there that are predominantly focused on the stereotypical perception we all have of superheroes. What intrigued me was reading this material and that being completely flipped and seeing that these superheroes were tragically flawed and often anything but heroic.”
“Eric is interested in utilizing this story as a vehicle to throw into light, if you will, modern themes in terms of less male chauvinistic attitudes, which were often predominant in the comics. There’s less graphic sexual content [in the show. The comics] were pretty full-on and often, at times, misogynistic.”
As Kripke clarified:
“[I’m] really not interested in shocking for shocking sake. That’s, to me, when it becomes exploitive… I always try to attack everything from a point of view of character and then let them be my guide.”
For example, the introduction of the virginal Starlight (Erin Moriarty) to The Seven, is toned down.
According to Chace Crawford, who plays the sleazy Aquaman-like “hero” The Deep:
“It was different in the [early script] version I read, but then they changed it. They decided it would be better to deal with it head on and weave it in the story as a jumping off point for her character. That’s the type of show they want to make, they want it to be edgy and real and face things like that head on.”
We’ll have to wait until the show premieres to find out just how the show will modify this sequence.
To wrap up, Kripke said:
“So much of [the show] trades on that people are fucking sick of superheroes, and the myths are so told and retold that they are becoming monotonous. That is the world and the attitude that The Boys, or the heroes of this story, take, which is, ‘Fuck superheroes. Fuck all their spandex and their rocket cars. I’m over it. And they are all assholes.’”
Amazon will be heavily promoting ‘The Boys’ at San Diego Comic-Con next weekend. ‘The Boys’ arrives on Amazon Prime Video on July 26th.