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WIRE Buzz: Billy Butcher short film; Retrograde blasting off with Frank Grillo; Percy Jackson update

By Josh Weiss
The Boys Karl Urban

Karl Urban's Billy Butcher is going to be the subject of a short film made out of unused footage taken from The Boys' second season. Speaking with Collider, showrunner Eric Kripke revealed that the plan is to release the short (simply titled "Butcher") after Season 2 kicks off in early September.

"As Season 2 begins, Butcher is kind of M.I.A. and then shows up," Kripke said. "In Episode 2, we originally had shot something that revealed where he went and what his experiences were. But it ultimately didn't end up fitting that well into the episode because it made Butcher's story a lot less mysterious and intriguing, and it slowed down the rhythm."

The short will act as a "companion piece to the show," so keep your ears pricked for references to what Butcher was up to over those mysterious couple of weeks.

"There are actually references in the show that you won't understand unless you see this thing because it was really tied into our plot," Kripke added. "It won't be released before [Season 2] comes out, but sometime in the middle of the release of the [season] it'll come out."

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Fans are no doubt eager to learn how ol' Billy reacts to the news that his wife (Shantel VanSanten) is not only alive, but raising the super-powered bastard spawn of Homelander (Antony Starr). We imagine he'll be out for blood, and you know what that means ... the best over-the-top CGI gore money can buy!

"They goosed up our budget a bit," Kripke continued. "That time buys you the ability … and it doesn’t just mean huge action scenes. It does mean some of those. We have some huge sequences. There are larger sea mammals. There is some bigger stuff for sure. But there is also a lot more intense stuff and scenes that were really difficult for the actors emotionally and require a bit more time. It’s not just the visuals that are epic; I think the emotions are a little more epic this season and that just takes some TLC with the actors."

The Boys Season 2 will start to roll out episodes on Amazon Prime Friday, Sept. 4. The first three episodes will be available all at once, with the remaining five being doled out on a weekly basis.

The MCU's Frank Grillo is set to star in a space thriller Retrograde from director Jeremy Rush, Deadline confirmed today. Grillo previously worked with Rush on Wheelman, which debuted on Netflix in 2017.

Written by Mark Mazur (Latency), the film is set in the aftermath of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia. Up in the Earth's atmosphere, American and Russian astronauts aboard the International Space Station engage in their own brutal conflict to gain control of the station.

Frank Grillo

The project hails from a partnership between Mandalay Pictures and Juniper Productions — the two companies behind Edson Oda's Nine Days.

The live-action Percy Jackson series is one step closer to joining the gods on Mount Olympus, er, make that Disney+. Rick Riordan's wife, Becky, shared an update on the project Monday.

"A couple of studio meetings this week," she tweeted. "Getting close to wrapping up the pilot outline. A script outline isn't the same as an outline for a term paper, but is more a script without dialogue if that makes sense. We are having a blast! We love our team! More soon."

Announced back in May, the show is said to follow the plot line of the original five novels in the series, with Season 1 being based on The Lightning Thief, and so on.

Riordan is closely involved with the creative process and has much more control than he did on the Fox film adaptations of the first two books, which were not to his liking. Logan Lerman, who played Percy in the two movies, recently said he'd be up for a return to the franchise.