The Boys is the jewel in the Amazon Prime Video lineup. Over two excellent seasons, the Garth Ennis comic book adaptation has told a gripping, subversive and astonishingly violent superhero story, resulting in a dedicated audience that can’t get enough of the show. The next run is just beginning production now and work is also underway on G-Men, a spinoff set in a superhero college run by Vought International.
The future looks bright, then, though this success was by no means guaranteed. The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke recently gave an interview with Screenwriters’ Festival Online where he discussed the series’ development, touching on the one moment that terrified him as he considered it the most one important to get right.
It comes in the very first episode, just after Erin Moriarty’s Starlight has achieved her ambition of making it into The Seven. In a tense and disturbing scene, we see that dream turning into a nightmare as she’s blackmailed and sexually assaulted by Chace Crawford’s The Deep. It’s loaded with references to the #MeToo movement and has proved to be key to the overall plotline, and here’s what Kripke said about it:
“I wanted to get it right. I had a lot of conversations with a lot of women, some of which were very painful. And I did my absolute best to get the f– out of the way, and just let them speak, and not try to steer it one way or another. And then, ultimately, kind of, y’know, boil it down to Starlight’s experience, both in that moment, and then in the aftermath of that moment. Then when it came time to loop in Erin, and then Chace… we went through that process all over again. Because the actors actually have to live in and play it. And so, I’ll say this: I’ve never worked so hard or stressed so much about a scene in my life before or since. Because if I got that wrong, it’s not just that it would fail as a scene, it would be hurtful. And I felt that pressure and responsibility all throughout.”
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It’s safe to say he nailed it and the scene is a substantial improvement on the way it’s depicted in the original comic. The impact of these events is still being felt two seasons later as well, giving Starlight a reason to work with The Boys and sending The Deep on a pathetic career spiral from which he’s yet to recover.
So, what’s coming in the third run? Well, we’re getting a version of the comics’ “Herogasm” arc, but it’s also inevitable that we’ll continue to follow the secretly superpowered politician Victoria Neuman, who was revealed in the final moments of season 2 as having head-exploding powers. Supernatural and Smallville star Jensen Ackles is debuting as Captain America parody Soldier Boy as well (which will be interesting to see after The Falcon and The Winter Soldier‘s similarly conceived US Agent).
The Boys season 3 has just started filming, so we may not get new episodes until 2022. Let’s hope they land sooner, though, as I’m officially hooked.