The Boys, a subversive and NSFW comic book series, is launching on Prime Video this summer.
What would happen if superheroes were lazy, fallible, outrageous and abusive with their powers?
The Boys turns the superhero genre on its head with a dark and irreverent take on the comic book format.
What happens when superheroes – who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods – abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good?
It’s the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about The Seven, and Vought – the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that manages these superheroes and covers up all of their dirty secrets.
Starring Karl Urban, Jack Quaid and Elisabeth Shue, The Boys is a mature take on the morals of superheroes, blending together pitch black humour with comedic and OTT sex and violence.
It’s not a series for the faint-hearted.
Here is everything you need to know about Prime Video's The Boys.
When is The Boys released?
The Boys is released worldwide on Prime Video on July 26th.
There will be eight episodes in season one.
The Hollywood Reporter: "Amazon's The Boys makes for a sour and cynical take on the deconstructed superhero team-up genre, accentuating a general theme of misanthropy that other similar shows — think Legends of Tomorrow, Doom Patrol and Umbrella Academy - haven't always gone for."
Radio Times: "Set in a world where superheroes are not only real, but also corporate-backed narcissists, perverts and drug addicts, it’s a slightly bracing tonic to the blockbuster domination of caped crusaders in recent years...
"If nothing else, you’ll never look at Clark Kent the same way again."
Horror Cult Films: "If you’re sick and tired of superheroes taking over the screen, then this brand new series from Amazon might just be what you’re looking for."
IGN: "Exploring the seedy underbelly of sex, murder, and mayhem that might go along with real-life superhero stories, The Boys aims to satirize an American society obsessed with celebrity, politics, and pleasing facades."
Another trailer not suitable for young viewers or the easily offended was released on June 18th - soundtracked by the classic Spice Girls single Wannabe.
In the new trailer, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) recruits rookie Hughie (Jack Quaid) to his team and delivers a motivational speech comparing The Boys to the Spice Girls.
Warning: The following trailer is not suitable for younger viewers:
Welcome to Vought
Get a flavour of The Boys biting satire in this preview clip, welcoming you to Vought - the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that manages these superheroes.
The clip features Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) as Madelyn Stillwell, Vought’s Senior VP of Hero Management.
The Boys pokes fun at everything from celebrity culture and superhero brands to misogny and dirty politics.
Watch the trailer
Warning: The following trailer is not suitable for younger viewers
Who is in the cast?
The Boys are Hughie (Jack Quaid, The Hunger Games), Billy Butcher (Karl Urban, Star Trek), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso, Detroit), Frenchie (Tomer Capon, Hostages), and The Female (Karen Fukuhara, Suicide Squad). Simon Pegg (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) guest stars as Hughie’s father.
The Supes of The Seven are led by Homelander (Antony Starr, Banshee) who is joined by Starlight (Erin Moriarty, Captain Fantastic), Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott, House of Cards), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher, Independence Day: Resurgence), The Deep (Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl) and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell, Supernatural).
Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) stars as Madelyn Stillwell, Vought’s Senior VP of Hero Management.
Chace Crawford's The Deep
Look what the tide dragged in. pic.twitter.com/k8vZJ7uDmK— The Boys (@TheBoysTV) May 6, 2019
Speaking to Digital Spy about his character, Crawford said: "He’s like an idiot. He is supposedly charismatic, but he puts on this confident front and he’s deeply insecure and [there’s] an element of self-loathing there too. And he’s very insecure about being ‘the fish guy’ because of his lame power. It’s almost character-driven with my guy as well – there’s a little bit of action, but it’s a lot of what makes this guy tick, and why is he doing this deplorable thing?
"There’s a darkness there, and there’s a lot of comedy and also a lot of vulnerability. I wanted to bring vulnerability to this guy so you could see that fame can make you paranoid, it can make you weird. And how does that affect someone who has grown up with a silver spoon their whole life? He’s actually really insecure and he doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere.
"And it is shocking. There is a shocking element there and, down the line, there are some funny moments – more light-hearted, silly, bizarre moments that I got to do, and I got to go big with, and do improv and really own the character."
Karl Urban's Billy the Butcher
Speaking to Den of Geek, Karl Urban 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. That appealed to me… the fact that it was a story essentially about the little guy taking on the man."
Who are the creators?
Eric Kripke (Supernatural) is the writer and showrunner and he’s got a creative team including Seth Rogen (Preacher), Evan Goldberg (Preacher), James Weaver (Preacher), Neal H. Moritz (Prison Break), Pavun Shetty (New Girl) and Ori Marmur (Preacher).
The pilot episode is directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane).
Erick Kripke previews the series
In a revealing interview with Entertainment Weekly, the showrunner has talked about how he went about transferring Garth Ennis's more outrageous moments onto the screen.
“[Ennis] predicted the world we are now living in,” Kripke tells EW. “I don’t think the world’s improved.”
Speaking about a famous moment in the comics where Starlight joins The Seven, The Boys equivalent of Justice League or The Avengers, Kripke said that they had to take into consideration the #MeToo movement when tweaking it.
"You approach something like that with an incredible amount of thought and conversation," he said.
"You welcome and need an incredible amount of diverse points of view from the women on the staff, from Erin [Moriarty], the [Starlight] actress… I’ve never done anything that heavy before, so I felt an extreme responsibility to get it right and to, in certain ways, step out of the way of peoples’ feelings about the issue and just try to accurately get it right - and hopefully we did."
Talking about who will be fans of the show, he added: "If you just want to watch a shocking superheroes-behaving-badly show, you can. If you want to get connected to the characters, you can.
"And then there's also a lot of satire and commentary on the world we’re living in, on celebrity culture, on corporate culture, on where celebrity intersects with power and politics to the disadvantage of the general public. The superhero metaphor turned out to be endlessly durable the more we explored it."
The Boys at Comic Con 2019
The cast and creators headed to Comic-Con 2019 in San Diego for various fan screenings and panels to tease the upcoming series.
Exec producers Seth Rogen and Eric Kripke along with cast members Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, and Elisabeth Shue were all in attendance.
Speaking about the subversive themes of the show, Eric Kripke said: "This show is about family. This show is about boys who are good guys and the superheroes who are bad guys. The Boys are the heroes because they sit together, are loyal to each other, they’ve got each other’s back. And are willing to admit vulnerability and weakness.
"What I love is that the heroes of the show are the people who express vulnerability. The villains are the slick people who stand in front of the world refuse to admit weakness and somehow think demonstrating strength at all times is good when it’s actually dictatorial, autocratic and full of bull****. The people who appear to be strong in the show are weak and people who appear weak in the show are strong."
He added: "The're all basically the little guy. They’re blue collar, the 99%. In one way or another, they’ve all been f***ed over by these massive tectonic plates of power, from corporations or the superheroes. They just get ground under the wheel as just collateral that aren’t given a second thought…these guys have all suffered personally. What makes them different is that they’ve decided to fight back against the 1% of the 1%."
A significant change from The Boys comic to the TV series is the role of the female characters, who have much stronger and dominant roles.
Elizabeth Shue said her character Madelyn Stillwell is powerful and loves her power. "She’s drunk with power…It’s much more interesting being a woman," she laughed.
Erin Moriarty who plays Supe Starlight, said that she was attracted to the role because she twists the usual female character in superhero shows.
"I'm tired of the ingenue role…We have been oversaturated by that," she said. "You think that’s what my character is going to be, and she’s not.”
What is The Boys based on?
The Boys is a best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.
Set between 2006 and 2008, the series exists in a world where superheroes have been corrupted by their celebrity status and are placing the world in danger with their erratic and outrageous behavior.
In response, a super-powered squad known as ‘The Boys’ are given the responsibility of controlling the superhero community.
Ennis stated that he wanted to “out-Preacher Preacher” with the series, referring to the extreme violence and sexual elements of his other famous comic.
The Boys TV series is being adapted for TV by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who also worked on bringing Preacher to TV.
Will there be a season 2?
Amazon Prime Video are so hot on The Boys that they've already given it a second season, before the first has even been released.
The subversive series is expected to be back in summer 2020 and will feature an expanded cast including Aya Cash.
The You're The Worst actress will play Stormfront, a character who in the comics has electricity powers and limited control over the weather.
Watch this if you liked…
Preacher, Ash vs Evil Dead, Deadpool, American Gods.
How to watch The Boys?
Watch The Boys on Amazon Prime Video from July 26th.
Photo Credit: Todd Williamson/Rex/Shutterstock/AP/Chris Pizzello/January Pictures/Invision/Prime Video