The Boys are back, with another insanely delicious head to head! Based on the comic book series created by Garth Ennis (Preacher) and Darick Robertson and published by Dynamite, The Boys season two picks up right where we left off in season one, The Boys are wanted, Homelander (Antony Starr, Banshee) is still pure evil, and Vought is the global mastermind that acts as Master puppeteer.
Ahead of its September 4th premiere and in line with SDCC, The Beat got an exclusive chat with showrunner Eric Kripke (Supernatural) about unlikely team-ups, when The Boys will end, what character growth he’s most proud of, and so much more!
On what the process and how involved he is in selecting the fantastic music on the show and how it builds excitement scene by scene, Kripke shared:
“I am super involved in that process, one of the things I really care about is the music in all of my shows. When I was running Supernatural, that was certainly the case and it remains the same with The Boys. It’s just a lot of long conversations with the editors and talking about the vibe that we want, and then they’ll pitch me some songs. I think they’ve learned at this point to rarely pitch a song that was recorded after 1980 (laughs). At this point, they know my sweet spot and what I like.”
“In terms of the score, Chris Leonard is the composer who did Supernatural and a bunch of my stuff. We were college friends and he scored my short film. So, we have an incredible shorthand and it’s just a blast to work with him.”
On if the Seven & The Boys will team up against Vought this season, Kripke teased:
“In Season two, everybody is cornered. I’d say they’re in a more intense situation. The Boys are all wanted criminals that are being hunted and Homelander removed the only person at Vought who could control him. So, they have to figure out how to contain Vought and Homelander because both are going crazy. Sometimes their motives are at cross purposes, but neither is up to much good.
“They have to utilize every weapon in their arsenal to do so, including Annie (Erin Moriarty, True Detective) & Hughie (Jack Quaid, Star Trek: Lower Decks) working closer together. And sometimes even strange pairings, like later in the season Annie & Butcher (Karl Urban, The Lord of the Rings) will team up. So, there’ll be some interesting combinations. On top of that, there’s all the personal stuff too. Hughie is dying to get back together with Annie and it’s not going so well. Butcher is desperately trying to find his wife, which is a huge part of the story this year. Homelander is dealing with the fact that there is someone in the Seven now who’s more popular than him, which is a huge problem for him. (Laughs) So, everyone is dealing with a lot this year.”
On if there is a finite vision for The Boys ending, Kripke told us:
“I am smart enough now to not publicly say endpoints for my series. That said, I think five years is a nice round number on this one, but I can’t say I have a beat for beat plan. For the record, I didn’t have it on Supernatural either, I just knew how I wanted the confrontations to climax, and I would say I know that here too.”
“I know where it comes down to the final face-off that we’re slowly but surely building towards, even as we’re in the writer’s room for season three. But I don’t know the details of how we get there. And like I said, I literally couldn’t have been more wrong about the length of Supernatural. So, I will not make any hard and fast rules here with The Boys.”
On using the source material but also changing the characters to breathe new life, Kripke said:
“You know, it’s a really stressful process because I love the comic. I’m a huge fan of the comic and Garth Ennis is my favorite comic book writer, by a mile. In the same breath, I’ll say that you cannot do a one for one adaptation, it wouldn’t work. They’re just different mediums and I think when you try to be too slavish, you end up with something like the Watchmen movie where, for me, it was too claustrophobic and insular.”
“With The Boys being a streaming show, we had to tell one continuous story, unlike the pretty episodic comics. Comics are a medium based on space and film is a medium based on time. So, you just have to inherently make some differences but that’s stressful because that means you could be the person who destroys the thing you love for the world. So, it’s really a game of Jenga, where you’re pulling pieces very carefully and thinking, is this the thing that’s going to knock the whole tower over and ruin it for the world? It’s way less stressful to writer your own stuff.”
“Whenever I get feedback from someone that says they prefer the comics better, my response is always the comic is its own thing, read it and love it, because I do. But this is a different thing, this is my version and enjoy that as its own entity because they’re not the same and one is not a direct result of the other. One is inspired by the other.”
On what character change he is most proud of this season, Kripke teased:
“I mean, look, you love all your children, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I guess I would say Kimiko aka The Female (Karen Fukuhara, Suicide Squad). She’s a problematic character as originally written in the comic and as we launched her in season one. There’s a stereotype of silent Asian women, and the fact that she just didn’t have a voice and is mostly a killing machine is a problem. In season one, we tried to give her a little more of a backstory within the extent we were able to, but this year, it was important for me to give her a voice and that’s one of the first things I said to the writers.”
“Just because she can’t verbally speak doesn’t mean, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a voice or opinions on things. So, I was proud of how that turned out because it leads to a really interesting story with her and Frenchie (Tomer Kapon, One Week and a Day) throughout the season that creates conflict. After all, he has an image of who he thinks she is and that this woman that he came in to save. But once she can start expressing herself, she doesn’t fucking want that. And she’s her own person who has her own attitudes and perspectives and didn’t ask for that. So, that leads to an interesting relationship where he has to relearn who she is and accept her on her own terms, and she has to express herself proactively as a character. That was a really fun arc to sort of taking that character to those places.”
On the topical issues that we can expect to be broached in season two, Kripke shared:
“We are living in the world’s dumbest dystopia. The only good thing about it is that it gives the writers an incredible amount of material in the room. I wish it didn’t, I wish I had no material, but I have too much, a firehose of material. So, this season there’s plenty to talk about where authoritarianism and celebrity combine this year. We’re not touching on many of the issues from last year because there’s so many. This year we’re taking some target at white nationalism, white supremacy, systemic racism, xenophobia, and how the people that are trying to convey these hateful ideologies are using new forms of social media as wolves in sheep’s clothing to communicate very old and hateful ideas in very new ways.”
“I will admit that I’m pretty angry about the way things are, and one advantage that I don’t take for granted is I have a show that I can put some of my feelings into. I would say that there might be even a little more of the topical issues this season because the writers are a little angrier as well.”
The Boys explosive season 2 begins streaming weekly on Amazon Prime on September 4th!