In the latest update to Amazon’s delve into the gritty world of comic book superheroes, The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke spoke up about just how bloody his realization of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s series could get - all with the former’s blessing of course. Kripke is running the show produced by Preacher pair Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who found success with the Ennis’ other property on AMC, and is primed to bring a grounded realism to The Boys that doesn’t shy away from shocking content. We knew it was going to be a wild ride, but now we have a little better idea of how wild.
According to an interview with EW the showrunner (and Supernatural creator) did from The Boys’ set, Kripke explained that - like the oddball, often seemingly unmakeable Preacher - the show “is very, very gritty and very adult.” That means the writer has to tap into his “jaded, cynical adult” in order to get the dark spin on a superhero world intact. The story focuses on two groups: The Boys, a down-home group of CIA workers, and The Seven, a fame-corrupted Justice League pastiche filled with jokey versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, and more. The former is trying to keep the latter in check - and things get messy.
“I want it to be graphic when it needs to be, because that’s what’s best for the story,” Kripke said, “but I want to tell this character story about these regular, blue-collar humans taking on these entitled, super-powered, one-percenter gods and the relationships amongst them.” That means there’s not going to be anything “shocking for shocking’s sake” with the violence and sex that runs rampant throughout the comic series, but “there is madness” because, with this story of abusive, unchecked power in the hands of these superheroes, how could there not be?
Thankfully, this all meets the standards of the original creator. “I’ve been in close contact with Garth Ennis through it all and he’s read everything I’ve written, so it’s with his approval, as well,” Kripke said of the adaptation. The “punk rock provocative” tone may scare off some not ready for its Watchmen-esque take on a world dominated by Marvel and DC, its characters will still enjoy a realistic psychology that makes it more than a simple genre takedown. It just might not be right for your kid’s Halloween planning.
The Boys’ eight episodes hit Amazon in 2019.